Skip to Content

California Roll Sushi Bowl

Sharing is caring!

This California roll sushi bowl is a delicious sushi-inspired dinner. Made with seasoned sushi rice and topped with imitation crab, avocado, cucumber, green onions, and drizzled with spicy mayonnaise.

California Roll Sushi Bowl served with chopsticks.

Are you craving a quick and easy summertime meal that is packed full of flavor?

Well, look no further than this delicious California roll sushi bowl!

This sushi rice bowl is packed with sushi rice and topped with crunchy cucumber, imitation crab, creamy avocado, and sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds.

I drizzled the whole bowl with spicy mayonnaise that really ties the whole dish together.

I love how easy this dish is to make and because it’s served cold it’s perfect for warm summer days.

Ingredients to make California Roll Sushi Bowl.

Ingredients to make California roll sushi bowl

  • Sushi rice – Sushi rice is a specific type of short grain Japanese rice and it really makes this bowl feel like you’re eating sushi! Sushi rice is available in the international aisles of most grocery stores. 
  • Seasoned rice wine vinegar – This helps season the rice. I like to use seasoned rice wine vinegar but if you have unseasoned rice wine vinegar, mix together 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Microwave until the sugar and salt have dissolved and used as directed above. 
  • Avocado – A classic addition to a California roll. It adds a fresh creaminess to the bowl. 
  • Cucumber – Adds great crunch to the bowl. I prefer English or Persian because they have softer skin and fewer seeds.
  • Green onions – Brings a bite of light onion flavor and freshness to the bowl. While not a traditional sushi roll ingredient I like the flavor it brings to the bowl.
  • Imitation crab – Imitation crab is the classic protein in a California roll. Most imitation crab is already cooked but double-check to make sure yours is fully cooked before you buy it.
  • Mayonnaise – The base of our spicy mayo. I prefer Japanese mayo (Kewpie is a popular brand) but regular mayonnaise would work too. 
  • Sriracha – Helps make the mayo spicy. Feel free to add as much or as little as you like. If you do not have sriracha on hand chili garlic paste could be used as well.
  • Crunch toppings – For additional flavor and texture try adding some toasted white or black sesame seeds or a few shakes of Nori Furikake.
Chop sticks picking up a piece of crab from a sushi rice bowl.

Using fresh crab

You can use fresh crab, but since we are making a play on a “California sushi roll, ” we are using imitation crab.

However, if the fresh crab is more your style make sure to get good quality crab that you can find at most higher-end grocery stores or from a fishmonger.

Craving other ways to use fresh crab? Try my Air Fryer Crab Cakes!

Topping your sushi bowl

I love topping my sushi bowl with lots of crunchy ingredients.

For this bowl, I used white and black sesame seeds and some green onion.

Another great option is using Nori furikake.

If you’re not familiar with furikake, furikake is a spice blend of crushed nori seaweed mixed with sesame seeds, sugar, and salt. You can buy it online, at Asian grocery stores, or at specialty stores like Trader Joe’s.

California Roll Sushi Bowl drizzled with spicy mayo.

Storage and leftovers

This dish is best made the day it is mad!

The avocado will brown if left out in the air for too long and the rice will dry out.

You can easily cut this recipe in half if you do not need to make 4 servings.

California Roll Sushi Bowl served with spicy mayo and chopsticks.

More delicious bowl recipes

California Roll Sushi Bowl

California Roll Sushi Bowl

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 cup short grain sushi rice
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 large avocado, diced or sliced
  • 8 ounces imitation crab, diced
  • 1 cup Persian cucumber, diced or sliced
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • Sesame Seeds, for topping
  • Green Onion, for topping
  • Nori Furikake, for topping


  1. Rinse the rice under cool water for 30-45 seconds, or until the water runs clear. 
  2. Add the rice and water to a rice cooker and cook according to the bag instructions. If you don’t have a rice cooker, add the rice and water to a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. 
  3. Add the cooked rice to a large bowl and drizzle over the rice vinegar. Stir to combine. Set the rice aside and cool completely before assembling the sushi bowls. 
  4. To assemble the sushi bowls, divide the rice between four bowls. Top with avocado, imitation crab, and cucumber. 
  5. Whisk together the mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl. If you prefer a thinner sauce (one that you can drizzle), whisk in 2 tablespoons of water. 
  6. Serve the sushi bowls with spicy mayo on the side or drizzled on top. Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion, or nori furikake. 
  7. Enjoy immediately. I do not recommend storing these bowls overnight as the rice will dry out and the avocado will brown. These bowls are best enjoyed immediately after assembly. 

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram using the hashtag #nutmegnanny

California Roll Sushi Bowl pin for Pinterest.

Teriyaki Salmon Bowl - Nutmeg Nanny

Wednesday 10th of August 2022

[…] recently I posted my California Roll Sushi Bowl and this is a fun similar bowl but made with sweet and sticky glazed teriyaki […]


Friday 8th of July 2022

I love finding simple sushi recipes and yours is just perfect. Will make it again for my friends next week, can't wait, thanks!

Skip to Recipe