California Roll Sushi Bowls

August 27, 2022  ·  Published September 6, 2016

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California Roll in layered bowl form! These are the simplified way to enjoy all the flavors of a California roll in a fraction of the time! You get a hearty bowl of sushi rice layered together with so many delicious flavors and textures. Who could resist?

California roll sushi bowl shown in a blue bowl from a side angle. Bowl is resting on a wooden plate over a marble surface.

California Rolls the Quick and Easy Way!

How could you go wrong with deconstructed sushi piled high in a bowl? It’s destined to be a new go-to weeknight recipe for you!

You get a slightly sweet, slightly tangy, tender sushi rice and atop is a blend of crab (or imitation crab), crisp fresh veggies including carrots, cucumber, and buttery avocado. Then there’s also umami-rich nori, flavorful pickled ginger, a salty soy finish, creamy and spicy sriracha mayo, then buttery little sesame seeds to finish it off with more texture.

Talk about explosion of flavor in every bite!

Plus these are so easy to make. Just cook the rice, chop everything up, then serve it layered together individual bowls. No meticulous cutting and rolling just slice it, dice it, dress it and boom! Dinner (or lunch) is served.

California Roll Bowls showing four servings in separate bowls with sushi rice.Photo of ingredients used to make a sushi bowl.

What Ingredients are in a California Sushi Roll Bowl?

  • seasoned sushi rice (which really is so easy to make by the way)
  • avocados
  • cucumbers
  • crab meat (real or imitation either works)
  • carrots
  • nori (which is just that seaweed which sushi is wrapped in)
  • sesame seeds
  • sriracha mayo

Collage of six photos showing steps of making sushi rice in a saucepan. Photos showing steps of making a sushi bowl and sriracha mayonnaise.

How do You Make Deconstructed California Rolls?

  • Rinse and cook rice.
  • Heat vinegar with sugar and salt then toss with rice.
  • Mix mayo and sriracha.
  • In a bowl toss crab, cucumber, carrots, nori, ginger and avocado, OR keep it separate and layer in sections into individual bowls over the rice.
  • Mix soy and vinegar.
  • Layer rice and crab mixture among serving bowls, top with soy vinegar mixture and mayo mixture.

Try Serving in Mini Portions Too!

I think these would be so fun for a party to serve in mini bowls. Everyone would think you are genius. I think you could easily get 10 mini servings out of this, just be sure to set aside a few for yourself, they’ll go quick.

Close up photo of sushi bowl with crab, carrots, cucumber, avocado, nori, pickled ginger, and rice.

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California roll sushi bowl shown in a blue bowl from a side angle. Bowl is resting on a wooden plate over a marble surface.
4.96 from 25 votes

California Roll Sushi Bowls

All the flavors of the traditional California Roll in a simplified deconstructed version! Seasoned sushi recipe is layered together with crab, nori, fresh veggies and sriracha mayo for one crave-able bowl you'll want to make again and again! 
Servings: 5
Prep15 minutes
Cook25 minutes
Ready in: 40 minutes


  • 2 cups dry sushi rice or calrose rice
  • 5 Tbsp rice vinegar , divided
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sriracha
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 10 oz imitation crab or lump crabmeat , torn or chopped into small bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups diced English cucumber
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped matchstick carrots
  • 1 nori sheet , chopped or crumbled into small pieces (add more if you'd like)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped pickled sushi ginger
  • 1 large avocado , peeled and diced
  • Black and toasted sesame seeds , for garnish


  • Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear (it will take about 2 minutes of rinsing). Tap bottom of strainer with palm of your hand until water no longer falls from strainer (it should be well drained).
  • Transfer rice to a medium saucepan along with 2 1/4 cups water. Bring mixture to a full boil then reduce heat to low, cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine 4 Tbsp of the vinegar with the sugar and salt. Heat over medium heat, cook and whisk until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, let cool while rice is resting then pour vinegar mixture over rice and toss to evenly coat.
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise with sriracha. Transfer to a sandwich size resealable bag. Set aside.
  • Separately in a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and remaining 1 Tbsp vinegar, set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl gently toss together crab meat, cucumber, carrots, nori, ginger and avocado OR keep it separate and just divide chopped ingredients into sections over a rice layer in serving bowls.
  • Divide prepared rice among 4 or 5 bowls. Top with crab mixture.
  • Spoon soy sauce mixture over top of each serving. Cut a small tip from one corner of the resealable bag and drizzle sriracha mayo over each serving. Serve shortly after preparing (the avocado will start to brown).
Nutrition Facts
California Roll Sushi Bowls
Amount Per Serving
Calories 465 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 1185mg52%
Potassium 400mg11%
Carbohydrates 84g28%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 3325IU67%
Vitamin C 9.3mg11%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.