This recipe for California Roll Sushi Bowls is just what you need to prepare healthy meals that are packed with flavor. This Asian-inspired dish is great for dinners or lunch.
If you like sushi bowls, you should also try our yummy sushi bake and shrimp tempura sushi roll.
Table Of Contents
What is a Sushi Bowl?
California Sushi Bowls are light, delicious, and a great mix of flavors and textures. They are basically deconstructed sushi rolls, with sweet and tangy sushi rice, crab meat, and fresh vegetables. The crunch of the cucumber with the tender crab and creamy avocado, drizzled with spicy mayo, make this sushi bowl absolutely amazing. This recipe explains how to make your own sushi rice, and with easy to follow directions, it’ll be a breeze. You’ll be serving these bowls every chance you get once you’ve tasted one!
What you’ll need
- For the sushi rice- Calrose sushi rice, Water, and Seasoned rice vinegar (Marukan)
- For the spicy mayo- Japanese mayonnaise and Sriracha
- Sushi bowl components- Imitation crab (chopped), English cucumber (diced), Nori sheets (crumbled), Avocado (sliced), Black and toasted sesame seeds, Low-sodium soy sauce, and Nori furikake
How to Make California Sushi Bowls
- Cook the rice. Rinse the sushi rice in a mesh sifter. Then put the rice in the rice cooker with 2 cups of water and turn it on. Once it’s done, transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Season the sushi rice. Pour the seasoned rice vinegar over the rice and fold it in with a rice paddle. Be careful not to mash it up. Then let the rice cool completely.
- Make the spicy mayo. Combine the Japanese mayonnaise with the Sriracha and stir. Set aside.
- Chop the vegetables and crab. Chop up the imitation crab meat and English cucumber. Then crumble the nori sheets, and peel and slice the avocado.
- Build your California sushi bowl. Finally, add the cooled sushi rice to a bowl, then top it with chopped crab, cucumber, sliced avocado, and drizzle with spicy mayo. Sprinkle crumbled nori, sesame seeds, and furikake over it all and serve.
Tips for making sushi rice
- Wash the rice thoroughly- Make sure the rice gets washed before cooking to remove starch that clings to the outside and makes it sticky once cooked.
- Gently fold in the rice vinegar. Use a rice paddle to keep from being too rough with the hot rice. It is easy smashed, so you have to fold it gently or it will become a blob of rice.
- Let it cool completely. Don’t rush the cooling of the rice. In order for it to hold its shape and not melt the toppings (like the spicy mayo), it needs to be completely cool.
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can make some components of your sushi bowl beforehand to save time. The sushi rice can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can also freeze it for up to 2 months in ziplock freezer bags. Just defrost overnight in the fridge before using. The spicy mayo can be prepped 2 days ahead. Keep it in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. Let it come to room temperature before serving.
How to store a California Sushi Bowl
Once you’ve put the California Sushi Bowl together, it can only last for about a day, stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The ingredients, besides the mayo and rice, have to be eaten soon after they are chopped and assembled because they will brown and become soggy otherwise.
Try more tasty, Asian-inspired dishes!
Full Recipe Instructions
California Sushi Bowls
- 1 1/2 cups dry Calrose Sushi Rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar Marukan
- 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 8 oz imitation crab chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup diced English cucumber
- 1-2 nori sheets chopped or crumbled into small pieces (add more if you’d like)
- 1 large avocado peeled and sliced
- Black and toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce for serving
- Nori Furikake
- Start off by rinsing 1 1/2 cups of sushi rice in a mesh sifter. Once the rice is well rinsed, add it to your rice cooker along with 2 cups of water. Then turn on the rice cooker.
- Once the rice is cooked transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet.
- Then pour 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar over the rice and fold it in. You want to use a rice paddle to do this. Make sure be gentle with the rice and not mash it up. Then let the rice cool completely.
- Then make your spicy Mayo by combining 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise with 2 teaspoons sriracha.
- Now chop cup 8 ounces of leg style imitation crab meat and 1/2 cup of English cucumber. You can also break up a few pieces of Nori (dried seaweed).
- Now add the cooled sushi rice to a bowl, along with the chopped crab, cucumber, and sliced avocado. Then drizzle on the spicy mayonnaise, and top with chopped nori, sesame seeds, and furikake.
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Jami R. says
Delicious! Our whole family couldn’t believe how delicious it was! Big $$ saver too!
So glad you all loved these sushi bowls, Jami! If you all love crispy shrimp in your sushi, I would recommend getting some tempura shrimp from Costco, baking them up, and adding chopped pieces into the sushi bowl! It takes it to the next level. My family loves the crispy shrimp addition!
Haven’t made this yet but I can’t do spicy is there a different combination or sauce you would recommend?
If you are not a fan of spicy sushi sauces, I would recommend unagi sauce. I have an easy recipe for it right here. Enjoy! 🙂
Sarah Plessel says
If we use regular jasmine rice instead of sushi rice do we still fold in the rice vinegar?!
Hi Sarah, I would still follow the same folding technique with jasmine rice. I hope you enjoy it!
So yummy. We added a few more veggies; raw corn, edamame, and green onion. Was delicious
Those sound like wonderful additions! Thank you for the kind feedback Jen!
Can I use srichaca mayo instead of making it with the Japanese mayo and srichaca
Hi Jennifer 🙂 Yes, you can use the Sriracha mayo instead. I hope you love this recipe! Let me know how it goes! 🙂
I use lite Yum Yum sauce
Happy to hear you enjoyed this sushi bowl recipe! Thank you for your feedback! 🙂
It looks Yummy! I’m so glad I found this recipe to make it for my kids!
Hi Alice, I hope you and your kids love this sushi bowl recipe! 🙂
Lydia Allred says
This was absolutely delicious. Store brand mayo worked fine for us. Great recipe. Can’t wait to try some of the other ones on here!
Hi Lydia 🙂 So happy to hear that you loved this sushi bowl recipe! I hope you find many more delicious recipes on my blog! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback 🙂
This California Sushi Bowl was so delish!! We’ve gotten hooked on a local spot that has something similar but it’s not cheap. I’m so glad I found this recipe to make at home!
So happy to hear you loved this sushi bowl recipe! Always glad to help people save money while enjoying the food 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your feedback and I hope you find many more delicious recipes on my blog!