California Roll


Main Dish
California Roll

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California roll drizzled in unagi sauce

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This iconic sushi was invented by a Japanese chef in Los Angeles in the 1950s. It remains one of the most popular rolls to this day. Use this simple recipe to make your own healthy version at home.

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Servings and Ingredients

Serves 4
4 sheets nori
1 recipe Sticky Sushi Rice, divided
½ c. toasted sesame seeds or toasted panko bread crumbs*), divided
1 picolino cucumber (small cucumber), seeded, cut in 1/4-inch strips or thinly sliced and cut into matchsticks), divided
½ medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices), divided
4 oz. Hy-Vee imitation crab meat (surimi), divided
Unagi (eel) sauce, optional
Pickled ginger, wasabi paste, soy sauce, for serving


  1. Trim nori sheet to make a 5-by-8-inch rectangle and lay shiny side down on sushi rolling mat**. Wet your fingers with water and spread 1/2 cup of the rice evenly onto the nori. Sprinkle the rice with 2 tablespoons sesame seeds. Turn the sheet of nori over so that the rice side is down.
  2. Arrange 1/4 each of the cucumber, avocado and crab in a horizontal line across the middle of the sheet. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping the fillings in place with your fingers, and roll it into a tight cylinder, using the mat to shape the cylinder. Pull away the mat and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  3. When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap. Cut each roll in half, then cut each half into three pieces. Wipe the knife with a moistened towel as necessary to prevent sticking. Carefully place pieces on a platter. If desired, drizzle with unagi (eel) sauce. Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.
  4. To make a Philadelphia Roll, instead of crabmeat, use an equal amount of smoked salmon. Instead of the avocado, use an equal amount of cream cheese.
  5. To make a Vegetarian Roll, instead of crabmeat, use an equal amount of cooked crisp-tender asparagus. Add shredded carrot.
  6. *Tip: To toast panko, in a skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, add panko and stir with a wooden spoon until panko is thoroughly coated. Cook, stirring constantly, until panko begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter and set aside.
  7. **Tip: To keep the sushi rolling mat clean, place it in a gallon-size plastic bag. Discard bag when done preparing sushi.

Nutrition facts


310 Calories per serving

Amounts Per Serving

  • Total Fat: 16g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Sodium: 420mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Protein: 9g

Daily Values

Vitamin A 50%
Vitamin C 25%
Iron 150%
Calcium 4%

Recipe Source:

Hy-Vee Seasons Health 2016.