Want your California roll fix without all the work? Make this simple and satisfying California roll salad!

All the California roll ingredients are there – but it looks different. Give this simple and fun recipe a try!

California Roll Salad: A traditional California roll, in salad form. Sushi at its easiest!

I am definitely a sushi fan, but it’s something that I don’t indulge in too often. Mostly because it’s quite pricey to order in a restaurant and too putzy to make at home.

The other day I was craving sushi and had all the ingredients on hand to make a California roll. However, I was sans a sushi mat. A thought occurred to me:

Why not make a California roll into a salad?

And thus was born this sushi-esque salad recipe.

California roll salad recipe: A California roll, deconstructed. Click through for recipe.

California Roll Salad: The Cost

This turned out to be a satisfying substitute to the traditional California roll, and not surprisingly.

All of the components are there: vinegared rice, crab meat, spicy mayo, seaweed, etc.

And I didn’t pay much at all. Here’s a cost breakdown:

  • Roasted seaweed snack from Trader Joe’s – $1.00 (I used about 1/10th of the package)
  • Imitation crab – $2.50 for a large pack
  • Cucumber – $1.00 (I used half)
  • Rice – About $.40 for two cups
  • Sriracha mayonnaise – About $.25 for 1/4 cup

Total cost: The total price paid for five salads was about $3.75 – or about $.75 per salad.

Now you can satisfy your sushi craving for much, much less than you’d spend at a Japanese restaurant.

Get More Cheap Sushi Recipes

Cheap Quinoa Poke Bowls: Enjoy poke bowls without spending a ton of money! Click through for recipe.

Make Homemade Sushi At Home For $1.40 Per Person

I love sushi but don’t eat it often because of the cost. I recently made homemade sushi rolls at home – and they were delicious.

The best part? The cost for 5 rolls was about $7.00, which equals roughly $1.40 per person. Get the recipe now.

Delicious, homemade sushi for just $1.40 per person? Believe it! Click through for recipe.


California roll salad: All of the ingredients of a California roll, in salad form! Easier to make than sushi.

California Roll Salad

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

I made a spicy mayonnaise to top this salad, but I imagine wasabi mayonnaise would be equally good. I didn't have avocado on hand, but this would be a delicious add-in.


  • 2 cups prepared short-grain or sushi rice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 package crab meat (imitation crab)
  • 2 sheets roasted seaweed, crumbled, for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce


  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Remove from heat, remove rice from saucepan, and place on a plate to cool. Mix rice vinegar and sugar together to dissolve sugar. Add vinegar mixture to rice. Set aside.
  2. To assemble salads, place about 1/3 cup rice in the bottom of a small serving cup (see photos above). Top with cucumbers and crab meat.
  3. To make dressing, mix mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce together. Top each salad with a desired amount of dressing and seaweed/nori.

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