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Sushi Roll Salad

June 11, 2012

I love sushi, so I was naturally drawn to a Gourmet recipe on epicurious for “California Roll” Salad. I made a few changes and came up with this Sushi Roll Salad to take to a potluck party.

The original recipe uses long grain rice. I used a Japanese brand of medium grain (sushi) rice because I thought it would be more authentic. It was very good, and it is the rice used in sushi, but I think I would use long grain rice next time. The texture of long grain rice might be a bit better in a salad. Many of the reviewers raved about their results with Jasmine rice, so that may be the way to go.

“California Rolls” typically are made with cucumber, avocado, and surimi. Surimi is also known as “imitation crab”, “mock crab”, or sometimes “Krab”. It’s made from white fish, often pollock, and quite a list of additives to make an inexpensive substitute for crab. The Gourmet recipe included the option of adding surimi to the salad, but pointed out that the recipe can be successfully made without the surimi for a vegetarian version.

I thought about making a vegetarian version since I don’t like using surimi, but I liked the idea of using some kind of seafood. I chose fresh Oregon shrimp meat and I think it worked really well!

I used 50% more wasabi and ginger juice in the dressing, and I’m glad I did. As one who likes the spicy Maki rolls, I thought it was mild but the flavors were still distinct. A couple of people told me that they liked the fact that it wasn’t “too spicy”. If I make it again for a party, I will probably make it with the same dressing, but have some extra wasabi and ginger on the side for people to add to their servings if they like it spicier.

Despite the fact that I would try a different type of rice next time, I really liked this Sushi Roll Salad. Several people at the party told me how much they enjoyed it.

Bob, my ever-willing in-house taste tester, said he didn’t think it was good enough to be “blog-worthy”. I disagreed, suggesting that perhaps he felt that way because he’s not that crazy about sushi. He admitted that his indifference towards sushi could have influenced his opinion.  Well, I amcrazy about sushi, and I loved this salad! If you’re crazy about sushi,  you may love it, too!



Sushi Roll Salad

(Adapted from a July 1994 Gourmet recipe on


(print the recipe)


Serves 8 as a side dish (Cut the recipe in half for fewer servings because it won’t keep too well.)


I used, and photographed, medium grain sushi rice. I suggest that you try the recipe with long grain rice, perhaps the Jasmine variety.


1½ cups long grain rice

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)

¼ cup sugar

1½ teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons oil (I used grapeseed)

2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled ginger

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (1 or 2 green onions)

½ cup finely shredded carrot

1 large seedless cucumber (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise, cored, and sliced

2 sheets roasted nori

1 avocado

Juice from a couple of wedges of a lime

(Optional) 8 ounces cooked shrimp (Oregon shrimp meat, if you’re on the West Coast)



3 teaspoons wasabi (Japanese green horseradish) powder

1 tablespoon hot water

2 tablespoons cold water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 teaspoons ginger juice (I used the juice from the jar of pickled ginger.)


Pickled ginger


Wasabi powder (Mix with water to make wasabi paste to serve with the salad.)a


1. Wash the rice in several rinses of cold water to remove some of the starch. The water will be quite cloudy at first and become clearer as you continue to rinse it.

2. Cook the rice using your favorite method. I used my rice cooker with 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons water.

3. While the rice is cooking, put the 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook just until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.

4. Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan, stirring often, until they are golden brown. Remove the seeds from the pan and set aside.


5. When the rice is done, put it in a large bowl and stir the vinegar/sugar/salt mixture into it. Allow it to cool.

6. Gently stir, using kind of a folding motion so you don’t break up the rice too much, the sesame seeds, oil, ginger, green onions, carrot, cucumber, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of rice vinegar into the salad.


(The salad can be covered and refrigerated at this point for up to a day. Bring to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.)


7.  Make the dressing. Stir all of the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until well-combined.

8. Cut the nori into thin strips and then cut the strips into small pieces, about 1½ – 2 inches long. Kitchen scissors probably work best for this.


9. Stir 2/3 of the nori strips into the salad.


10. Cut the avocado into small cubes and gently toss them with the lime juice. (This helps to keep the avocado from turning brown.)

11. Gently toss the avocado, shrimp, and the dressing into the salad.

Folding in the shrimp


12. Put the salad in a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining nori strips. Serve with extra wasabi and pickled ginger, if desired.


This photo was chosen as one of the Foodbuzz Top 9 for June 13! 🙂

45 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2012 4:00 pm

    I have made this same recipe so many times. It is always a huge hit! Delicious!

  2. June 11, 2012 5:48 pm

    OK, I have never had sushi (we live in one of the landlocked states) but this looks surprisingly good! (I think it is hilarious that some thought it wasn’t blog-worthy!) 🙂

    • June 12, 2012 8:10 am

      😀 That was my dear husband, Bob, who made that comment! What does he know, right?

  3. June 11, 2012 5:53 pm

    Yummy! Love your sushi salad for a Summer meal, it looks delicious;-)

    • June 12, 2012 8:11 am

      Yes! It absolutely would make a great main course summer salad, Patty!

  4. June 12, 2012 3:15 am

    I like the sound of a sushi salad!

  5. June 12, 2012 8:51 am

    What a great idea! Looks amazing, but then again, I love sushi everything!

  6. June 12, 2012 12:35 pm

    This is so creative! Nicely done!

  7. Michelle C permalink
    June 12, 2012 6:34 pm

    I am not a sushi kinda person, but this salad sounds/looks scrumptious! Awesome presentation and the pictures are amazing.

  8. June 13, 2012 6:37 am

    oooh yum! I will have to try this very soon

  9. June 13, 2012 6:45 am

    amazing this looks really good 🙂

  10. June 13, 2012 7:35 am

    Congratulations on your foodbuzz top 9, today!

  11. June 13, 2012 8:19 am

    This looks SO SO good! Sushi is my favorite food, but it takes so much time to make. SO excited to try this!

  12. Aimyloo permalink
    June 13, 2012 9:35 am

    I think it sounds fantastic! Husband and I are huge sushi fans… But he is not a fan of ginger…dilemma! He is, however, very open to new dishes so he may go for the “regular” version of dressing. I will try it tonight, in fact!

    I’m thinking of laying some sushi grade fresh tuna or fresh baked, crispy, salmon skin bits across the top to add some more authenticity to it. This salad has MANY optional toppings to create your own favorite roll!

    Thank you for an exceptional summer recipe.

    We still like Bob! 🙂

  13. June 13, 2012 10:40 am

    Fantastic idea!!! I think we’ll do this for lunch soon.

  14. foodiestuntman permalink
    June 13, 2012 10:57 am

    Neat reimagination of a sushi roll, and congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  15. June 13, 2012 11:19 am

    This salad sounds incredible! Definitely glad you decided it was blog-worthy =)

  16. Jaime permalink
    June 13, 2012 12:24 pm

    This looks amazing! Just because seafood and vegetable dishes are the staples in my diet, to make it a more substantial meal, I will probably add in some edamame…should work pretty well with the Asian theme 🙂

  17. Aimyloo permalink
    June 13, 2012 1:48 pm

    Just realized- what to do with the vinegar-sugar- salt mixture other than cook it? I assume stir into rice? Is this done hot or cold? I’ve never made sushi rice…

    • June 13, 2012 1:56 pm

      Great catch, Aimyloo! Thank you! I’ve corrected the recipe. Yes, you stir the vinegar-sugar-salt mixture into the hot rice. 😉

      • Aimyloo permalink
        June 13, 2012 4:47 pm

        Yay! Thanks! Just finishing cooking my jasmine rice…smells great just plain haha! Never bought Jasmine before… I will now!

  18. June 13, 2012 4:04 pm

    This looks great!

  19. June 13, 2012 7:04 pm

    looks great and what a great idea! ^^

  20. Aimyloo permalink
    June 13, 2012 8:21 pm

    Just finished making and having this for dinner. All tasted great, made with Krab instead of shrimp. Rice turned beyond sticky once I added the vinegar/sugar/.salt mix. Was a bit too much vinegar as well, I’d probably go with at or just under 1/4 cup next time. All in all a great dish- just will need a bit of tweaking to suit tastes. Husband quite enjoyed as well! Thanks, Kathe! 🙂

    • August 6, 2012 9:38 am

      Glad you enjoyed it, and tweaking to make it suit your tastes is what it’s all about! 🙂 I really appreciate your comment!

  21. June 14, 2012 9:03 am

    What a fabulous idea! Ryan and I both love sushi, but we don’t make it at home. This would be a great and easy way to enjoy those flavors. Thank you for sharing with me!

  22. August 3, 2012 10:19 am

    I only had about half the ingredients (crab, cucumber, rice) for the salad (but everything for dressing) so whipped this up for lunch today – OMG – so good!

    • August 3, 2012 10:39 am

      Thanks for letting me know, Rachel! I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂

  23. Jaime permalink
    August 6, 2012 9:35 am

    I had to write back to tell you how this went! I just finished it for dinner tonight. I ended up using the edamame, which just seems to make the salad even more fun! (and delicious!), and added some shrimp. I didn’t have sesame seeds and didn’t want to go back to the store, so I just left them out. I also ended up not using abut half the dressing…still very flavorful. I think this will be so delicious!

    • August 6, 2012 9:39 am

      Thanks for your comment, Jaime! I think edamame is a great addition!

  24. Dave permalink
    September 9, 2012 3:49 pm

    Looks incredible!

  25. March 6, 2013 9:23 pm

    do you know what is kiri nori?

  26. April 27, 2013 3:56 am

    I haven’t seen such recipe before! This salad looks like something I would love, I must try 🙂 Thanks for sharing

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