California Roll Bowls with Fresh Crab

California roll bowl on a blue background.

These delicious, deconstructed California Roll Bowls made with fresh crab, sushi rice and a creamy, tangy red miso yogurt dressing are just the thing to enjoy at the start of the New Year. I always crave sushi or a good poke bowl at the start of the year as the antidote to all that rich holiday food and too much wine that is always consumed, and this year I’ve reimagined one of my favourite sushi flavours in a lunch or dinner bowl full of light, verdant flavours.

Bowl of rice, crab and avocado with a creamy dressing.
Close up of a deconstructed california roll bowl made with fresh crab.

Easy to make ahead, I also think these California Roll Bowls would make a great packed lunch option – just keep the sauce in a separate container until you’re ready to eat, and either pack the nori sheets separately, or buy the ones that come in those little snack packs for serving. For me, they’re as essential as using fresh white crab meat instead of that horrible imitation stuff they used to make crab sticks – you can use them to make little sushi hand roll-style bites as you dig through your bowl, adding another fun extra element to the meal. They also add that authentic sushi taste, and a bit of savoury depth to compliment the red miso.

Of course, if you’d rather use imitation crab instead of the fresh here I’m not stopping you: also, to keep this seafood free cubes of silken tofu would be delicious in place of the crab for a packed lunch, or if you’re eating these the moment they’re ready, some of my Air Fryer Crispy Tofu made with smoked tofu (one of my new favourite ingredients) would also be utterly delicious.

I don’t have any in the fridge at the moment, but if you’ve got some Homemade Pickled Ginger to hand too, pile that onto your bowl as well!

Rice bowl with fresh crab drizzled with creamy yogurt dressing.

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California roll bowl on a blue background.

California Roll Bowls

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Resting Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Lunch
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These fresh and vibrant Deconstructed California Roll Bowls are made with fresh crab meat, creamy avocado and a zingy miso yogurt dressing for the perfect make-ahead lunch bowl inspired by everyones favourite sushi roll.



For the California Roll Bowls

  • 160g (3/4 cup) sushi rice
  • 2 large spring onions
  • 1/2 small cucumber
  • 1 baby gem lettuce
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 nori sheet
  • 100g (3.5 oz) fresh white crab meat
  • small handful cress, for serving
  • spiced or black sesame seeds, for serving

For the Miso Yogurt Sauce

  • 2 tbsp natural yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp red miso paste
  • 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • juice 1/4 lime


  1. Cook the sushi rice as per the packets instructions. I find for 160g rice I need to rinse it, soak it in cold water for 15 minutes then cook it in 220ml (a scant cup) of cold water, with the lid on for 10 minutes over a low heat once it has been brought to the boil. I then leave it to steam for 10 minutes with the lid on before allowing it to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients until smooth. Reserve the rest of the lime to serve with the bowls.
  3. Finely shred the spring onions and leave them in a bowl of ice water to create curls – remember to pat them dry on a piece of kitchen paper before using.
  4. Peel and slice the cucumber, and shred the lettuce. Peel and slice the avocado, and cut the nori sheet into smaller sheets.
  5. Serve all the ingredients split between two bowls, with the sauce on the side, sprinkled with cress and sesame seeds.