Appetizers, Snacks, Dips, Salsas and Spreads


Real California Roll

I live in California and have tasted my share of California rolls over the years, and this crab, avocado, and cream cheese variation is my favorite.


  • 1 1/4 cups crabmeat (about 1/4 pound)
  • 4 tablespoons light cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1 green onion (the white and part of the green), optional
  • 4 sheets dried seaweed (Musubi Nori), found in the Asian food section of many supermarkets
  • 4 cups "sticky rice" (one recipe of Simple Sushi Rice)
  • About 3/4 of an avocado, pitted and sliced
  • Wasabi paste
  • Light soy sauce


  1. Add crabmeat, light cream cheese, light mayonnaise, and green onion (if desired) to small food processor (or small mixing bowl) and pulse or beat until nicely blended.
  2. Turn a burner of your stove to low flame or low heat. Wave a sheet of nori over the heat (both sides) to soften slightly. Lay the sheet of nori on a bamboo sushi roller (available at import stores and Asian markets).
  3. Dip your hands in warm water, and use them to spread a cup of hot, sticky rice on the nori, leaving a 1-inch border on each long side. Spread about 1/4 teaspoon wasabi paste in a horizontal strip down the middle of the rectangle of rice. Arrange a heaping 1/4 cup of the crab mixture (one-fourth of the total mixture) down the center of the rice rectangle. Arrange avocado slices down the center as well.
  4. Roll up the bamboo mat, pressing forward, to shape the sushi into a cylinder so that the two long edges of the nori meet and overlap slightly. Press the roll firmly inside the bamboo roller. Remove roll from the bamboo mat and wrap it with foil or plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator until needed. Repeat with remaining nori, rice, crab, and avocado. When ready to serve, cut each roll into about 8 pieces using a serrated knife. Serve with light soy sauce.

4 California rolls (about one roll per serving)

Nutritional Information:
Per serving: (with white rice): 410 calories, 16 g protein, 66 g carbohydrates, 8.8 g fat, 2.2 g saturated fat, 43 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 440 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 19%.

© 2006 Elaine Magee

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Last Editorial Review: 7/24/2006