Some time ago I promised my facebook followers that I would post my favorite recipe. I highly apologize for how long it took, but HERE IT IS! My favorite food in probably the whole world is sushi….(I’m still learning to master that art!) One day a while back, while having a terrible craving for sushi and not yet knowing how to make it my self, I stumbled upon this recipe. And as I suggest you all do, I bent it, changed it, and made it my own. This is an extremely easy recipe to follow and does not take tremendous skill, but the result tastes wonderful and is sure fire to scratch that sushi itch!

It’s called a California Roll Salad because it is pretty much just that…. a California Roll in salad form!

First things first…. you start by making the dressing. You will need the following:

1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
wasabi powder or paste to taste
slices of fresh ginger root
(Proportions yield 1-2 servings)

Combine mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar sesame oil, and vinegar together and blend well with a whisk. Add wasabi to taste. You can either grate the fresh ginger root into your dressing or cut slices and let soak in the dressing for flavor.
Set the dressing aside to let the flavors blend. Placing it in the fridge will speed up the blending process.
If you do not like this dressing, do not have time to make it, or would just prefer something different other dressings are available at supermarkets for purchase such as the one in the photo above.

For the body of the salad you are going to need the following:

White Rice
English Cucumber
Shredded Imitation Crab Meat
Nori- Roasted Seaweed Paper
(Use proportions as you see fit for your taste and serving size, just be sure to make enough servings of the dressing)

Prepare white rice normally. Once fully cooked, set aside to cool. Rice should be completely cooled before using.

Peel and slice cucumber into 1-2 inch slices.

Cut open avocado, remove pit, and separate from the skin.
Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
If you have an avocado slicer like the one in the picture,
you can separate the avocado from the skin
and cube it while leaving it in the skin.

Shred the imitation crab meat.
A slap chop is perfect for this.

The nori, or roasted seaweed, is going to act as a sort of lettuce base for this salad.  You can tear it into strips, crumple it into balls, or cut out shapes and be creative like the picture to the right.

This part is completely at your discretion, and can be your chance to display your creativity.

You are only limited by your imagination!
Now all that is left is to put the salad together. If you are making it for yourself, your probably like me and just want to throw in all in a big bowl and get on with the nom nom!
Here, I’ve used a small ramekin to mold the rice then placed the rest of the ingredients on top and around it. This is all about finding your own style and what is best suited for you at the moment.

As a meal for two, I served this salad with a temptation sushi roll, miso soup, and a spicy crab stuffed avocado that I made out of left over ingredients from the salad. I also sprinkled sesame seeds over the top of my salad the way you might use croutons. This meal was delicious paired with a nice fruity cold sake.

*Some ideas to cut calories or healthier substitutions for this recipe would be to use a sugar substitute like truvia instead. Also I use mayo with olive oil for less calories. To lessen salt intake for this dish try using low sodium soy sauce and use fresh ingredients like ginger root instead of pickled or ginger paste when ever possible. *

This dish can be served as a side dish, an appetizer, or even a main course. This makes a wonderful cold salad for a warm spring or summer day!