Low-Carb California Roll Sushi Boat

California roll sushi boat on a white plate on a white and green background with progress portions of the boat around the plate.

I love sushi (and sushi rolls called maki). But the rice makes them so filling. I wanted to make a lighter version, and one that was simpler to make (doesn’t require making sushi rice and having a rolling mat). So, I came up with these low-carb (rice-less) California roll sushi boats.

The base of the sushi boat is a cucumber with the seeds scooped out, making room for the filling. I prefer English cucumbers because the skin is easier to eat. If you would like to use conventional cucumbers then, I would suggest peeling them before slicing it in half lengthways and then scooping out the seeds.

For the filling, combine imitation crab meat, a couple tablespoons of cream cheese, and a couple tablespoons of mayo in a food processor. You will pulse it until it is just combined. You still want the imitation crab meat to retain some of its texture. You’re not looking for a pate texture. This mixture will go into the scooped out part of the cucumbers.

Top the cucumber boats with other California roll elements, like avocado, sriracha mayo or yum yum sauce, and everything bagel seasoning or sesame seeds. You can either eat it like a cucumber boat or slice it into bite-sized pieces like a California sushi roll!

Rice-free California roll sushi boat on a white plate.

Low-Carb California Roll Sushi Boats


  • 1/2 english cucumber
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 cup imitation crab meat
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 tbsp everything bagel seasoning
  • 2 tsp sriarcha


  • Halve the cucumber lenthways and scoop out the seeds.
  • Add the cream cheese, 2 tbsp of mayo, and imitation crab meat to a food processor. Gently pulse a few times until everything is just incorporated. Don't overmix it so that the crab still has some texture.
  • Add the crab meat mixture to the cavity of the cucumber where the seeds were.
  • Thinly slice the avocado and arrange it on top of the crab mixture.
  • Mix the remaining 2 tbsp of mayo with the sriracha and drizzle it on top of the avocado. Sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning on top of the cucumber boat.

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