A type of sushi with a filling of crab or imitation crab (surimi), avocado and cucumber wrapped in a sheet of seaweed (nori) and finished with an outer layer of rice (sushi meshi). Sometimes this cylinder is rolled in toasted sesame seeds or tobiko. The exterior rice layernot a traditional sushi approachis the invention of Ichiro Mashita, the Los Angeles sushi chef who created the California roll in the 1970s to entice American palates that resisted the usual outer wrapping of nori.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.