Crab Salad Rice Bowl

Crab Salad Rice Bowl
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Alone time is something I relish. I’m not a recluse by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy socializing and I am not a complete homebody. But I do enjoy the opportunity to blast music and cook for myself and only myself. I love cooking for other people but preparing a meal exactly the way I like it without other people’s expectations or palettes weighing in is true self-care. Today’s Crab Salad Rice Bowl is the meal I make for myself when I am alone. Now, I’ve prettied it up a bit for the blog but don’t let its looks fool you. This recipe is so simple, you could make it in your sleep. 

Thinly sliced radish on a cutting board.

I adore my partner with all my heart. We see eye-to-eye on many/most things. But we do not agree when it comes to seafood. He is fine with firm white fish, so-so when it comes to scallops and mussels, and will enthusiastically eat a tuna fish sandwich when available. Other than that, it’s a hard pass. Yes, he even hates shrimp. I, on the other hand, would gladly consume a seafood tower by myself every day of the week. So when he’s working late or is out of town, seafood is on the menu. 

Now, I am not made of money and seafood can be expensive. I’ve lived in Ontario for over 15 years and I’m still not over the price discrepancy between the seafood here and the seafood in my home province Nova Scotia. I, of course, understand it. Toronto is far from a seaside town. But it does make paying top dollar for seafood a little harder to do. The solution? Canned crab. 

Thinly sliced radish pickling in a vinegar mixture.

I grew up on canned crab salad sandwiches. My grandmother’s pantry was lined with all manner of tinned fish. Sardines on saltines was another budget-friendly favorite. I know using canned crab may be frowned upon. And I realize it’s no fresh lump crab meat or king crab leg but canned crab is pretty darn good. It’s especially delicious when you give it the tuna salad treatment. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Asparagus on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt.

This Crab Salad Rice Bowl features crabmeat mixed with mayo, wasabi, soy sauce, and mirin served over a bed of short-grain rice. The bowl is rounded out with cucumber, avocado, roasted asparagus, radicchio, and pickled radish. But the beauty of this bowl is you can fill it with whatever you want or need to use up. This bowl rarely looks the same twice. So treat this recipe as a loose road map and feel free to choose your own adventure. 

Crab salad in a bowl.

We’re going to start by pickling the radish. This recipe is everywhere on this blog, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it here. This is my go-to quick pickle and it is particularly beneficial when my radish is a little long in the tooth. Shave your radishes thinly on a mandolin and set them aside. Whisk to combine some rice wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Whisk until the salt and sugar are mostly dissolved. Pour the mixture over the radish and set it aside to pickle. The radish won’t take very long. It will be ready for you when your rice is. 

Crab salad in a bowl.

 Put some rice on and preheat the oven for the asparagus. I’m not doing anything fancy with the asparagus. Remove the woody ends and arrange the asparagus on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the asparagus with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Pop it into a 375°F oven and roast for 15 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

Cucumber slices and avocado wedges on a cutting board.

While the rice is cooking, the asparagus is roasting, and the radishes are pickling, we have all the time in the world to prep the remaining parts of this bowl. We’re going to start with the ingredient of the hour – the crab. Pop open a can of crabmeat. Now, not all canned crabmeats are created equal. I like to go for a can of Chunk Crabmeat with premium white meat. I usually go for Clover Leaf brand and it has never steered me wrong. And no, this post is not sponsored. It’s best to go with canned crabmeat that is wild-caught and canned in water. While this crabmeat will have a slightly saltier, and more acidic flavor than fresh crab, it will be milder and closer to the freshly cooked crab you know and love.

Crab Salad Rice Bowl

Pop open the can of crabmeat and drain it very well. Extremely well. Canned crab holds a surprising amount of moisture, so draining it thoroughly will help you avoid a runny crab salad. Place the crabmeat in a bowl and add mayo, garlic, finely chopped scallions, and a bit of wasabi paste. Add soy sauce and mirin and mix well. Chill the crabmeat until you’re ready to serve. 

Crab Salad Rice Bowl

Now, all that remains is to chop a cucumber into a series of medallions and cut an avocado into wedges. Pile the rice into a bowl and drizzle it with soy sauce. I like to add a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds but that step is optional. Arrange two radicchio leaves on top of the rice to form a sort of bowl-like shape. Place the crab salad inside that bowl. You don’t have to do this, you can just chop the radicchio into ribbons and add it. But if you’re feeling fancy, go for it. Arrange the asparagus, cucumber, avocado, and pickled radish around the crab salad and serve immediately. I garnished it with some wild violets because they are everywhere in my backyard right now. 

And that’s everything you need to know about this Crab Salad Rice Bowl. A fresh, satisfying meal that celebrates your precious alone time. 


Crab Salad Rice Bowl

Crab Salad Rice Bowl

This Crab Salad Rice Bowl features a wasabi-spiked crab salad served on a bed of rice topped with roasted asparagus, cucumber, pickled radish, avocado, radicchio, and rice crackers.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2


  • 1 baking sheet
  • 1 mandoline


  • 4 small radishes sliced thin on a mandoline
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bunch asparagus ends removed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (120g, 4oz) can crabmeat drained well
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 scallion sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp mayo heaping
  • 1 tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 cups freshly cooked short-grain rice
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 leaves radicchio
  • 1 mini cucumber chopped
  • ½ avocado cut into wedges
  • 12 rice crackers


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Whisk to combine the rice vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. ** Add the radish slices and set them aside to pickle.
    4 small radishes, ½ cup rice vinegar, ½ cup water, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt
  • Arrange the asparagus on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle them with salt and place them in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
    1 bunch asparagus, 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Place the crab, garlic, and scallion in a bowl. Add the mayo, wasabi paste, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir to combine.
    1 (120g, 4oz) can crabmeat, 1 clove garlic, 1 scallion, 2 tbsp mayo, 1 tsp wasabi paste, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp mirin
  • Divide the rice across two bowls. Drizzle both with additional soy sauce and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seed.
    2 cups freshly cooked short-grain rice, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Arrange the radicchio leaves to form a bowl and pile the crab salad inside. Round out the bowls with the asparagus, cucumber, avocado, pickled radish, and rice crackers. Serve immediately. ***
    4 leaves radicchio, 1 mini cucumber, ½ avocado, 12 rice crackers


** Whisk until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
*** I added wild violets to my bowls because they are everywhere in my backyard right now. They are pretty but very optional. 
Keyword avocado, crab, cucumber, radicchio, rice bowl

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