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These rice bowls are brimming with fresh ingredients along with sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It’ll easily become a favorite!

Photo of a California Roll Rice Bowl with a fork.

You’re Going to Have This Rice Bowl on Repeat!

Bowl meals are awesome. You can cram a lot of healthy goodies into one meal. Make it colorful, tasty, and feel satiated for hours! When I eat this rice bowl for lunch, I find that I’m able to avoid afternoon snacking.

This particular rice bowl is inspired by the California Roll. It’s got avocado, cucumber, rice, mango, and imitation crab, which can be swapped out for other proteins. (See Recipe Tips + Tricks below.)

This is one of my go-to lunch options. It can be prepared in advance, and it can be popped into a portable container if you’re toting it to the office!

Hands holding up a California Roll Rice Bowl

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Rice
  • Avocado
  • Cucumber
  • Imitation crab
  • Mango
  • Scallions
  • Sesame oil
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Hot chili sauce, like Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
  • Sesame seeds

How to Make California Roll Rice Bowls

  1. Prepare the rice as per the package’s instructions and set it aside.
  2. While the rice cooks, prepare and chop your other ingredients.
  3. Pop your rice into a bowl along with the avocado, crab, mango, and cucumbers.
  4. Drizzle everything with the soy sauce, followed by the sesame oil and the rice vinegar.
  5. Drop some hot chili oil on there—however much you want, depending on your heat tolerance. If you don’t like spicy foods, omit the chili sauce entirely.
  6. Garnish the bowl with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and dig in.

Useful Tools for This Recipe

Recipe Tips + Tricks

  1. If imitation crab isn’t your jam, you could use canned salmon or tuna, or even smoked salmon.
  2. Don’t do spicy? Omit the hot chili sauce! This won’t change the overall deliciousness of this recipe.
  3. You can make this bowl even more nutritious by using forbidden rice (black rice) or quinoa.
  4. To make this recipe even more efficient, you can use a microwavable rice pouch.

Have You Made This Recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a STAR rating & commenting below with feedback!

You can also show off your creations on Instagram by tagging @killing__thyme

More Tasty Bowl Meals to Try:

5 from 9 votes

California Roll Rice Bowl

These rice bowls are brimming with fresh ingredients along with sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. It'll easily become a favorite!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 bowl
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  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced or cubed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cucumber (about 2 mini cucumbers)
  • 1/2 cup diced mango
  • 3 sticks of imitation crab, cubed
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBSP low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • A few dollops of hot chili sauce, like Sambal Oelek or Sriracha
  • A sprinkle of sesame seeds


  • Cook the rice as per the directions on the package; set it aside.
  • Prepare and chop your other ingredients.
  • Transfer the cooked rice to a serving bowl. Top with avocado, crab, mango, and cucumbers, then drizzle it all with soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar.
  • Add hot chili oil—however much you want, depending on your heat tolerance. If spicy foods aren't your thing, omit the chili sauce entirely!
  • Garnish everything with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, and dig in.
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5 from 9 votes

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Recipe Rating

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  1. 5 stars
    I love how quick and easy this is, we love sushi but this helps take it to another level and doable at home! Definitely a keeper!

  2. 5 stars
    This might be my new favorite choice for a super satisfying lunch! I love California rolls but buying them can be so expensive, and making them myself is a pain. This is a fantastic alternative!

  3. 5 stars
    This looks amazing! I love that I can get all the flavors of a California roll without having to futz around with trying to roll the darn thing.

  4. 5 stars
    That is absolutely amazing! AND I don’t have to try to make my own sushi rolls. I’m terrible at that.

    1. Haha, I hear you, Beth. I can roll sushi, but to get the rice just right, forget it. I leave it to my local pros and visit them when I get my sushi cravings!

  5. 5 stars
    I love how much easier this is to prepare than rolling sushi rolls! All the taste without so much work.

    1. Right? I’ve made sushi before but rather leave it to the pros. haha. This bowl is more in my lane!

  6. 5 stars
    I love rice bowls of any kind, but this California roll version is incredible! I can’t wait to make them again!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve been on grain and rice bowl kick recently and this one is amazing! I like all the healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients it contains, especially the avocado.