Taco Rice is a popular Okinawan dish and is classic example of Yoshoku – the Japanese take on Western food (there is an entire chapter in Issue 2 of my zine dedicated to Yoshoku, for more info shop here). Taco Rice has a fascinating history too. As Okinawa was a US military base, a clever restauranteur wanted to replicate the food he saw the US military eating (tacos!), and attempted to do so with the ingredients he had available. And so, in the early 80s, Taco Rice was born. The original recipe was minced beef flavoured with taco seasoning and Japanese condiments, served on a bed of Japanese rice, with toppings such as cheese, lettuce and tomato. There are obviously many variations available now, so please use this recipe only as a guide.
Toppings such as soft boiled egg, avocado, kewpie mayo, and pickled jalapeños are also very popular.
It is a super quick, weeknight meal that features in our house on a weekly basis.
Here is my vegetarian version, it also happens to be gluten free.
- Splash vegetable oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 100ml vegetarian dashi stock
- 1 tin black beans, drained
- 1 tin kidney beans, drained
- 6 cups steamed Japanese rice
- Few handfuls grated tasty cheese
- Few handfuls shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1 – 2 tomatoes, roughly diced
- 1 – 2 spring onions, sliced thinly
- Hot sauce/jarred salsa
- Place a large heavy based over medium heat. Add the oil and onion, and sauce gently until translucent.
- Add the taco seasoning and stir briefly, then add the soy sauce and Dashi Stock.
- Add both tins of beans and simmer gently. Once the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, and the beans are hot, remove from heat. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.
- To assemble, divide the rice into 4 bowls. Flatten so you can pile up your ingredients.
- Layer the bean mix, grated cheese, lettuce and spring onions over the top.
- Serve with hot sauce or jarred salsa.