Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Okinawan Taco Rice

Taco Rice is an extremely popular dish here on Okinawa. It's said that this dish was created by a local chef who combined the Tex-mex flavor of a taco with rice, a staple in the Okinawan diet. It's a genius idea: the flavors of taco flavored meat on a bed of rice and garnished with traditional taco toppings: tomato, lettuce, salsa. It's on the menu at many local restaurants and we've sampled it several times already. We liked it so much I decided to try making it at home. I loved how this dish calls for melting the cheese on the rice before adding the meat. If you want a taste of Okinawa give this fun recipe a try!
Okinawan Taco Rice
From Cooking with Chopsticks
Printable Version
Makes 2 large servings
1 cup of rice, cooked
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound ground turkey or beef
6 tablespoons pureed tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Several drops of lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 cup cheese
1/2 cup lettuce, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped

Place the cooked rice in an oven proof baking dish. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes or until the onions are soft. Mix the garlic and onions into the rice gently with slicing motions instead of mashing motions. 
Heat a little more olive oil in the pan and add the meat. Break the meat into small chunks and once cooked add the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, water, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer until the water reduces. 
Cover the rice with cheese and place into the oven for about five minutes or until the cheese is throughly melted. 
Top the cheese and rice with the meat mixture. Squeeze some lemon on the meat and dust with additional chili powder if desired. Garnish with tomato and lettuce and serve. 


  1. Very tasty looking rice dish:)

  2. I have only ever made the version on my blog and we LOVE it! But, I am going to try this version next time...since you are a local expert and all ;)

  3. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS! My hubby was stationed in Oki and for as long as I've known him, reflects back on the day he would get taco rice and how amazing it was. Now I can make it :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails