Okinawan Taco Rice
white onion, finely chopped
ground beef or pork
packet of taco seasoning, approximately 1 ounce
ketchup, or tomato paste
The American military presence in Okinawa, Japan, influenced local chefs to make more nontraditional fare, giving us taco rice. While the meat is sprinkled with taco seasoning, it’s also infused with sake and soy sauce, giving the dish distinct Tex-Mex and Japanese flavors.
- In a pan, over medium heat, add oil and onions, sautéing until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the ground meat and seasoning packet, stirring to break up the pieces. Cook until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the sake and soy, and let the alcohol cook off, about 1 minute, then add the water and ketchup, until it’s nearly evaporated, about 2-3 minutes.
- Serve over a bed of rice and top with shredded iceberg lettuce, shredded white or yellow cheddar, and fixings of your choice: chopped tomatoes, avocado, salsa, fried egg, and/or sour cream.
Michael Harlan Turkell
Michael Harlan Turkell is an award-winning photographer and cookbook author of the recently published, ACID TRIP: Travels in the World of Vinegar. He has photographed many prominent chefs’ cookbooks and hosts The Food Seen podcast on Heritage Radio Network.