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Author Notes: Taco rice or Takoraisu is, believe it or not, a popular dish from Okinawa, Japan. It was invented in the 1960s (i think) by a Japanese chef who capitalized on the popularity of tacos among the American military stationed in Okinawa, and combined the ground beef, lettuce, cheese etc. used in tacos with rice, a popular grain in the Okinawan diet. Who is not to like white rice topped with seasoned beef, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, and sour cream. This dish is delicious and relatively cheap to make, plus it is a one dish meal. It is adapted from a recipe posted in tastykitchen.com. —Regine
- 2 lbs ground beef (I use 80% lean)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 6 medium garlic cloves, diced or crushed
- 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 6 tbsp soy sauce, preferably reduced sodium
- 1 tsp table salt
- 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika (some recipes ask for cumin but i don't like it)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp Sriracha sauce or chili powder
- 4 cups shredded lettuce (I prefer a mix of arugula and spinach)
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped (I prefer cherry tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 2-4 cups shredded cheese like mozarella or cheddar (or, like me, a combination of shredded cheese and crumbled queso fresco)
- 2 cups salsa (I use storebought, i.e., Pace The Original Piquante Sauce Mild)
- 1 cup sour cream
- Cooked white rice (i prepare 3 cups uncooked rice)
- Optional - Slices of avocado and lime wedges
- Optional - Tortilla chips
- Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until onions are soft, then add the garlic and stir for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the beef and break it into small chunks if necessary. Once cooked and brown, add the soy sauce, salt, paprika, ground pepper, and sriracha sauce or chili powder. Let it simmer till liquid is reduced. I like to transfer beef to another plate and drain/remove some of the fat (particularly if you use 80% lean like me).
- Spread 1 1/2 to 2 cups rice on each plate/bowl. Top with seasoned beef (maybe 1/3 to 1/2 cup), then the greens (maybe 1/2 cup), tomatoes (maybe 1/4 cup), salsa (maybe 1/4 cup), cheese (maybe 1/4 cup), and a dollop of sour cream (maybe 1-2 tbsp).
- If desired, top with with some cilantro, and place a few tortilla chips next to the rice. You can also serve sliced avocados and lime wedges on a separate plate.
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