Taco rice, also know as takoraisu (タコライス), is a bit of a strange dish. You can trace it back to the 1980s, where outside the American military base in Okinawa, restaurants created their own twist on Tex-Mex. Rather than using a tortilla, rice forms the base of this dish. The easiest way for me to describe it: taco rice is like a taco salad without the giant tortilla bowl. I can imagine cutting out the tortillas made it easier and cheap for the restaurants to make something filling for servicemen.
This dish is so popular in Okinawa, you can even find it at chains like KFC and Yoshinoya periodically as a special item! This is probably the most famous Okinawan food outside of Japan.
How do I put my spin on it? By introducing some Southern California style! I couldn't resist adding some fresh guacamole, something you wouldn't see in an Okinawan diner due to the cost of avocados, but here in Orange County, avocados are practically on every dish.
Gringo Bandito original hot sauce for the honor. It's made here in Orange County, and was created by the lead singer of the Offspring, Dexter Holland, an Orange County native.
It doesn't get more So Cal-stylish than that! But more than hailing from my home stomping grounds, the Gringo Bandito also brought the dish a nice heat and flavor I needed, without being too salty or vinegary. It's quickly become my go-to sauce for taco night!
My challenge to you: how will you make this dish your own?
So Cal-Style Taco Rice
1 lbs ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning (+ water as packet recommends)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup diced onions
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup guacamole
4 cups of cooked white Japonica rice
Gringo Bandito original to taste
First prep by dicing, shredding, and cooking that rice. Please feel free to cut corners and buy premade guacamole, diced onions, and shredded lettuce. I'm not one to judge when I need to get dinner done in a hurry!
In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until no
longer pink, crumbling well as it cooks, then add in water and taco
seasonings. Follow the instructions on the seasoning packet with the
amount of water to add.
To assemble, divide the rice into four serving bowls, then divide the
ground beef over the rice. Top with guacamole, onions, iceberg lettuce,
diced onions*, and cheese. Drizzle on the hot sauce and serve!
like to brown my onions a little bit in the skillet after the beef is
done cooking, but Mr. Mochi likes the crunch of raw onions.
don't think you can go wrong either way! You can also cook the onions
in with the ground beef, but I like to serve them on top in case someone
doesn't like onions I can simply omit them.
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Disclaimer: Gringo Bandito gave me several hot sauces to try for my blog. However, I was
not required to blog about it, let alone paid or pressured
to write a positive review. I have also purchased the product before penning this, and will be buying again soon in
the future. This review reflects solely my opinions, and the prices are at the time of publication if listed.