I celebrated Cinco de Mayo this year with Taco rice, a fusion dish from Okinawa.
I always like the origin stories of fusion dishes. It almost feels like reading classic comedies: These stories usually starts with a sad tone of how immigrants feeling misplaced, homesick, or lacking of resources, but with a twist of serendipity and innovation, the ending is nice and delicious. The bravery and perseverance of the inventors in the stories become flavorful seasonings of the fusion dish in our plates.
The invention story of taco rice happened in an southern island of Japan, Okinawa, where the US troop locates. To serve the Without using taco shells, Okinawa restaurants used warm rice to pair with the fillings in taco and this dish was popular among the US troops stationed in Okinawa.
I used impossible foods to make my taco rice vegetarian. It’s very delicious and easy to make. Hope you enjoy it!
Taco Rice Recipe
Yield: 2 bento
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
For the taco filling:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup sliced mushroom
- 6oz impossible foods or minced meat of choice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Few chili pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon water
For the rice bowl:
- 2 cups of warm rice
- 2 cups of thinly-sliced romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce
- 2 cherry radish, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Few thinly sliced red onion
- Few halved cherry tomatoes
- Few shredded Asadero cheese or other cheese of choice
- Heat the pan with medium heat and vegetable oil. Sauté sliced mushroom till soft.
- Add impossible foods, paprika, cumin powder, dried oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and some dried chili peppers flakes. Stir fry till ingredients are evenly mixed.
- When the impossible foods turn brown, add tomato paste and water. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
- When serving, fill the bento box or a plate with a bed of warm rice, and then place a layer of sliced lettuce, taco filling, and other vegetables, such as sliced red onion, avocado, and sliced radish. Finally, end with sprinkling cheese on top.
Enjoy the taco rice by mixing everything together!
The cheese will be slightly melted by the heat from taco filling, and the crunchiness from lettuce and cherry radishes makes this dish taste light and fresh.