Friday, February 25, 2011

Taco Rice! (NaBloPoMo #25)

Taco Rice!
We had taco rice tonight. No, it's not as bizarre as it seems. This is a dish that was created in Okinawa (as the story goes) by a restaurant owner whose small eatery was located near one of the US military bases (I've read it was in Kin near Camp Hansen). He decided to try mixing the mexican taco ingredients over rice and voila! Taco Rice was born.

Basically, it's ground beef taco filling (just add seasoning), lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and salsa over a bed of rice. In Okinawa, there was one shop called Tacos-Ya that I would go to frequently to order the taco rice. They had the perfect containers that lined the ground beef completely over the rice with the bed of cheese nicely melting atop. The salsa was pretty good, too.

So, I've been trying to get Sterling to try it, but he wasn't convinced that it could be tasty. In fact, most people don't. When my friend Koki from Peru took me to the Tacos-Ya on Kokusai Street in Naha in Okinawa, I was skeptical. But one bite and I was hooked. I remember I would go through the same thing each time I introduced it to someone else. In fact, one visit, I tried to get my sister to go, but she kept putting it off. I finally bought one for her to take on the plane when she was leaving Okinawa. She called me as soon as she landed in Tokyo to rave about the taco rice. I told her so!

So, Sterling being Sterling, he did finally give in, but with his more experienced skills, he added garlic, habaneros and onions to the ground beef (two pounds). We added two packets of taco seasoning, and besides the cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, we also chopped up some avocado and added crushed corn chips (mostly for texture context - thanks to the Kurashige's who showed me that one - not originally in Okinawa).

I am happy to report, Sterling thought it was very  tasty and is trying to convince me that he knew all along it would be good. We got some nice hot salsa to top it all off. I figure in the future, we'll experiment with making our own salsa, too.

Anyway, score one for me!

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