Taco Rice Bowls of Deliciousness
Okay. I was totally going to share this recipe with you a couple of days ago, but I got side-tracked by a music man in a coffee shop.
Then I was going to share it yesterday, but I painted the inside of a closet instead.
Let me explain.
I opened the hallway closet to put something away, and this is what I saw:
In fact, that is what I’ve seen every time I’ve opened the closet since we bought the house in 2007. It’s where we put things when we want to forget they ever existed. I realize the trash can would make much more sense, but logic isn’t always my strong suit.
So, I did what any normal, energy-riddled woman sitting at home on a Tuesday morning would do. I dumped everything out of it, ripped out the wire shelving, puttied the holes, and painted the dirty, scratched-up drywall with leftover paint from the office.
I may or may not have broken all of the screw anchors when I pulled them from the wall, but no worries. They’re easily replaceable. Not that I’m going to replace that crappy wire shelf, which means I need to make a run to Home Depot. Hopefully I’ll have a (highly anticipated, I’m sure) closet “after” photo for you by next week.
So why am I here again? Oh, yes. I’m sharing a recipe.
I’m really kind of excited about this one, and here’s why: It’s not fancy, refined, or sophisticated. Not in the slightest. But remember how I told you I like to experiment with different world flavors when I cook? Well this dish is actually a super simple mix of Hispanic, Asian, and Indian flavors. Sound crazy? I thought so, too. I thought this would be a complete mess when it was done.
But it wasn’t. It was so, so delicious. It’s good ol’ comfort food at its finest, and it’s easily adjustable to fit the tastes of you or the people you’re trying to feed. These things have mass appeal, so you’ll definitely want to keep this recipe.
(I’m telling you – if you can’t please ’em with this, it might just make more sense to keep the recipe and find new people to cook for.)
The original recipe is called Okinawan Takoraisu (from the Japanese island of Okinawa), but I just like to call them Taco Rice Bowls of Deliciousness.
To make them, you will need:
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef (Next time I make these – and there will be a next time – I might try substituting ground turkey to make them a bit healthier.)
- 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder (If you’re super sensitive to spicy stuff, you could cut this back a little. I thought a tablespoon was about perfect! *Correction: Turns out I had the extra spicy “Mexican style” chili powder – Made it again with a Tablespoon of the plain stuff and it’s not spicy at all.)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups steamed Japanese rice (sometimes labeled “sushi rice”)
- Lettuce (optional)
- Tomatoes (optional)
- Queso Blanco or shredded Mozzarella cheese (optional)
- Salsa and/or hot sauce (optional)
- Sour cream (optional)
I realize this looks like a lot of ingredients, but keep in mind that the last 5 are toppings and are entirely optional, according to your tastes.
1. Get your rice cooking according to the package directions. Like I’ve said before, I use my rice cooker to justify its existence.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the 3 cloves of minced garlic and the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes until the onion starts to get soft. See? Simple stuff.
3. Add the pound of ground beef (or turkey) and break it up and cook it through. You want to make sure it’s cooked because making people sick is never a good thing – it would make it nearly impossible to blame them for being too picky if they don’t like the food.
4. Once the meat is cooked, drain some of the grease if necessary, then add the 3 Tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Let the flavors mingle and simmer and the liquids reduce for a few minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare your toppings. If you managed to get a hold of some queso blanco (Mexican white cheese – they sell it at my crappy little grocery store), crumble it up. Otherwise, shred your Mozzarella (or whatever cheese you decided to use… I hope you’re using cheese), tear up your lettuce, dice your tomatoes, etc.
Then simply assemble in individual bowls! Here’s how I did mine: Rice, ground beef mixture, Cantador hot sauce from Chile Town (a nice, mild, garlicy sauce), queso blanco, lettuce, roma tomatoes, sour cream.
My mouth is seriously watering right now. I can’t explain to you why this is so good. You just have to try it.
I noticed you have Lundberg rice up there! Their farm is out next to Chico! I used to go on bike rides past them. Nice local company for us. I may make this recipe using Gimmie Lean’s “ground beef” meat substitute. It’s pretty much awesome.
I didn’t realize the rice was from there! I try to buy organic when I can (and especially when I go to the “fancy” grocery store) – even though it’s crazy expensive. And it’s always great to get recipe input from vegetarians – my friend Christie reads this occasionally and has good vegetarian suggestions too!
OMG you come up with such good things. I bet you that would taste awesome over something not -quite -as -healthy like tortilla chips ( although you could by the shells cut them season them then bake them in the oven if you wanted to go the healthy route) then topped with a nice shredded cheese blend an bake it for a few in the oven. mmmmmmmmmmm
Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the recipe. I found it online. :) But fixing it up the way you’re describing sounds delicious!