Taco Rice

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Taco Rice

My oldest son went to Japan over the Christmas break. He spent most of his time in Osaka but went to visit Okinawa for couple of days. While in Okinawa, he was able to try some of the island’s famous dishes like Okinawan soba and taco rice. Taco rice is so popular amongst the Okinawan people; even schoolchildren have it in their bento box for lunch.

Taco rice is the Okinawan adapted version of the Mexican dish, taco. It consists of cooked seasoned ground beef spread over a bed of rice and then topped with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese. Salsa and sour cream may also be added.

For this recipe, I used the store bought taco seasoning to flavor my ground beef.  The cooked beef was tasty and delicious. Eating it with rice was already good. Eating it with shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream was even better. Yummy :D

Taco Rice

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Taco Rice


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups cooked white rice
  • Cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the beef and sauté until it has browned, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add taco seasoning and stir to combine flavors.
  3. Add water; bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  4. To assemble one serving of taco rice, place 1 cup of rice on a plate. Top with seasoned beef, followed by shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese.
  5. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
  6. Enjoy!

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  1. says

    Great picture! I love taco rice, but I have the advantage of living in Okinawa :) If you want a more local twist- try adding some corn (weird, I know, but they put it on everything), diced cucumbers or flavored mayonnaise dressings on top! I like ‘em plain though, and yours looks delish!

  2. Sandy says

    I have been making “Japanese Tacos” for 15 years. We let students from Japan stay in our home while going to the university to study English. Tacos were a staple in our house and one of the students said, “Tonight, I will make you Japanese tacos.” Everything was the same except he used rice. My family has made them ever since then. However, mine have never looked as beautiful as yours do!!!

  3. Charmyka says

    I tried this today. I substituted ground turkey & brown rice. I omitted the lettuce and tomatoes (I didn’t have any) and added some avocado dressing I made and it was delicious.

  4. Anonymous says

    I lived in okinawa for 4 years, loved the taco rice, the place i ate it at was by the marine base, also loved ocean tacos, man those were good!

  5. Maggie says

    I wish you could have some soba, it is so delicious!! My husband and I joked about taco rice when we first got here but it soon became a staple I’m our house (coming from Cali we always have taco fixin’s laying around). They do Mexican a little different around here, I had a burrito that was smothered on Italian dressing and sliced garlic…it was good, but odd!

    • Liza ALiza says

      Hi Maggie,
      Thanks for writing:) Yeah,my son was still raving about the Okinawan soba. He said it was really delicious. As for taco rice, he even suggested topping it with Japanese curry, something worth trying in the future :)

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