An edible sideline

I WAS going to try and make a Fauxdori, take pictures and do a post on the experience.

But then I saw this post by the Hobonichi People. It’s almost as if they’d read the previous blog about me wanting to hold and test one of their books, but not wanting to pay the whole price without being sure.
So a half of a Hobonichi, for roughly half the price of a full one is on its way to me and since I limit how much I spend per pay period, the Fauxdori will have to wait until another time.

So instead, a food sideline. But it’s related, I promise. In a very odd roundabout way.

When we were stationed in Okinawa, everybody and their brother told us to taste sushi. Good grief, it got annoying.
We’re not that big on fish, and while I did enjoy the occasional vegetarian roll, the truth is, we fell in love with other aspects of Japanese cuisine (noodles and Yakiniku being our favorite). We also enjoyed the foods that came to Japan from other countries, married into the local flavors and spun their own varieties. Like Japanese curry. So see, this post is related to the planners. The Hobonichi is a Japanese planner/notebook and here I am talking about Japanese food, you see? Right? right? No?….

Anyway. Food! Okinawa is considered the Hawaii of Japan, so not only do they get a lot of tourists from the main island, but also from other Asian countries. Add to that the thousands of American military, missionaries and other people who call Okinawa their home. We were actually introduced to Indian curry by a Hindu-owned curry restaurant on island. It’s no surprise, that so many food combinations have originated on that small piece of land floating in the sea.

Legend has it (a.k.a Wikipedia), that a chef at a local eatery wanted to add dishes to attract the Americans at nearby Camp Hansen in the 50s. So he played with the types of food they ate and came up with his own take on a Tex-Mex favorite. It has since been embraced by the entire island, the main island of Japan, the locals, military, and many more worldwide. It is present in Japanese school lunches, festivals, and homes. I still make it often. Ask any American military who has been there about it and we’ll get a happy little smile.

I’m talking about Taco Rice. It is extremely simple, extremely easy and extremely enjoyable.

What did the chef do? He took the Tex-Mex crunchy taco, took the crunchy tortilla out and substituted it with rice. Really. That’s it at its most basic form. And, while I cannot stand the crunchy taco, taco rice gets high marks in my book.

So, how do you make this Okinawan favorite?

THE BITS AND PIECES

  • Cooked rice.
  • 1-2 lbs. ground beef.
  • Shredded lettuce.
  • Diced tomato.
  • Chopped onions.
  • Shredded cheese (I like crumbled Queso Fresco).
  • Salsa (optional).
  • Sour Cream (optional).
  • Avocado (optional).
  • Your favorite seasonings (see Notes).

HOW TO

  1. Brown beef in skillet. Drain the fat and add your seasonings. Set aside.
  2. On a plate, spread about 1/2 to 1 cup of rice. Top with seasoned beef.
  3. Add your  favorite taco toppings.
  4. Enjoy!… you thought it was going to be harder than this? Sorry to disappoint you ~_^

NOTES:

  • I grew up in Mexico. I never heard about a “taco seasoning” until I came to the US. If you want to use a package of it, go right ahead. I usually go with salt and pepper, plus whatever strikes my fancy at the moment (though I admit to having used the red package from time to time when I’m short on time, always low sodium varieties and then add some extra spice).
  • Fish or chicken can be used instead of beef.
  • It is traditionally eaten with a spoon. I like to layer it out on a big ramen bowl, mix it up and dig in.
  • In some Japanese varieties, you can add a fried egg on top.

   

 

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