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Taco Rice

This recipe is inspired by a recent meal I ate at an Okinawan restaurant in Tokyo. The dish was created in the 1980s by entrepreneurial Okinawans who wanted to serve food that catered to the tastes of US military soldiers based on the island. It soon became a huge hit with both the soldiers and locals alike. Give it a try. It’s a perfect fusion dish.

Taco Rice by Simon Majumdar

Taco Rice Recipe

(Serves About 4-6)



General Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Long Grain White Rice

  • ½ Cup Grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese

  • ¼ Cup Sour Cream

  • 1 Tablespoon Nori Komi Furikake (Rice Seasoning) - Optional

  • 1 Tablespoon Sushi Seasoning Vinegar - Optional

  • Cilantro Leaf for Garnish


For the Salsa:

  • 1 Red Onion (Finely Diced)

  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)

  • 4 Scallions (Finely Sliced)

  • 2 Limes (Juice and Zest)

  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers (De-seeded and Finely Diced)

  • 1 Bunch Cilantro Leaf (Finely Chopped)

  • 4 Large Tomatoes (De-seeded and Chopped)

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil

  • Kosher Salt (To Taste)

  • Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)


For the Taco Beef:

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef (80/20 Mix)

  • 1 Red Onion (Finely Minced)

  • 1 12-oz Can Diced Tomatoes

  • 3 Cloves Garlic (Finely Minced)

  • 3 Jalapeno Peppers (De-seeded and Minced)

  • 1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce

  • 2 Teaspoons Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Cup Beef Stock

  • Olive Oil for Cooking

  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Cook the rice to instructions, add the rice seasoning and sushi vinegar (if using), and reserve for later.

  2. Add 1 Tablespoon of water to the sour cream and whisk to make a paste.

  3. For the Salsa:

    • Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.

    • Season to taste, cover and refrigerate until needed.

  4. For the Taco Beef:

    • Brown the ground beef in a skillet.

    • Remove from the pan and put to one side.

    • Add olive oil to the same pan.

    • Add the onions and saute until softened.

    • Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.

    • Add the jalapeno and cook for two minutes.

    • Add the Taco Seasoning and cook for two minutes.

    • Add the Worcestershire Sauce.

    • Add the tomatoes and the beef stock.

    • Return the ground beef to the pan and simmer until the stock has reduced by half. If you like to make your ground beef gravy a little thicker, you can add a little cornstarch mixed with water.

  5. To Compose the Taco Rice:

    • Lay the cooked rice in a cast iron skillet or baking dish.

    • Top the rice with a layer of the Taco Beef.

    • Add a layer of grated Cheddar/Monterey Jack Cheese.

    • Place under a broiler and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

    • Remove from the broiler and top the cheese with a layer of salsa, a drizzle of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro leaf.

    • Serve and enjoy.

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