Okinawa Taco Rice on a colorful plate consisting of white rice, taco seasoning ground beef, shredded lettuce and cheese, topped with tomato salsa.

Taco Rice

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: taco rice
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

Okinawan Taco Rice, a simple mashup of taco fillings and Japanese white rice.  It's a satisfyingly, unique comfort food that's quick to make for a weeknight dinner!



  • ½ lb ground beef (I used 85% lean)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ red onion (¾ goes to taco meat, ¼ goes to salsa)
  • 2 leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 1 Tbsp neutral flavor oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
  • Mexican cheese
  • 3 cups  cooked Japanese short grain rice  (I cooked 1.5 rice-cooker-cups (240 ml uncooked rice *See Notes)

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • ½ tomato
  • 5 strands cilantro
  • ½ lemon


  1. Gather all the ingredients.
    Taco Rice Ingredients

Make Homemade Taco Seasoning

  1. Combine all the ingredients for taco seasoning in a mason jar (or a plastic bag) and shake well to mix together.
    Taco Rice 1

Cut ingredients

  1. Mince the garlic clove and set aside (we will use this for stir frying with meat).
    Taco Rice 2
  2. Mince the red onion.
    Taco Rice 3
  3. Cut the tomato into small cubes (you need about half tomato, although it’s shown as a whole tomato here).
    Taco Rice 4
  4. Chop cilantro into small pieces.
    Taco Rice 5
  5. Combine chopped red onion, tomato, cilantro in a medium bowl and squeeze half of the lemon into the bowl. Mix well together.

    Taco Rice 6
  6. Cut the iceberg lettuce into thin strips.
    Taco Rice 7

Make Taco Meat

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic cloves until fragrant. Then add the red onion and sauté until coated with oil.
    Taco Rice 8
  2. Add the ground beef and break into small pieces using a spatula.
    Taco Rice 9
  3. Add 4 tsp Taco Seasoning (Roughly 2 tsp for every 1/4 lb) and combine well with the meat. Turn off the heat.
    Taco Rice 10

Assemble the Taco Rice Bowl

  1. Serve the steamed rice on a plate/bowl. Put the ground beef on top. Then top with cheese, lettuce, and tomato salsa as much as you like. Serve with extra salsa and enjoy!
    Taco Rice 11

Recipe Notes

Steamed Rice: 1.5 rice cooker cups (240 ml) yields roughly 3 American cups. 


Taco Seasoning: This taco seasoning recipe is from All Recipes


Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook.  All images and content on this site are copyright protected.  Please do not use my images without my permission.  If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source.  Thank you.