Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Okinawan Taco Rice from Nirai-Kanai

Taco Rice

This may not look too inspiring, but I'd been meaning to try this for quite a while now. What was it? It was Japanese tako raisu. But that was not tako as in the Japanese word for octopus; it was tako as in a Mexican taco or tostada put on top of rice (think: US military presence in Okinawa).

Indeed, the American influence of seasoned ground beef, shredded lettuce, cheese, and tomatoes on top made this thing taste just like Taco Bell. I was hoping that maybe there'd be some kind of a Japanese twist to it, but it was really just a taco's ingredients dumped on top of rice. I suppose it wasn't that different from the time a Jewish friend of mine ate tacos during Passover...using matzoh rather than tortillas.

Now, Taco Bell doesn't exactly conjure up pleasant thoughts, but I still ate this thing pretty darned quickly, perhaps because it had been so long since I'd eaten at Taco Bell (I shunned Taco Bell in Singapore given how they only offered chicken tacos rather than beef). It's just rather strange that an Okinawan restaurant had to serve this purpose rather than Taco Bell itself.

1 comment:

Dennis K. said...

Hi BMA! I actually ate at the supposed place that started the Taco Rice in Okinawa (a town called Kin) way back in high school. Was very close to a U.S. Marine base. You're right in that there really isn't much to the Taco Rice but it made for a cheap and filling meal after a night of cruising around in our cars. I just wished I had photographed it then!!! :)