Today I'm sharing with you all my recipe for taco raisu. The first time that I first made this dish for Peter he looked at me like I had gone crazy. And I admit, it sounds completely crazy to combine beef, flavoured with taco seasoning and soy sauce, with rice, salsa and cheese. It sounds like something that shouldn't work, but bear with me, because it really, really does work so well.
I first tried this dish while being on vacation in Okinawa. Okinawa is a group of islands south of the mainlands of Japan. The weather is tropical (like on Hawaii) and the scenery is beautiful. The Okinawan Islands belong to Japan, however, they also house a quite large American army base. Because of the large American population that comes with this base, a lot of the food available on Okinawa is an eclectic mix of flavours that frequently steps outside the Japanese comfort zone. Hence, somewhere in history, taco raisu was born and became an Okinawan signature classic.
Taco Raisu rolls or bowls are sold everywhere in Okinawa; in restaurants, street stalls and even in the supermarkets. It was actually in a night market that I first noticed a taco raisu roll. It looked like a big sushi roll, however, the seaweed wrapper was filled with rice, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and taco flavoured beef. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I just had to try it. Never regretted it once, though, and as soon as I got home, I started to figure out how to make this dish myself. This dish is deceptively simple, for it is adding some taco toppings to a bed of rice. However, the secret is adding soy sauce to chilli, cumin and garlic that gives the beef mince a stunning flavour profile that perfectly marries Japanese and Mexican flavours. I'd say, go have a bowl of taco raisu for dinner sometime soon and see if you are just as sold on it as I am.