Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taco Rice Salad

I admit it. I lived in Japan too long-- I want rice in my taco salad! My friend Kendo Mama, introduced me to it, and it's a keeper.

Taco Rice Salad
It's not on any local restaurant menus, although, Casa does accommodate my requests with their vegetarian chili taco salad. However, the original is served without beans and tofu. The difference in taste has meant that I kept thinking about it.

The taco seasoning was the rate limiting step; I couldn't bring myself to buy a package of processed taco seasoning from El Paso even if it did taste good in my friend's salad. Finally, I did a Google search and found this recipe for homemade taco seasoning. I, ah, made alot.

I wanted to send some to Kendo Mama to try, plus a few Kodomo no ni Children's Day packages have arrived from Japan. I have some thank-yous to send out, and a little homemade taco seasoning is just the thing to spice it up.

The best part about the homemade taco seasoning? Taste is great and there are no preservatives nor any other unnecessary gunk in it. I had to ride my bike twice to the Farmacy to get enough chili powder which just means that this batch is half organic, one of the quirks of living in the hills of Ohio.

This is the recipe for the Taco Rice Salad I ate at my friend's house in Japan. Vegetarians could try the seasoning with tempeh or tofu. I did use salsa instead of tomatoes-- it's not quite tomato season here yet. I had forgotten how pleasant it is to have the warm rice and ground beef with the cool crunchy lettuce.

I served each layer separately so that the kiddos could make dinner their way. It was a win all the way around the table. My husband was absent, but he'll eat my worst mistakes and say, "I'm just happy there's food on the table." I love cooking for him, it's the two kids who wrack my brains. Try this at your table. Use the link to make the seasoning-- I can vouch for the recipe.

Idatakimasu I humbly receive,

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Ground Beef cooked with taco seasoning and water

Taco Rice Salad
Adapted from Aya Tambata

Hot Cooked Japanese Rice or whatever kind you like
Cooked Ground Beef + Taco seasoning + Water-- cook until water evaporates
Mexican Mix or Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated
Lettuce, shredded
Salsa or Diced Tomato
Avocado, sliced
Corn Chips, crushed
Fresh Cilantro, 1 to 2 springs, for garnish
Hot Sauce, for garnish

  1. Cook the rice. 
  2. Saute the ground beef until browned. Add taco seasoning and water. Cook until the water is evaporated, stir often. Set aside.
  3. Prep vegetables: lettuce, tomato if using, avocado, and cilantro.
  4. Layer lettuce, rice, beef, cheese, avocado slices, corn chips, tomato or salsa, and garnish with a spring of cilantro and hot sauce to taste.

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