This Vegan Taco Rice (Takoraisu) is a fusion of Tex-Mex and Japanese cuisine. For this popular Okinawan dish, I used taco flavored tempeh and beans.
I first learned about taco rice while watching a travel show. Taco rice or Takoraisu, as it’s known in Japan, is a popular Okinawan dish. It is a fusion of Tex-Mex and Japanese cuisines. Okinawa has a large US military presence, hence the introduction of Tex-Mex cuisine to the island. Taco rice is made with soy sauce and taco flavored beef on a bed of rice instead of a tortilla or taco shell. It’s frequently served with salsa, shredded lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese.
Since I love Mexican food, I just had to make this Vegan Taco Rice. Tempeh and pinto beans are included instead of beef. Being gluten free, I used tamari instead of soy sauce for the umami flavor.
This is one of those dishes where you can control the spice level with the salsa you use. Even though it isn’t pictured, I ended up eating my Vegan Taco Rice with guacamole since my salsa was quite spicy. It added a nice creaminess to the dish and it calmed the heat of the salsa.
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Vegan Taco Rice
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 oz. gluten free tempeh*
- 15 oz. pinto beans
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups thinly chopped lettuce
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- chopped Kalamata olives (optional)
- optional toppings: guacamole, vegan sour cream
- Put olive oil in a hot pan. Add chopped onion and cook on medium heat until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook about thirty seconds more.
- Add tempeh, pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, tamari, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. Cook until tempeh is browned and liquid is reduced.
- Serve over rice and chopped lettuce. Top with salsa, chopped tomatoes, and chopped Kalamata olives.
*Note: If you are gluten free, be sure to read the label on the tempeh. Some are made with grains containing gluten. I buy one made with only soy.