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 vegan Mexican food, I just had to make this Vegan Taco Rice (Takoraisu). 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 homemade guacamole since my salsa was quite spicy. It added a nice creaminess to the dish and it calmed the heat of the salsa.
Other Mexican-Inspired Recipes
This comforting dish showcases fusion cuisine at its finest. Change up taco night by making this instead.
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Vegan Taco Rice (Takoraisu)
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- ½ 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 low sodium gluten free tamari
- ⅓ cup low sodium vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups thinly chopped lettuce
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- Chopped Kalamata olives optional
- 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: Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only. Different nutrition calculators give you different results.