Taco fried rice

Adam Liaw
Tex-Mex tacos meet fried rice.
Tex-Mex tacos meet fried rice. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy
Dietary
Kid-friendly

This fried-rice version of the Okinawan dish taco rice* is a simple crowd-pleaser. Budget-friendly, easy and satisfying, this may become your family's new favourite.

Ingredients

½ cup olive oil, plus extra if needed

1 brown onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small red capsicum

250g beef mince

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp sweet paprika

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp chilli powder (optional)

2 tbsp soy sauce

¼ cup tomato sauce

6 cups cooked jasmine rice, chilled

salt and pepper, to season

To serve

2 cups shredded tasty cheese

2 tomatoes, sliced

½ head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded

1 cup store-bought salsa

Tabasco, to taste

Method

1. Heat a very large frypan over medium heat and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and capsicum. Fry for about 5 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.

2. Add the beef mince and fry for a further 8 minutes until cooked through. Add the spices and herbs, soy sauce and tomato sauce and mix well.

3. Add the chilled rice, season generously with salt and pepper to taste, and fry for about 4 minutes more, until the rice is well mixed and lightly fried. You may need to add a little extra oil.

4. Serve the rice with the cheese, tomatoes and lettuce on top, and the salsa and Tabasco on the side.

*A quick history lesson: Tacos and fried rice might seem as separated from each other as any two dishes on earth might be, but that's not entirely true.

Taco rice was created outside a US military base in Okinawa when a surplus of taco seasoning meant that Tex-Mex taco toppings were applied to rice after the hard shells broke during transit.

But Okinawan food is historically more closely connected to China than even to Japan, with strong trade and cultural ties since the Middle Ages.

From tacos, to taco rice, to taco fried rice. It's not as weird as it sounds.

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.

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