Meatless Okinawa Taco Rice

Okinawa Taco Rice is a Japan staple, but here it gets a meatless and whole foods update. It’s a quick dinner that comes together in just a few minutes.

Vegetarian Okinawa Taco Rice

So this might be hard to believe, but this is a Japanese favorite. There is a heavy U.S. military presence in Okinawa, the southern-most islands of Japan, and the fusion of Japanese ingredients and Tex-Mex cravings were combined to create this fabulous dish. 

It’s traditionally made with ground beef, but I wanted to lighten up the palate a little by making it vegetarian. So I took it a step further from what’s expected of Japanese cuisine and made with with black beans to replace the beef, and used brown rice to replace the white. The trouble with whole grains and legumes is that they hold a great deal of anti-nutrients that make them basically indigestible to our bodies unless they are treated properly. The way they’ve been prepared for centuries until the last 50+ years or so. 

Vegetarian Okinawa Taco Rice

So if you’re making this recipe, I recommend using leftovers from a previous batch of properly prepared beans and rice. 

*to learn how to cook beans properly, look here. For brown rice, go here.

It’s a great way to use up leftovers, and it’s quick, easy, super tasty, and nutritious. Enjoy!

Meatless Okinawa Taco Rice
Serves 4
This southern-most Japan staple gets a vegetarian and whole foods update while still maintaining its charming fusion palate. It's a quick dinner that comes together in just a few minutes.
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587 calories
71 g
30 g
28 g
20 g
9 g
566 g
548 g
5 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 587
Calories from Fat 235
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 28g
Saturated Fat 9g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 548mg
Total Carbohydrates 71g
Dietary Fiber 21g
Sugars 5g
Protein 20g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the beans
  1. 2 cups cooked black beans
  2. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  3. 1 tablespoon butter, preferably grassfed
  4. 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1 teaspoon honey
  7. 1/4 cup water
  8. 1 tablespoon butter, preferably grassfed
  9. 3 cups cooked short grain brown rice
  10. 2 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, preferably grassfed, grated
  11. 1 head romaine lettuce, sliced thinly
  12. 4~5 small tomatoes or 2 large ones, diced
  13. 2 avocados, diced
  14. 1/2 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
  15. 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. Bring the beans, soy sauce, butter, garlic, cumin, honey, and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Let simmer until the beans are coated in the sauce and the water has mostly evaporated. Remove rom heat and set aside.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, swirling to coat. Once the butter is completely melted, add the rice in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and cook until the cheese is melted and the rice on the bottom has a golden brown crust. Remove from the heat. Add the beans, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and scallions over the top. Scoop out of the skillet and serve immediately.
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  1. Leave a Reply

    June 1, 2017

    Another winner!!!! I have shared the link with all my cooking kids since making this tonight. Big hit with the group that was here. Thanks so much Lillian

    • Leave a Reply

      June 4, 2017

      Oh Hooray! I’m so glad you liked it! It’s always such a compliment to have you like my food:)

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