Taco rice is undoubtedly a small example of how simple, easy and pleasant it is to prepare a tasty and at the same time nutritious obento.
Today’s bento is inspired by the land of Okinawa, which ahimè I have not yet visited, but which I hope destiny will take me there soon.
If you don’t know where it is, it’s a prefecture made up of an archipelago of islands in the south of Japan. And when I say south, I mean south south! It’s almost halfway between Japan and Taiwan and looking from the map, it looks like little clumps of land lost in the ocean.
If you try to write Okinawa on Google you will see images of white sandy beaches, washed by crystal blue water, palm trees along the roadsides, breathtaking sunsets, and endless expanses of wild nature with animal and plant biodiversity that are the envy of any other area of Japan.
In short, a small paradise on earth.
Okinawa is famous for being a prefecture with a culture “apart”. Due to its geographical position, the strong influences of other countries have given rise to customs and traditions very different from those commonly found in Japan. Starting from language, religion, musical arts, handicrafts, and even cuisine.
? Did you know that Karate was born in Okinawa?
One of the many famous dishes of this corner of paradise is Takoraisu – Tako Rice from which I took inspiration for today’s bento.
I’m not going to talk about the original recipe (for that it’s important to make a separate post with the details well written), but only how I made today’s version, based on vegetables and crispy textures.
An easy, vegan variation that satisfies the palate and fills the stomach!
(Preparing the individual ingredients ahead will allow you to be able to quickly and neatly assemble your obento. Also, if you have a little bit of time, you can prepare everything the night before and store it in the fridge until the next day).
Start by cutting the salad into julienne, dicing the tomato, slicing the cucumber, and set aside. Take half of your avocado, dice it, and in a small bowl season with a little lemon and salt.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pot, add the onion cut into small pieces and sauté until golden brown. Add the red beans and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick.
While the beans are cooking, add a teaspoon of spice mix (I used a ready-made, slightly spicy spice mix), stir to mix well, and turn off the heat.
Once you’re done with the more time-consuming preparations, it’s time to assemble the obento.
Start at the base by placing a thick layer of rice, continue with a layer of lettuce, tomato, avocado, cucumber, and beans & onion.
Simply using your hands, coarsely crumble the tortilla chips and scatter them here and there over the surface. (They will make the obento crispy and delicious).
Top with a sauce of your choice (oil and salt, mayonnaise, yogurt sauce, or whatever creamy vegetable sauce you like) and take it with you on your lunch break or for a nice easy dinner at home.
Quick and easy!