Oct 3

Vegetarian Taco Rice

in ad-free, Eggs & Tofu, Japanese, Main Course, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegetarian Taco Rice with California Ripe Olives

I’ve never met a taco I didn’t like.  So when I discovered takoraisu (i.e., “taco rice”), a Japanese twist on the taco, while living in Japan, you can imagine that I was just a little excited to add another favorite to my taco family.  In taco rice, rice takes the place of the taco shell, and soy sauce is usually used as part of the flavor profile in seasoning the meat.

California Ripe Black Olives


I was recently asked to help the California Olive Committee celebrate National Taco Day (October 4th) in a SideCar event on Kitchen PLAY by developing a taco-themed recipe featuring California Black Ripe Olives to share. It had been a while since I’d made taco rice, so I decided to take advantage of my new assignment by dreaming up a new twist on my traditional taco rice recipe.

Making the seasoned tofu

This recipe features seasoned tofu in place of the traditional ground beef, making this taco rice vegan and vegetarian friendly, but not lacking in flavor.

Making Vegetarian Taco Rice

The California ripe black olives add lots of great flavor to the finished dish.  Just make sure you buy an extra can of olives if your kids are anything like mine.  You have been warned.

Extra olives are a must

For even more taco and olive fun, join Kitchen PLAY, California Ripe Olives and some of your favorite food bloggers for a Twitter Party on October 16th, 7:00 PM EDT. Learn about this tasty, nutritious and versatile food. Have fun testing your olive knowledge and win great olive prizes! Register here.

Beginning October 1, read all ten posts at Kitchen PLAY celebrating National Taco Day with California Ripe Olives for clues. Each post contains an “olive fact” that may appear as a trivia question during the Twitter Party. A new post and fact will be revealed each day, Monday through Friday, until October 12.

My CA Ripe Olive fact: You can’t eat a ripe olive off the tree, it’s quite bitter. The term ‘ripe’ actually refers to the curing process.

Vegetarian Taco Rice

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Vegetarian Taco Rice

Makes 4 servings

For the seasoned tofu:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (16-ounce) package firm tofu, crumbled
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the taco rice:
4 cups steamed Japanese rice
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 can (6-ounce) extra large pitted California Ripe Olives, drained and sliced into thirds
1 cup salsa

1. Prepare the seasoned tofu: Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add the tofu, onion, and garlic and stir fry for 5 minutes.

2. Add the soy sauce, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the fry pan and stir. Cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the cilantro. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

3. Assemble the taco rice: Spread 1 cup of steamed rice on each plate. Top with the seasoned tofu. Then top with some lettuce, tomatoes, and olives. Finish with a spoonful of salsa and serve.

Celebrate National Taco Day with California Ripe Olives


Disclosure: I was compensated for my time and efforts to participate in this Kitchen PLAY event. All opinions and experiences are my own.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

averagebetty October 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I love tacos and I love rice… and I really love your little girls. Seriously, I don’t think kids get any cuter!! xoxo


Nami | Just One Cookbook October 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Your daughters are so adorable! I just have to come here to leave a comment! So creative – I hve never thought of putting fingers in them! Lol. I have never tried taco rice before but must try when I get a chance!! Looks delish!


Fuji Papa October 4, 2012 at 5:57 am

Love the vegan dish – looks great.


Simone October 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Love your twist on a traditional taco… Great idea. I too am a big fan of olives so will have a lookout on twitter!


Valentina October 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm

This looks so yummy! And your girls with their cute olive fingers are darling!


kymi a October 9, 2012 at 11:37 am

love this recipe we are trying to eat healthy this will be made for sure. thank you


Fuji Nana October 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Those olive-fingered girls remind me of a little girl that used to do the same thing about 25 years ago. *Sniff*


Nolwenn February 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

Thanks a lot for pointing to that recipe I had forgotten.
Do you crumble the tofu by simply putting it in a food processor ?


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