The original taco rice
Another example of taco rice

Taco rice (タコライス, takoraisu) is a popular example of modern Okinawan cuisine. It consists of taco-flavored ground beef served on a bed of rice, frequently served with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato and salsa.[1][2]

Charlie's Tacos, serving tacos in shells made from rice flour, had been established in 1956 as the first "taco place" on Okinawa.[3][4][5][self-published source] Taco rice was created in 1984 by Matsuzo Gibo and introduced at two of his cafes, Parlor Senri and King Tacos, located just a minute from the main gate of Camp Hansen in Kin, Okinawa.[6][7]

Taco rice is a popular dish among U.S. military personnel stationed in Okinawa as lunch or late night food. KFC put it on their menu throughout Japan for a time during the 1990s and Yoshinoya, a nationwide gyūdon restaurant, serves it in the chain's restaurants in Okinawa prefecture.[7] In addition, Taco Bell offers it as a menu option at the chain's restaurant in the Shibuya district of Tokyo.

The Tex-Mex flavor is sometimes replaced by the use of soy sauce, mirin and sake. Occasionally it is served with rice in a tortilla roll.


  1. ^ "Today's Food Culture - Time to rediscover traditional cooking". Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau. 31 March 2005. Archived from the original on 30 November 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  2. ^ Sean Williams (2013). The Ethnomusicologists' Cookbook: Complete Meals from Around the World. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 9781135518967. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  3. ^ Sewake, Colin (9 October 2019). "Food Culture – The Taco Rice Story". The Hawai'i Herald (Hawaii Hochi) - Hawaii's Japanese American Journal. see Charlie’s Tacos. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  4. ^ Siy, Sherilyn (30 March 2016). "Charlie's Tacos - Naha, Okinawa". Japan Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  5. ^ Christopher Scharping (2012). Searching for Happily Ever After. Xlibris Corporation. p. 49. ISBN 9781479732401. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  6. ^ "This Japanese Dish Exists Only Because Of The US Military". We Are The Mighty. 17 March 2015. Archived from the original on 19 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  7. ^ a b Oscar Johnson and Elena Sugiyama j (28 March 2015), "A TRIBUTE TO TACO RICE: The U.S. military's favorite Mex-Oki fusion food", Stars and Stripes Okinawa, archived from the original on 19 May 2015, retrieved 19 May 2015