For his second bento (which actually appeared twice), The Guy tackled a bento based on an Okinawan speciality, taco rice.
Taco rice is basically an Okinawan/Japanese take on that Tex-Mex classic, tacos with spicy ground meat. There’s quite a strong American influence in Okinawa, due to the existence of a huge (and rather controversial) U.S. military base there, plus the fact that the United States occupied the Okinawan islands from after WWII until 1972. Instead of the corn tortillas or chips used in American taco-type dishes (including taco salad), taco rice uses rice as the base.
Anyway, for this bento, The Guy had no trouble making the taco meat base part, which is a staple around our house. As mentioned, he made enough for at least 2 rounds of bentos. He did decide to mix it up by using a packaged spiced couscous mix* instead of rice. The rest was fairly easy: shredded lettuce and cheese, cubed tomato, plus a bit of fruit in the form of grapes. The results were really tasty, though we both agreed that plain couscous would have been just as good since the meat mix was a bit on the too-spicy side.
Here it is packaged in two stainless steel bento boxes. I was amazed at how neatly he arranged everything, including the grapes. Check out the sliced yellow-pepper garnish. The Guy definitely has talent! (For those of you who have the Just Bento Cookbook, I used the larger sized bento box for the ‘soboro bento’ in there.)
Here’s the version I had, which is packed in the multi-compartment box described a few days ago. (The grapes were in a side container, which didn’t make it in the photos.)
Here’s how I ate the bento. I took out the divided-compartment part which had the sides…
Then dumped the sides into the main container and mixed everything up. Very good indeed. If you like it heated up, do so before adding the lettuc and tomato.
At this rate, The Guy may just take over all bento duties, even when I’m at full strength. We’ll see. ^_^
[* The spiced couscous mix he used is made by Tipiak, and is available in any French supermarket…French people love couscous. As I wrote, plain couscous will work just as well. Quinoa would work too, or even rice!]
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