Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

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.)

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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.)

gdb2-tacocouscous-p1.jpg

Here’s how I ate the bento. I took out the divided-compartment part which had the sides…

gdb2-tacocouscous-p2.jpg

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.

gdb2-tacocouscous-p3.jpg

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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yum

This looks great, he must have learned all this through osmosis! Seems like an old hand at it!

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Hi Maki, I hope you're well. Uh, I think you'll find that the US occupied Okinawa from the end of WWII until 1972.

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Thanks for catching the typo. It has been corrected.

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Guy you are inspiring me to start Bento's again. I fell out of the habit when I stopped working. Thank you both for the wonderful ideas!

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

I just made this for my lunch today with quinoa instead of the couscous. It's really tasty! I used only 1 pound of beef though, so there's a higher veggie to meat ratio.

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

This looks great. I will have to try this, although a vegetarian version, for my daughter and I. She loves anything Taco!

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

So colorful and yum looking! Bento inspiration! :)

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Oh yummy...looks perfect and is so colorful..will surprise my familly with this meal!

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Interesting, I made this in college and never realized other people also at it. :)

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

looks great! this is perfect for my husband! he is mexican-okinawan.lol. thanks 4 sharing, i make my husband's bento 6x a week and i cant think of what to make for his bento anymore. :/ im gonna make this soon :]. he's going to love this!.

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Made this last night with vegetarian quorn instead if mince (then moistened with some vegetable soup/stock instead of water). Very nice. We mixed it with barley couscous, avocado and some grated cheese. A big hit in our house.

We also made the salmon soboro recently, not sure if that was coincidence or influence - I suspect the latter.
Great work! (Your bentoing style reminds me of my husband's)

Re: Guy Does Bento no. 2: Taco-couscous bento

Quinoa is really good instead of couscous, too!

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