Basic taco meat mix


It’s hard to believe that I have never posted this really basic basic, but looking though my archives I have not. So here it is, a ‘taco meat’ mix that I make all the time in some quantity, freezing in portions. It can be used in tacos of course, as well as a sort of Western-tasting soboro to top rice. Try it in pita bread pockets too. I try to get as many vegetables as I can into the mix, making it almost an all-in-one type of recipe.

This most recent batch was made by The Guy by the way, proving that it’s quite fuss-free…provided your Guy (or Girl, whichever designation fits the non-cooking partner in your household) doesn’t mind chopping vegetables, or else can use a food processor. (In the photo it’s packed with some spiced couscous, which is what you see in the right bottom corner.)

Recipe: Basic taco meat mix

Makes enough for at least 8 to 10 tacos, or 4 to 5 bentos used as soboro

  • 1 kg (2 lb 2 oz) lean ground beef
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • about 1/3 cup water (about 80ml)
  • oil for cooking
  • 1 Tbsp red chili powder, or more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Chop up all the vegetables quite finely. If you have kids or picky adults to feed, using yellow and red peppers sort of disguises them better than using green peppers, though those work just as well.

Heat up a little oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Sauté all the vegetables until limp - don’t let them burn though. Add the ground beef, and sauté until browned. Add the tomato paste and water and stir.

Clear a little space in the pan and add the spices; sauté a bit to bring out the aromas. Stir into the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Tip: Let a little bit cool down to room temperature before tasting, to make sure it will be good when cooled and packed in bentos.

To freeze, let cool and divide into portion sizes of your choice in plastic bags or containers. This will keep in the freezer for a month or so.

About 40 calories per tablespoon, depending on how lean our ground beef is.

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Re: Basic taco meat mix

This looks pretty like a basic meat mixture that I make... but I always either fry the spices with the onions first, or stir them straight into the meat mixture. It's never occurred to me to just push things aside and make a little space to fry up the spices, so that's a really useful tip, thanks!

Re: Basic taco meat mix

I usually just use a packet for the spices, and mix in salsa after I drain the meat. I will have to try this though

Re: Basic taco meat mix

This works really well with soy crumbles too or crumbled tofu, so it's perfect to adapt to a vegetarian/vegan diet!

Re: Basic taco meat mix

Just tried this. YUM!

Re: Basic taco meat mix

I spent a bit of time in okinawa and I love their food. So I am used to their foods, like okinawa soba, and shoyu pork (in bentous!) , but most curious is their taco rice. Have you ever had any? Its splendid. In Japan its much easier to get good rice, but in america its far easier to make better taco meat, buy good salsa + plus as you know our cheeses are better (I highly recommend shredded white american cheese). So the american made taco rice is a sight to behold. I just wanted to mention it, just incase you never tasted it. My taco meat seasoning is quite a bit more spicy than the one you listed here, but still... its tasty anyway. My version isn't particularly healthy either... but I am an american after all, so its modified to my tastes both as a man and as an american.

take a look at this recipe

or check out this video

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