Taco Rice TV Stars May 27, 2010Posted by Elisa Hough in Food and Drink, Photos.
Tags: FM Okinawa, Kin, NHK, Okinawan food, taco rice, tako raisu
I saved probably the weirdest thing we took part in until now: Jojo, Sigrunn and I appeared on Japanese national television.
Our program director, Mike, was in touch with a TV crew from NHK, Japan’s national public broadcaster. The station has been doing a series of documentaries featuring aspects of Okinawan culture in an effort to boost tourism. For this particular piece, they focused on tako raisu = taco rice.
Okinawans invented taco rice in the 1960s so they could serve Americans something remotely familiar. A bed of white rice is topped with ground beef, shredded American cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes. It’s pretty gross.
But for this video, we went to a restaurant in Kin Town and acted like Americans getting off a hard day of work on the base, cooling down with some taco rice. We were instructed to give the waiter/chef (in real life a DJ from FM Okinawa) a chorus of thumbs up. For about two hours of prepping and filming, here’s the clip with us:
I can only guess at what they’re saying. I think it’s something like, back in the day, how can they serve tacos in a place where tortillas don’t exist? “It’s rice!” If you can translate, though, please feel free.