Recently, I came into the possession of some salt-marinated Hawaiian octopus via New York. I had spent some time trying to figure out what I wanted to use it for when I happened to remember a story from years ago. A friend from Washington, D.C. had mentioned how disappointed he was when he visited Okinawa and ordered a local dish called taco rice (tacos-flavored ground beef served on a bed of rice with shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa), only to find out that there was no actual octopus (tako in Japanese) in the dish. Inspired by the story, I decided to make 'tako' rice with octopus.
I started by stir-frying garlic in olive oil and adding thinly sliced octopus. I then threw in some left over rice. When all the ingredients were combined and thoroughly mixed, I added chopped tomatoes. After flavoring the dish with Nampla (fish sauce) and black pepper, I finished off the dish with some chopped coriander. I thought about adding butter, but eventually decided against it, which was a good idea - the olive oil and Nampla gave the rice a nice, light texture. I think smoked octopus would work as well.
Update : Apparently there is a place that sells Tako meshi with octopus in Hamahiga Island on the eastern coast of Okinawa.