Loco Moco is one of signature dishes that is widely popular at many Hawaiian restaurants. This Japanese influenced American dish is so yummy and is definitely one of the favorite comfort food on our family’s menu.
Variations of Loco Moco
There are many variations of loco moco, but the traditional loco moco consists of white steamed rice, topped with a juicy hamburger steak, flavorful gravy, and a fried egg.
Outside of Hawaii, loco moco (ロコモコ) is actually quite popular in Japan as well and usually served in cafe-style restaurants, yoshoku (Japanese-western) restaurants, or enjoyed at home.
However, the typical Japanese version of loco moco is served with thick “hambagu sauce”, which is made of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce (or Tonkatsu sauce) instead of traditional gravy made of beef stock.
This recipe that I share today is my take on the traditional loco moco. I use my Hambagu (ハンバーグ) recipe for the meat patty which uses both ground beef and pork. The ground pork adds additional flavors and makes really juicy patties compared to using ground beef only.
Some people don’t cook the onion first before mixing with the meat, but I like to caramelize my onions first which adds wonderful flavor to the meat mixture.
Making gravy might seem extra work (especially if you’re used to Japanese-version loco moco), but since you will need to sauté onion for the meat mixture anyway, you might as well make this delicious mushroom gravy with some of sautéed onion. The caramelized onion works beautifully with both meat patties and gravy.
Whether it’s for lunch or supper, this dish is very easy to make and will be ready in less than 45 minutes. It’s a wonderful comfort meal on any day of the week.
Now, many of my readers are from Hawaii. What’s your favorite style of loco moco and how do you prepare it? Please feel free to share your recipe in the comment below so we all can try it out!
Loco Moco Video Tutorial
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- 1 large onion (½ for patty, ½ for gravy)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil for sautéing onion
- ¾ lb. ground pork/beef (¼ lb. pork + ½ lb. beef)
- ⅓ cup (20 g) panko
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (for patty)
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ Tbsp. olive oil for cooking the patties
- ½ Tbsp. olive oil for frying eggs
- 4 eggs for topping
- Steamed rice
- Parsley for garnish
- 6 (100 g) mushrooms
- ½ Tbsp. olive oil
- 1½ cup (350 ml) beef stock
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (for gravy)
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. potato or corn starch
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Chop the onion finely.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat and sauté the onion until translucent.
- Turn off the heat and divide the sautéed onion in half (half for the gravy and half for the patty).
- While sautéing the onion, you can cut mushrooms into thinly slices. Heat ½ Tbsp. olive oil in a small saucepan on medium heat and sauté mushrooms till soft. Add the half of sautéed onion and stir together.
- Add 1 ½ cup beef stock and 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce.
- Skim any foam or scum on the surface. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. potato/corn starch and 1 Tbsp. water and whisk well to mix together. Pour the potato starch mixture into the gravy and thoroughly mix together. Simmer till the gravy is a bit thicker. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the meat and the rest of sautéed onion. Add ⅓ cup panko, an egg, 2 Tbsp. milk, ½ tsp. nutmeg, 1 tsp. salt, and black pepper.
- Mix the meat well until the mixture gets sticky and pale, and then divide into 4.
- Make 4 large patties (or 6 medium patties if you like). Toss each portion of mixture from one hand to the other hand repeatedly about 5 times in order to release air inside the mixture. If you don’t release the air inside, the meat patties will crack. After tossing, make oval shape patties. The top should be slightly round and not flat. Keep the patties in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cooking so that the meat combines together.
- In a large pan, heat ½ Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and place the patties gently on the pan. Indent the center of each patty with 2 fingers because the center of patties will rise with heat. Cook the patties about 5 minutes. Do not flip until the bottom of the patties is nicely browned. Cover and cook for 5 minutes to thoroughly cook the inside of the patties (adjust cooking time depending on patty’s thickness). You can also re-heat the gravy and make fried eggs at this time.
- Serve steamed rice on individual plates. Transfer the patties to the plates, pour the gravy, and top with a fried egg. Serve immediately.