Say Aloha to this Hawaiian Favorite, Loco Moco… Now who wouldn’t be a little intrigued by a dish named “Loco Moco”? Let’s get a little taste of Hawaii going on in your kitchen.
Loco Moco is a fun, yet delicious, thing where a heap of rice is topped with a beef patty, smothered with gravy, and finished with a sunny side up egg. How cool!
This Loco Moco… The chances of you encountering this classic comfort food all over Hawaii is pretty high if you like exploring local food. If you already tried it, let’s get nostalgic making it again in your very own kitchen. And if you missed it, still make it in your kitchen and you would feel like visiting the islands again. Let’s get Tropical…
I’m sure every one of you grew up on beef patties with some sort of gravy. Loco Moco just takes it up a notch by adding a crowning glory of sunny side up eggs.
This is perfect not only for breakfast, but for lunches and dinners and any time in between. Make this for some of your upcoming brunches and get the conversation going around this fun dish.
What is Loco Moco?
Loco Moco originated in Hilo, Hawaii all the way back in1949. There are many who claim to have invented this classic, but generally its agreed that either the Lincoln Grill restaurant or Café 100 created it the first time.
The story goes that the dish was created for local teens who wanted something different than typical American sandwiches and burgers, yet something filling and affordable.
The owners brainstormed to come up with this fun dish of fast seared hamburger patty over a bed of rice with some gravy. All for just 25 cents. Cheap and filling. The fried egg came on scene much later, as the dish grew popular all over the island.
The nickname of the first boy to eat this concoction was loco (loco is “crazy” in Spanish and Hawaiian slag). Moco just rhymed so well with loco and sounded fun. There you have it… Loco Moco.
Today you can find loco moco on menus everywhere on the big island, from fast food joints, roadside diners, mom and pop restaurant and even high end restaurant. It’s getting popular in big metros of Japan and along the U.S West coast.
Of course, chefs are getting creative making fancier versions, like replacing the burger patty with prime rib or ahi tuna.
Sometimes they use fried quail egg in place of regular egg, or risotto instead of white rice, or gravy spiked with caramelized onions or mushrooms.
But all the locals and food critics will agree that the beauty of Loco Moco lies in simplicity and original flavors of just four simple and basic components: rice + burger + gravy + fried egg. And a great loco moco is something where all those 4 components are cooked perfectly.
Why this Easy Recipe Works
- Flavor Explosion: This Hawaiian Loco Moco recipe is a symphony of flavors. The savory beef patties, rich mushroom gravy, and the comforting bed of fluffy rice all come together to create an unforgettable experience for your taste buds.
- Versatility: Whether you’re serving this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Loco Moco is versatile enough to be a hit any time of the day. Plus, you can easily adjust the ingredients to your liking.
- Ultimate Comfort Food: There’s something incredibly soothing about a bowl of Loco Moco. It’s the kind of dish that feels like a warm hug, making it perfect for those days when you need a little extra comfort.
- Simple Ingredients: Nothing fancy here. You may already have all the ingredients on hand.
- Crowd Pleaser: This dish is universally appealing to all ages.
For Burger Patties
- Ground Beef – Don’t use very lean meat, as you want them juicy and tasty.
- Garlic Powder
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Beef Broth
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Soy Sauce
For the “Moco”
- Green onions and parsley – for garnish.
Check out our collection of favorite Ground Beef Recipes!
How to Make Loco Moco
As said before, its all about cooking four components of this dish and simply assembling them in the end. Some days you can always make everything ahead of time, except eggs, and reheat when ready to eat, while frying the eggs fresh. Let’s start with…
1. Rice: Traditionally, they use sushi style sticky rice, which is quite popular on the islands. Its easier to get heaped up and can soak up the gravy and eggs quiet well. You can use any rice available or whatever you prefer. We just use regular basmati rice, as that’s what we always eat.
Follow the instructions on the package and cook the rice. (For most basmati rice, we use 1:2 rice to water and cook for 20 minutes).
2. Hamburger patties: You want them, juicy and tender. We didn’t bother adding too many flavors to the burger and keep it simple, as its getting a lot of flavors in the end from gravy and eggs. Simply mix salt, pepper, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce into the ground beef and mix well.
Make patties a little larger in size as they will shrink in. Once ready to fry, just shallow fry them in a large skillet until browned to your liking on both sides and the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Plate them out.
3. Gravy: Most of the times its just regular beef demi-glazed brown gravy, but we feel a little special cooking it first time, so we are boosting it with caramelized onions and mushrooms (which people do quite often).
Heat oil in the same pan in which you cooked the patties (you don’t want to miss out on all those brown bits and juices left from the burgers… big flavor boosters for the gravy).
Start sautéing chopped onions till they turn golden brown. Add in sliced mushrooms and sauté well till mushrooms are soft.
Add in beef stock along with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Thicken it with cornstarch slurry.
4. Eggs: You need happy sunny side up eggs on top. Just cook the way you like your sunny side up. We like it where the egg white is cooked fully and the yolk is still slightly runny. So when you finally dig into your loco moco, the runny egg yolk goes all over… yumm.
How to Serve Loco Moco
Take a plate or bowl and take a good heap or rice. Place a ground beef patty on top of the rice. Ladle the gravy all over the burger. Some people might like more loco moco gravy on the rice too.
Crown it with the sunny-side-up egg. Sprinkle some chopped scallions and parsley on top… And you are ready to dig in!!
As you eat, break the egg, let it linger all over. Then just mix the burger, egg, rice and gravy on your fork for each bite for a real taste for this amazing treat from paradise.
- Quality Beef: Go with a high-quality ground beef for juicier, more flavorful patties.
- Cast Iron Magic: Use a cast iron skillet for a perfect crust on the patties and added depth to the gravy.
- Rice Matters: We prefer basmati rice, but jasmine also goes well.
- Season as You Go: It’s a good idea to taste and adjust the gravy seasoning. You can always adjust the soy or Worcestershire to your palate.
- Perfect Eggs: Aim for a slightly runny yolk for an extra layer of deliciousness.
- Slurry Secrets: Mix cornstarch slurry well to avoid lumps and achieve a silky-smooth gravy.
- You can use ground turkey or ground pork for your hamburger patty.
- Some times locals fry slices of spam and serve it in place of the hamburger patty.
- Use fried rice or risotto if you feel like a fancier version. Or go with brown rice for extra nutrition.
- Instead of cornstarch to thicken the gravy (which we thought goes great with this Asian influenced dish), you can make it with flour based mushroom brown gravy.
How to Store Leftovers
Everything except eggs can be stored and reused perfectly if made in a big batch. Simply reheat everything in the microwave and cook the fresh sunny side up for your next meal.
You can refrigerate patties, onion gravy and rice up to 3 days in an airtight container.
So there you go, GypsyPlate cooks up yet another regional classic all the way across from the Pacific. It’s amazing how good all these varied flavors are.
Once you make this beloved Hawaiian comfort food, we are sure you are going to go all LOCO for our Loco Moco. 🙂 Have fun digging in…
Loco Moco, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
For Beef Patty
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 4-8 eggs
- 2-3 chopped scallions, for garnish
- 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, for garnish
- Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package.
- Mix salt, pepper, garlic powder and worcestershire sauce into the ground beef and make 4 large patties, or 6 regular sized patties. We recommend making flatter and larger sized patties, as they would shrink while cooking.
- Heat oil in a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat and cook the patties until browned to your liking on both sides and the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Plate them out.
- In the same pan, add in a little more oil, if required, and sauté chopped onions till golden brown. Stir in sliced mushrooms and sauté till soft.
- Add in beef stock along with worcestershire sauce and soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes.
- Thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry. Mix 1 Tbsp cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water and slowly stir it into the gravy. Stir till the gravy thickens up. Remove from heat.
- Fry the sunny side eggs to doneness you like. We like the egg whites cooked with the yolk still little runny.
- Plate Loco Moco in a bowl or plate by placing some rice, followed by the burger patty on top. Pour gravy all over the burger patty. Place the egg on top (you can serve it with one or two eggs per portion) and garnish with chopped scallions and parsley.
- For a leaner dish, you can use ground turkey or chicken in place of the beef.
- We recommend basmati or jasmine rice for best results.
- You can refrigerate patties, gravy and rice up to 3 days in an airtight container. Eggs should be cooked fresh for best quality.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 646Total Fat 36gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 22gCholesterol 349mgSodium 949mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 1gSugar 3gProtein 44g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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