Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Loco Moco

I miss Hawaii. It's been nearly 10 years since I was last there. We have family who live there, though, and being in touch makes me miss certain aspects of it--namely, the food!

The last time I had Hawaiian food was in 2006--we went to Las Vegas for our honeymoon and visited the California Hotel. We made a special trip just to visit Aloha Specialties, and I introduced my wary but willing husband to spam musubi, macaroni salad, and fried saimin (why are all the best foods bad for you?) I had forgotten my love of Portuguese sausage, char sui, and other Hawaiian foods, until the other day, when my cousin posted a picture on Facebook of what he was eating--loco moco!

I'm going to warn you right now. Loco moco is not health food. It should not be eaten on a regular basis. But it's sooooooo good.

Loco moco is rice topped with meat topped with egg, and then covered in gravy.

Before you do anything loco, start your rice. My aunt taught me a neat trick--measure out your rice and pour it into your rice cooker.

Stick your finger in the pot, on the very top of the rice. Add enough water to meet your first finger joint. And that's how much water to use. At first I thought it was a silly rule but it's worked out pretty well since then. Thanks, Auntie!

The meaty part of your loco moco is hamburgers. Make them however you like them. Today I grated an onion and seasoned everything with salt, pepper, and soy.

Look how pretty and red the meat is! That's grass-fed beef right there, baby.

They ended up a bit thick. Next time I make this, I'll make sure to flatten the patties down more.

Cook your hamburger patties in a frying pan with some butter and oil.
When they're fully cooked, set them on a plate to hang out, but don't drain the burger grease.

You'll need it for making gravy.

If you're a regular Kim Chee Casserole reader, then making a roux and gravy will be old hat. Remember, equal parts flour and fat!

Use beef broth as the liquid--this is supposed to be a brown gravy, after all.

I slip my hamburgers back into the gravy, to make sure they're fully cooked and to warm them back up.
While your gravy is thickening over medium-low heat, you can start your eggs in another pan. I like my eggs over easy, but you could fully cook the yolks if you want. Heck, you could scramble them if you wanted. It wouldn't be authentic per se, but if that's the way you like your eggs, I say go for it. No point making them over easy if well done is how you like it.

When your rice is done, get out an ice cream scoop and scoop yourself two mounds. The ice cream scoops make it Hawaiian ;)

Place one of your hamburger patties on top of the rice.

Top the hamburger with an egg.

Now take a spoonful of your nice gravy and pour it over the top of the eggs.

Whether you're surfing the waves or surfing the 'net, Loco Moco will fill you up right. Be extra Hawaiian and have some macaroni salad and a can of fruit juice, too. Aloha!

Recipe: Loco Moco

1 c. rice

~2 c. water

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, grated
1 tbsp. soy
salt and pepper

2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 c. flour
1 can beef broth

1/2 tbsp. butter
6 eggs

Combine rice and water in rice cooker or on stovetop. Prepare according to package directions.

Combine ground beef, onion, salt and pepper, and soy. Form into 6 patties.

Cook hamburgers over medium heat in butter and olive oil.

When hamburgers are cooked, remove from heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir with fat. Slowly add beef broth and stir until the broth is incorporated and the gravy is bubbling. Add hamburgers back into gravy.

In a seperate (nonstick) pan, cook eggs in butter to your liking.

To serve, scoop rice into bowl. Top with hamburgers. Top hamburgers with egg. Pour gravy over everything. Enjoy!


  1. Mahalo E Ke Akua No Keia La 

    I too visited Hawaii a long time ago, but can not remember ever eating this. I probably just stuck with Mc Donalds. ;) But I have cooked a version of this before after I found out about it. Yours looks very nice (and neat) so I will have to make it again in your style. ☺

  2. I never had it in Hawaii either, but a relative, who still lives there, posted some pictures of some he made himself and I was totally inspired! I have a can of Spam sitting in my pantry just waiting to be made into Spam musubi ;)