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Loco Moco – Hawaiian Burger with Brown Gravy

The burger is an American staple and one of the most popular foods in the world. While this dish is as familiar as mac and cheese to many, the concept of a hamburger is a little less well-known. In Hawaii, a hamburger is called a “loco moco”; and while the origins of the dish are unknown, the dish is a staple of Hawaiian culture. The term loco (meaning crazy) has been used to describe the “loco moco” because the dish is so filling, it’s crazy. The burger is composed of a hamburger patty, a scoop of fried rice, a hamburger sauce, and a sunny side-up egg.

What is a Loco Moco you ask? It’s a Hawaiian dish that consists of a burger topped with rice, a fried egg, and brown gravy. It’s a glorious mess of deliciousness that also happens to be pretty healthy too. The great thing about Loco Moco is that it is a lot more than meets the eye. It’s a great alternative to the typical hamburger or meatloaf at home. It’s a great food to serve family and guests. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers.

Headed to Hawaii? Here’s everything you need to know about the Hawaiian burger, also known as the Loco Moco.

Originally published on July 21, 2021, and updated on July 21, 2021 by Jamie. It’s possible that some of the links in this article are affiliate links. Leave a Reply

Hawaiian loco moco with fried egg, brown gravy, beef burger over white rice in a white bowl.

Hawaiian loco moco with fried egg and brown gravy with text overlay.

Hawaiian loco moco with sunny side up egg and burger over rice.

The Hawaiian cuisine loco moco consists of rice topped with a juicy hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg. It’s a delicious and filling Hawaiian comfort meal that will keep you satisfied for hours!

Hawaiian loco moco with a burger, gravy, white rice, and a sunny side up egg in a white bowl.

Loco moco is one of my all-time favorite Hawaiian dishes, and I make it a point to have it whenever I visit. The burger, fried egg, and gravy provide plenty of flavor to this simple yet delicious meal.

Rainbow Drive-In, Café 100, and Liliha Bakery are all popular locations to acquire this. If you can’t make it to Hawaii, try this dish for a taste of the islands!

Loco moco in a white bowl filled with white rice, beef burger, brown gravy, and a fried egg that is garnished with green onions.

What exactly is Loco Moco?

Loco moco is a Hawaiian meal that consists of a ground beef patty topped with white rice and brown gravy. The runny egg yolk adds to the richness of this meal, which is topped with a fried egg that is typically sunny side up.

Loco moco comes in a variety of forms. Traditionally, a ground beef burger patty is used, but you may also use spam, fried shrimp, Portuguese sausage, bacon, tofu, and teriyaki chicken or beef.

According to Wikipedia, it was developed in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949 at the Lincoln Grill restaurants in response to a demand from adolescents looking for a substantial, fast lunch. The meal was given the name ‘loco moco,’ and a famous Hawaiian cuisine was born.

Ingredients in a Burger

Ingredients for loco moco in glass containers including ground beef, eggs, onions, and seasonings.

  • I used 85 percent lean ground beef, but you may use anything you want. Ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken may be used instead.
  • Milk and Panko bread crumbs help keep the burger moist and tender.
  • Eggs – I like the yolk runny for the fried egg topping so it flows into the dish, but eggs cooked any way would fine, just not scrambled.

Ingredients for Gravy

Ingredients for loco moco gravy in glass bowls including beef stock, cornstarch, soy sauce, and ketchup.

  • Stock is the foundation for your gravy. Beef broth is recommended, although chicken broth may be used instead.
  • Soy sauce – Adds a rich, dark color to the gravy.
  • Worcestershire sauce provides umami and taste depth.
  • Thickens the gravy using cornstarch. Before cooking, make sure the powder is fully dissolved in the liquid.

Loco Moco: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Combine the ground beef, onions, panko bread crumbs, milk, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Make burger patties that are round and flat.

Loco moco beef burger patty cooked to golden brown in a frying pan.

  1. Cook burgers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side over medium high heat.
  1. Bring the gravy to a boil by combining all of the ingredients. After approximately a minute, it will thicken.
  2. Top with a fried egg and green onions, as well as sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Loco moco made with a juicy burger, savory brown gravy, and a fried egg garnished with green onions.

Variations

  • Substitute spam, Portuguese sausage, teriyaki chicken, bacon, or shrimp for the burger patty.
  • Vegetarians may use tofu or a veggie patty as a substitute. Any vegan burger will suffice. For the gravy, use vegetable broth.
  • Gravy is a common variant, with mushroom gravy being one of the most popular. To add more umami and flavor to the gravy, add sautéed mushrooms.

Hawaiian loco moco in a white bowl with a beef burger patty, brown gravy, and a sunny side up egg on top of a blue napkin.

FAQ

What exactly does loco moco imply?

When this meal was first created in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949, it was given its name by adolescents. According to Wikipedia, it was called after a nickname of one of their buddies.

I’m not sure what to serve with loco moco.

Serve with a salad of Hawaiian macaroni, coleslaw, or kimchi.

I hope you love this dish as much as I did! Please consider sharing, rating, or leaving a comment below. I’d be thrilled to hear from you!

On Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, you can find me! By tagging @drivemehungry in your recipes, you may make others hungry. I enjoy looking at your creations!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit! -Jamie’’’&


Here are some more Hawaiian recipes:

Loco moco made with a juicy beef burger patty on top of rice with brown gravy and a sunny side up egg.

Loco Moco

Steamed rice is topped with a juicy hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg in this delectable Hawaiian meal. It’s delicious and hearty Hawaiian comfort cuisine that’s fast and simple to make!

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Time to Prepare: 8 minutes

Time to cook: 17 minutes

25 minutes total

Breakfast, brunch, supper, and lunch are all options.

Hawaiian cuisine

Mode of Preparation Stop your screen from turning black.

Instructions 

  • To make the gravy, combine the beef stock, cornstarch, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and put aside. See also Note 3.

  • Combine the ground beef, chopped onions, panko bread crumbs, milk, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl. Form four patties from the mixture. Apply a little amount of oil to your hands to make shaping easier.

  • Fry burgers: In a lightly oiled nonstick skillet, fry burgers until completely done, approximately 3 to 4 minutes each side, over medium high heat. Remove the burgers from the pan and lower the heat to medium low.

  • Gravy: While the cornstarch settles, stir the gravy mixture before adding it to the pan. Continue to whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. See also Note 4.

  • Fry eggs to your preference – sunny side up, medium, or over easy.

  • Assemble by placing steaming rice in a dish, topping with a burger patty, a large quantity of gravy, and a fried egg. Serve with green onions as a garnish.

Notes on the Recipe

  1. I used 85 percent lean ground beef. Although ground beef is usually used, you may use ground turkey, ground pig, or any mix of meats instead.
  2. If Maui onions are available, use them; otherwise, sweet yellow onions would suffice. Optional: add chopped onions to the pan to add flavor. 
  3. For a smooth, lump-free gravy, fully dissolve the cornstarch in the stock. Chicken stock may be used instead of beef stock. For a darker-colored gravy, use dark soy sauce.
  4. You may brush away any extra oil from the pan before adding the gravy if you want.

Keep leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Nutrition

573 calories | 59 grams of carbohydrates | 28 grams of protein | 24 grams of fat | 9 grams of saturated fat | 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat | 10 grams of monounsaturated fat | 1 gram of trans fat | Cholesterol: 81 mg | Sodium: 1635 mg | Potassium: 701 mg | Fiber: 1 gram | Sugar: 5 grams

Have you tried this recipe yet? Please tell us how it went and give it a five-star rating! Show off your masterpieces by tagging @drivemehungry! I like looking at your pictures!

*Nutritional data is an approximation based on internet calculators.

Loco Moco – Hawaiian Burger with Brown Gravy. Read more about loco moco origin and let us know what you think.

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  • loco moco gravy
  • loco moco burger
  • loco moco
  • loco moco recipe
  • loco moco hawaii

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