Japanese hamburger steak or hambāgu ハンバーグ is a juicy hamburger steak patty made with ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, and sauteed onions. It's served with a tangy steak sauce made of ketchup and worcestershire sauce!
Japanese hamburger steak is a tender, juicy hamburger patty made of ground meat, sautéed onions, panko bread crumbs, egg, and milk. It can be made with 100% ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and pork.
Japanese hamburger steak is also known as hambāgu (ハンバーグ) or hambāgu steak (ハンバーグステーキ) in Japan or hambak steak (함박스테이크) in Korea. It's similar to Hamburg steak and Salisbury steak in the US.
Hambagu or hambak steak served with a savory and tangy sauce made of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce that's poured on top of the hamburger. Pair with steamed rice or veggies for a quick and easy lunch or dinner!
Hamburger Steak Ingredients
- Ground beef - use 100% beef for a richer, beefier flavor. Otherwise use a combination or ground pork and ground beef.
- Panko bread crumbs - absorbs the milk to keep the hamburger patty moist and juicy.
- Flavors and spices - sautéed onions, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper.
- Garlic - though garlic isn't typically used in Japanese cuisine, I find it adds more flavor to the patty.
- Ketchup - adds sweetness and tanginess.
- Worcestershire sauce - adds savory, umami flavor.
- Butter - for added richness.
How to Make Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambāgu ハンバーグ)
- Finely dice the onion and saute it in a pan until it's softened. This is to remove the raw bite of the onions.
- Add the sauteed onions, ground meat, panko bread crumbs, milk, egg, and other seasonings to a large bowl and mix together well until combined.
- Form into tight oval shaped patties. Removing air pockets is key to keeping its shape while cooking.
- Fry the hamburger steaks in a lightly oil pan over medium high heat. Cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes then add the red wine. Cover to steam until fully cooked. Remove the patties.
- Add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and water to the pan to make the hambagu sauce. Turn off the heat once it starts to bubble and spoon on top of the hamburger steak.
- Lightly grease your hands with oil when forming the patties.
- Toss the patty between your hands to remove any air pockets.
- Create a slight indent in the center of the patty for even cooking.
- To check for doneness, pierce the center of the patty with a toothpick and check the liquid runs clear.
Hamburg steak or hambagu became popular in Japan in the 1960s because of it was a more affordable way to serve meat by mixing it with other ingredients such as onions, bread crumbs, and egg. There are several variations of hamburg steak in Japan, including cheese hamburger steak or chīzuhanbāgu (チーズハンバーグ) or wafu hamburger steak.
I recommend using 100% ground beef for a beefier flavor, but you can opt for a combination of ground beef and pork. I recommend using at least 60% beef for the best flavor.
It's typically served with steamed rice, and vegetables such as broccoli and carrots.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please share, rate, or comment below. I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks so much for stopping by! 🧡 -Jamie
Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambāgu ハンバーグ)
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tablespoons water or stock
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
Optional for serving
- steamed broccoli and carrots
- steamed rice
- Saute onions: Heat a pan over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil and diced onions. Saute until softened. Remove and set aside.
- Mix: In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, sauteed onions, egg, panko bread crumbs, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire, sea salt, pepper, and garlic. Mix well until it becomes a smooth texture.
- Form hamburger steaks: Divide the patties into four sections and form into tight oval patties. Lightly oil hands for easier shaping. See Note 3.
- Cook: Lightly oil a large pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the hamburger steak and cook each side for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the red wine and cover to steam until the steak patties are fully cooked (internal temperature of 160° F). Remove and set aside.
- Make sauce: Using the same pan, reduce heat to low and add the ingredients for the sauce. Stir until it it starts to bubble. Turn off heat and serve with hamburger steaks. See Note 4.
✎ Recipe Notes
- Ground meat - You can opt to use a combination of ground beef and pork. Keep the ground beef to at least 60% for best flavor. Otherwise, if you prefer a beefier flavor, use 100% ground beef. I used 85% lean.
- Panko bread crumbs - Substitute with regular unseasoned bread crumbs. If you opt to use seasoned bread crumbs, leave out salt as it may be too salty.
- Forming hambagu steaks - Remove air pockets from the patty by tossing back and forth between your hands. This helps keep its shape during cooking.
- Sauce - If preferred, wipe off excess grease from the pan first. For a thinner sauce, increase the amount of water a Tablespoon at a time and add more salt and sugar to your liking.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.