Loco moco is a delicious Hawaiian dish made of a rice topped with a juicy hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg. It's a quick and easy Hawaiian comfort food that's satisfying and will keep you full for hours!
Loco moco is one of my all time favorite Hawaiian meals and I make sure to get it every time I'm visiting. It's a simple and satisfying dish with tons of flavor from the burger, fried egg, and gravy!
Popular places to get this are Rainbow Drive-In, Café 100, and Liliha Bakery. But if you're not able to go, give this recipe a try for a taste of Hawaii!
What is Loco Moco?
Loco moco is a Hawaiian dish made out of a ground beef patty that's laid on top white rice, then covered with brown gravy. It's topped with a fried egg that's usually sunny side up so the runny egg yolk adds to the richness of this dish.
There are several variations to loco moco. Traditionally, it's made with a ground beef burger patty but you can also make this with spam, fried shrimp, Portuguese sausage, bacon, tofu, and teriyaki chicken or beef.
According to wikipedia, it was created in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949 at the Lincoln Grill restaurants at the request of teenagers searching for a quick, affordable meal that's filling. They named the dish 'loco moco' and thus, a popular Hawaiian dish was formed.
- Ground beef - I used 85% lean but use what you prefer. Substitute with ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken.
- Panko bread crumbs and milk - helps keep the burger juicy and tender
- Eggs - For the fried egg topping, I prefer leaving the yolk runny so it flows into the dish but eggs cooked anyway will do, just not scrambled.
- Stock - The base of your gravy. I recommend using beef broth but you can substitute with chicken broth.
- Soy sauce - Gives the gravy a deep, dark color.
- Worcestershire sauce - adds umami and depth of flavor.
- Cornstarch - Thickens the gravy. Be sure to completely dissolve in the broth before cooking.
How to Make Loco Moco
- Mix together the ground beef, onions, panko bread crumbs, milk, and seasonings. Form into round, flat burger patties.
- Fry burgers over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
- Mix together the gravy ingredients and bring to a boil. It will thicken after about a minute.
- Top with a fried egg and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Burger patty - Substitute with spam, Portuguese sausage, teriyaki chicken, bacon, or shrimp.
- Vegetarian - Substitute with tofu or a vegetarian patty. Any plant based burger will do. Use vegetable broth for the gravy.
- Gravy - mushroom gravy is a popular variation. Add sauteed mushrooms to the gravy for extra umami and flavor.
It's the name given to this dish by teenagers upon its creation in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949. According to wikipedia, it was named after one of their friends' nickname.
Serve with Hawaiian macaroni salad, coleslaw, or kimchi.
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
More Hawaiian recipes:
- 4 cups steamed rice
- 4 eggs - fried
- 2 stalks green onions - chopped
- 1 lb ground beef - See Note 1
- ⅓ cup onion - finely diced; See Note 2
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Prep gravy: In a medium bowl, add the beef stock, cornstarch, soy sauce, ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside. See Note 3.2 cups beef stock, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon ketchup, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Mix burger patties: Mix together the ground beef, diced onions, panko bread crumbs, milk, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Divide and form into four patties. Lightly apply oil to hands for easier forming.1 lb ground beef, ⅓ cup onion, ¼ cup panko bread crumbs, 3 Tablespoons milk, 2 cloves garlic, ¾ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Fry burgers: In a lightly greased nonstick pan, cook burgers over medium high heat until fully cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove burgers and reduce heat to medium low.
- Gravy: Stir the gravy mixture as the cornstarch can settle then add it to the pan. Keep stirring until it comes to a boil and thickens, about 1 to 2 minutes. See Note 4.
- Fry eggs: Fry eggs to your liking - sunny side up, over medium, or over easy.
- Assemble: Add steamed rice to a bowl, top with a burger patty, pour a generous amount of gravy on top, then top with a fried egg. Garnish with green onions and serve.
✎ Recipe Notes
- Ground beef - I used 85% lean. Though traditionally made with ground beef, you can substitute with ground turkey, ground pork or any combination of meat.
- Onions - Use Maui onions if available, otherwise use sweet yellow onions. Optional: saute diced onions to bring out more flavor.
- Gravy - Fully dissolve the cornstarch in the stock for a smooth, lump free gravy. Substitute chicken stock for beef stock. Substitute dark soy sauce for a darker colored gravy.
- If preferred, you can wipe off excess grease from the pan before adding the gravy.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.