Thursday, June 25, 2015

Loco Moco (Hawaiian Hamburger Patty Over White Rice with Fried Egg and Brown Gravy)

Loco Moco is a popular Hawaiian dish that is basically a hamburger patty served over steamed white rice and topped with a brown gravy and fried egg. How can you go wrong with that? There are apparently a lot of local variations, some incorporating Spam, pork, chicken, bacon, other meats, and even seafood. I first came across this recipe on Namiko Chen's awesome website and liked her use of both ground beef and ground pork to make the patties (much more succulent than using just straight ground beef). I've adapted her recipe by using some extra ingredients, such as oyster sauce and soy sauce, and also added extra mushrooms and a little brown gravy mix to the sauce itself to give it some extra color and flavor.  

Here's a blurb from Wiki about the history of this dish:

The dish was reportedly created at the Lincoln Grill restaurants in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949 by its proprietors, Richard Inouye and his wife Nancy, at the request of teenagers from the Lincoln Wreckers Sports club seeking something that differed from a sandwich and inexpensive yet quickly prepared and served. They asked Nancy to put some rice in a bowl, a hamburger patty over the rice and then topped with brown gravy. The egg came later. The teenagers named the dish Loco Moco after one of their members whose nickname was "Crazy." Loco was Spanish for crazy. They tacked on "moco" which "rhymed with loco and sounded good".

2 medium onions, finely chopped

For the Patties:
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced/grated
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
4 tbsp. milk
2 eggs

2 8-oz. pkgs. sliced button mushrooms
4 cups low sodium beef broth (I use 4 tsp. Better than Bouillon base and 4 cups water)
2 tbsp. brown gravy mix 
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Cornstarch Slurry:
2 tbsp. brown gravy mix
4 tbsp. cornstarch
5 tbsp. water

Olive oil
6 eggs, cooked sunny side up or over easy (to top on each patty)
2 scallions, minced (for garnish)

Steamed white rice (I do this right off the bat in a rice cooker)

1. Add 3 tbsp. olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and stir briefly. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly caramelized. 

2. Place the ground beef, ground pork, patty seasonings and 1/3 of the sautéed onions in a bowl and mix together until just combined (I use my hands for this). Shape into 6 patties, place on a baking sheet or platter, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Add another 1 tbsp. olive oil to the remaining onions in the pan and bring up heat to medium. Add the mushrooms and saute until they have softened. Add the beef broth and bring to a boil. 

4. Bring the sauce back up to boil. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

5. In a separate saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil for each patty you are cooking, and add the patties (cook in batches as needed). Cook 5 minutes on each side - do not flip over until the bottoms are nicely browned. I cover the pan halfway through cooking to make sure the patties are cooked through. 

6. While the patties are cooking, fry the eggs (sunny side up or over easy). Set aside.

7. To serve: place a scoop of rice on each plate and top each with a hamburger patty. Place a fried egg over each patty and pour a generous amount of the brown mushroom gravy over the whole shebang. Garnish with chopped scallions. 

Salt, soy sauce, nutmeg, milk, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and oyster sauce.

My favorite beef bouillon base. 

Saute the chopped onions in olive oil until translucent and lightly caramelized. 

Combine the ground pork and beef, 1/3 of the caramelized onions, and seasonings together in a bowl. Shape into 6 patties.  

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the remaining onions in the saute pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have softened. 

Add the beef broth and bring to a boil. 

Stir in the cornstarch slurry. 

Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

Using your index and middle fingers, make an indentation in the middle of each meat patty. 

Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil for each patty that you are cooking in a pan over medium heat. Add the patties and sear, covered, about 5 minutes each side (bottoms should be browned). 

Scoop some white rice on a plate, add the burger patty, top with a fried egg, smother with brown gravy sauce, and garnish with chopped scallions. 

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