Loco Moco

About a month ago, I went to Hawaii to witness my friend get married on the beautiful island of Maui.  In doing so, I got to eat some of the unique dishes that are native to Hawaii.  One of these dishes is the Loco Moco.  It’s a very simple dish that is made up of plain rice, topped with a hamburger patty, topped again with a fried egg, and covered in brown gravy.  This dish is usually served at breakfast.  Or at least I think it is since I ordered this dish in Hawaii for breakfast.

For it being a simple dish, I think the magic is in the gravy. It’s what brings the whole dish together.  I’ve actually seen this dish on the mainland in various Hawaiian restaurants but never bothered to ordered it.  I deemed it as too simple and can be made at home.  However, when in Hawaii, I decided to try it for the first time at Kihei Caffé in Maui, and it was delicious.  And it was the gravy that made it delicious.  I knew I had to try it out when I got home.

Scouring the internet, I landed on this recipe for the brown gravy.  I decided to give it a try.

Gravy ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 can beef broth
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Hamburger patty ingredients
Enough hamburger to make a patty
Some cumin
Some garlic powder
Some onion powder
Some cayenne pepper
Some salt and pepper

Rice ingredients
White rice

First off, the rice should be cooked first since that usually takes the longest.  Any type of rice will do.  I am using Japanese short grained white rice for this.  Just follow the instructions on the bag or box on how to make your rice.

Gravy steps:

Here are all the ingredients that will go into the gravy.  You don’t necessarily need to use these brands, but this is what I have already in my kitchen.

Melt the butter completely.

After the butter is melted, add the flour.

Whisk the flour into the butter and cook until slightly brown, about 2 minutes.  What we are making here is a called a roux.  A roux is a thickener for sauces which almost always is equal parts fat (or oil) and flour.

It should look like this.  We had just cooked away the flour taste.

Pour in the beef broth while whisking the roux.  The mixture will be lumpy at first so keep whisking until the lumps go away.

Add the ketchup, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to the gravy and whisk until all are combined.  Whisk for about 5 minutes or until the gravy thickens.

Hamburger steps:

I basically eyeballed everything here.  Apparently real loco moco calls for a hamburger patty with no seasoning.  But that just seems wrong for some reason so I put a little seasoning into the meat.

Grill or fry until brown.

Fry an egg in the fat rendered out from the beef patty.  The egg should be either sunny side up or over easy since the goal is to have the yolk run over the meat and rice with the gravy.

Time for plating!  Start with a layer of rice.

Put the hamburger patty on top.  (Darn, I should have known the patty would shrink!)

Top it with the egg.  I opted for an over easy egg.

Now ladle the gravy over the egg until it starts spilling into the rice.

Pop the yolk and enjoy eating with the egg, meat, and rice all at once in one yummy bite.  It’s one hearty breakfast!

Let’s compare to what I had in Hawaii.  Do’h! I forgot the green onions and the gravy was darker.

Verdict: The gravy needs work.  I wish I brought home a sample from the restaurant so I can really taste what was in it.  I know for next time, I’ll make the roux darker, meaning I need to let it cook longer.

My hamburger patty probably needed to be thinner because it was hard to cut through with just my fork.

Original brown gravy recipe. http://cookingtipoftheday.blogspot.com/2010/05/recipe-brown-gravy.html

– Max


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