What is the Loco Moco?
Translating to “crazy burger” this Hawaiian dish dates back to WWII and is the embodiment of comfort in simplicity. Incredibly easy to make, it comes together in under thirty minutes.
Clean eating, gluten free, and now with some hidden veggies (!!) the layers of rice, hamburger, gravy, and a fried egg may seem simple but this historic dish is oh-so-indulgent. And while it’s not a diet food by any means, this decadent “crazy burger” is made from natural wholesome pantry staple ingredients so there’s no reason you can’t give this meal a try or better yet, keep it in regular mealtime rotation.
Here’s What You Need to Make This Dish:
- Cooked/Steamed Rice: Traditionally, white rice is used, but today I’m using steamed brown rice. For measure, approximately one cup of uncooked rice will yield about 3-4 cups of cooked rice.
- Whole Eggs: These will make up our fried egg component along with…
- Butter: A few pats of salted or unsalted butter is needed to fry our eggs in.
- Ground Beef: I’m using an 80/20 blend for today’s recipe.
- Carrots: This is one of my favorite hidden veggies to sneak into dishes. Today I’m using baby carrots but you can use one whole medium-sized carrot if preferred.
- Onion: White or yellow onion works great.
- Garlic: Whole fresh cloves of garlic are highly recommended but you can use dehydrated garlic if preferred.
- Parsley: This adds a great pop of bright freshness to help complement the richness of the other elements of the dish.
- Salt: Seasoning our dish, two great options you can use are either sea salt or a Himalayan pink salt.
- Black Pepper: Fresh or pre-ground black pepper can be used.
- Starch: You can use cornstarch or potato starch, this will be used to thicken our gravy.
- Beef Broth: I’m using a beef bone broth, but you can also use any beef broth or stock of your choosing.
Let’s Make Some Loco Moco!
To start we’ll blitz our onion, garlic, carrots and parsley together in a food processor (or you can finely mince and combine them). Now this is a bit uncommon, but I think this is a great way to add not only fresh herbaceous-ness to our burger but also a little bump of (hidden) veggies which is never as bad thing!
Add the mixture to your ground beef and work it through. Then, divide your burger meat into 6 equal portions.
Press each meat portion out into a flat burger patty, or, if you’re familiar with making a smash burger, you can leave the portion as is and press it flat as you add it to your hot skillet.
Season one side of your patty with salt and pepper and cook the seasoned side down in a hot-almost-smoking cast iron grill or skillet for a minute or two without disturbing it until it develops a great crust on the underside.
Just before you flip your burger, season the top side with a bit more salt and pepper, then flip and cook it for another minute or two.
Cook all 6 patties and stack them one on top each other so that they stay warm and juicy.
In a bowl, whisk together the beef broth and your starch of choice until fully combined. I’m using potato starch.
Add your starchy beef broth to the still-hot pan the burgers were just cooked in, whisking continuously to deglaze the pan and incorporate the rendered beef fat from the patties and to remove any browned beefy bits that might have gotten stuck. Cook the gravy for 2-3 minutes on low heat while you continue to whisk as the gravy thickens up into a luxuriously thick, silky consistency. If it’s too thick, add more broth as needed.
Flavor tip: While I’ve kept my gravy as simple as possible, you can absolutely “spice” things up. A great way to do this is to add onions and sliced mushrooms to the rendered beef fat in the skillet and cook them until browned before adding in the broth and starch.
For the final element, we’ll add some butter to a frying pan and fry our eggs sunny side up. 🍳 If you’re not a fan or runny yolks you can flip it to cook them over easy, but I’m personally a sucker for the mouth-coating richness of a runny sunny side up.
Season your egg with salt and pepper and that’s it! All that’s left to do is…
Assemble your Loco Moco:
Assembling your Loco Moco is as easy as placing a portion of steamed rice onto a plate and adding some gravy to the top, then add your burger(s) and top with more gravy. Finally place your fried egg on top and if you’re feeling extra fancy, add a sprinkle of chopped parsley for a pop of color and fresh herbaceous flavor.
The above image is heaven for me, that iconic piercing of the yolk and seeing it spill out it’s golden, buttery contents that mingles and mixes together with the gravy and soaks into the steamed rice. 🤤🤤🤤
Each bite is perfection of creamy, savory, beefy indulgence. Hearty, filling, affordable, you absolutely can’t go wrong with this meal.
I hope you give this dish a try and that you love it as much as we do. If you do try this recipe, let us know your thoughts by leaving a rating and dropping us a comment below. From our kitchen to yours, we wish you happy eats. 🧡
Loco Moco - A Classic Hawaiian Comfort Food
- 3 cups brown rice or white, cooked/steamed
- 1 med carrot
- 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 med onion white or yellow
- 1 lb ground beef 80/20 blend recommended
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth or stock
- 1 tbsp potato starch or cornstarch
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- Prep your Burgers: To a mini food processor or using a knife, finely mince together the carrot, parsley, garlic and onion. Combine this mixture together with 1 lb of ground beef and divide it into six equal portions.1 med carrot, 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 med onion, 1 lb ground beef
- Cook your Burgers: Heat a cast iron skillet until it is hot and almost at smoke point and press your burgers into a patty-shape. Season the top with salt and pepper and place the seasoned side down into the hot pan and allow it to cook for 1-2 minutes undisturbed. Once the underside has developed a well browned crust, season the top with a pinch of salt and pepper and flip your burger, allowing the underside to cook until seared. Once all six burgers are cooked, set them aside and set the heat to low.1 tsp Himalayan salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Make your Gravy: *See notes* Whisk your beef broth/stock with the potato starch and pour it into the still hot skillet with the rendered fat from the burgers, whisking quickly and continuously as the mixture will begin to thicken almost instantly. Keep whisking until your gravy has come together into a smooth and silky consistency with no lump. If it is too thick, add more broth to thin it out as needed. Remove from the heat and set aside.1 1/2 cup beef broth, 1 tbsp potato starch
- Cook your Eggs: To a frying pan on med heat, add either 1 tsp of butter if making your eggs one at a time, or add the full tbsp if you're cooking all three eggs at once. Once the butter has melted and coats the bottom of the pan, crack your egg(s) into the pan and allow them to cook until the whites become opaque. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the base of the yolk is set. Season the top of your egg(s) with a pinch of salt and pepper.1 tbsp salted butter, 3 large eggs
- Assemble your Loco Moco: To a plate add one cup of hot, steaming cooked rice as a base layer, top with a bit of gravy and one or two patties*, add more gravy on top the patty and finally top with your fried egg. For some extra flair, add a sprinkle of finely minced parsley to the top.3 cups brown rice