Loco Moco – Hawaiian Comfort Food

Last updated November 23, 2018

From the islands to your dinner table, Loco Moco is Hawaiian comfort food made with rice and a burger smothered with rich gravy and a runny yolk.

Disclosure: Certified Angus Beef® brand sponsored this post. Opinions are my own.

loco moco with egg on top of beef, gravy and rice with hula girl in front of plate

I live in Las Vegas, which is often called the 9th Island because so many people have moved here from Hawaii, including my husband’s family.

Just the other day, they were talking about how they miss Loco Moco and how they were looking for an original version that didn’t sway too far from the comfort food they remembered from back home.

With all the glitz and glamour in Vegas, chefs can make things a little too fancy here sometimes.

But Loco Moco is meant to be simple food with simple ingredients. It starts with a bed of sticky white rice and is topped with, a hamburger patty, brown gravy and a sunny-side-up egg.

4 beef patties seasoned

Loco Moco was created in the 1940s, when some boys dining at the Lincoln Grill in Hilo, Hawaii, asked the waitress to serve them a dish they could afford. They threw out the idea of rice, beef and gravy. And the rest is history.

My version starts with Certified Angus Beef® brand ground beef patties. Go with the 80/20 meat to fat ratio. You’ll need that fat to make the gravy.

And because you need the fat, the patties should be cooked in a skillet, not on the grill.

4 raw beef patties in cast iron skillet

Season them with salt and pepper, and cook about 4 minutes per side.

4 beef patties searing in cast iron skillet

Just look at that char. That right there is flavor.

Since the pan is hot and the burgers are juicy, the grease will splatter. To avoid this, place a piece of foil loosely over the pan while the patties cook.

I find this works better than a lid, because it allows the air to escape. A lid would trap the steam. You definitely don’t want steamed burgers.

Once you remove the burgers from the pan, you’re left with liquid gold – Certified Angus Beef® brand pan juices.

Let’s make the gravy.

There are 3 easy ways to avoid lumpy gravy

For this recipe, I use the roux method. I add flour to the pan drippings and allow it to cook for 30-60 seconds. Then, I incorporate about a half cup of the broth. Once that is well blended, I add the remaining broth. It’s finished with butter for a smooth consistency.

Another method would be to create a slurry. To do this, blend the flour with about a half cup of beef broth. Stir the two together until combined. Heat the remaining broth with the drippings, and add the slurry to thicken.

The final method is a beurre manie. This involves rolling flour and butter together into a ball. Deglaze the pan with all of the beef broth. After a few minutes of reducing, add the butter ball to the pan. It will gradually thicken the gravy.

4 eggs frying in a skillet

The Show Stopper – Loco Moco Topper

Although the egg wasn’t included in the original version of the Loco Moco, it’s definitely a staple to the Hawaiian dish now.

Be sure to cook it sunny side up. The bright golden yolk is like a morning wake-up call, especially when it oozes into the gravy.

When cooking an egg sunny side up, look for the whites to cook while making sure the yolks stay runny.

As for the rice, I always use a rice cooker. Just rinse the rice 2-3 times, and then add it to the cooker. I usually use 1 cup water for every cup of rice.

loco moco with egg on top of beef, gravy and rice

In 2018, Certified Angus Beef® brand turned 40 years old. The non-profit was started by ranchers who believed consumers would value consistent quality beef that met “uncompromising standards for taste.”

The brand holds an annual conference every year to bring together ranchers, food service distributors and foodies. I was fortunate to attend their bash in 2017 in Nashville. For their 40th anniversary, the celebration traveled to Maui, Hawaii.

So this dish, a family favorite prepared on the 9th Island, is my tribute to Certified Angus Beef® brand’s 40th anniversary.

Ho’omaika’i ‘ana – congratulations.

loco moco with egg on top of beef, gravy and rice with hula girl in front of plate

Loco Moco - Hawaiian Comfort Food

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, Hawaiian
Keyword: beef, Loco Moco
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 41 minutes
Total Time: 51 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 677 kcal
Author: Christie Vanover

From the islands to your dinner table, Loco Moco is Hawaiian comfort food made with rice and a burger smothered with rich gravy and a runny yolk.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups white rice uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lb Certified Angus Beef® brand ground beef
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 green onions sliced

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rice under cool water. Place the rinsed rice and 2 cups water in a rice cooker and cook. 
  2. Shape the ground beef into four patties. Season both sides with salt and pepper. 

  3. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties. Sear for 4 minutes. Flip. Cook for 4 more minutes. Remove the patties and set aside. 

  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the flour to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. 

  5. Add 1/2 cup beef broth to the skillet, and stir to combine. 

  6. Add the remaining beef broth and soy sauce. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  7. In another skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high high. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are cooked through. The yolks should remain loose. 

  8. Place a large circle cookie cutter on a plate. Fill with a spoonful of rice. Remove the cookie cutter. 

  9. Place a cooked patty on top of the rice. Spoon on a ladle of gravy. Top with a cooked egg, and garnish with green onions. 

Nutrition Facts
Loco Moco - Hawaiian Comfort Food
Amount Per Serving
Calories 677 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 84mg28%
Sodium 1861mg81%
Potassium 528mg15%
Carbohydrates 76g25%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 1.2mg1%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 3.6mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
By |2018-11-23T09:58:45-08:00September 23, 2018|

6 Comments

  1. Steve July 14, 2019 at 6:37 am - Reply

    Outstanding! All my favorite things. Made with ground brisket. I should have doubled the amount of gravy.

  2. Chris July 17, 2019 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Can we get a Mac salad recipe to go with this?

  3. Anonymous October 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Question about the recipe, for the beef stock, is 1 1/2 cup or 1/2 cup? I’m afraid I’m reading incorrectly and having to add ingredients to make it work.

    • Christie Vanover October 9, 2019 at 12:18 pm - Reply

      one and a half cups. Start by adding a half a cup. Then blend in the remaining one cup.

  4. Anonymous October 10, 2019 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Thanks for responding!
    I love this recipe and introduced it to my 11 yr old daughter, now she asks for this at least once per week!

  5. AL BRUNDAGE November 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    i CANT DO THE SONNY SIDE UP EGG BREAK THE YOKE AND TURN IT OVER LOVE IT WITH THIS SMALL CHANGE

Leave A Comment

loco moco with egg on top of beef, gravy and rice with hula girl in front of plate

By |2018-09-09T18:38:40-07:00September 9, 2018|

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous April 14, 2019 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    I love this! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Anonymous June 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Long winded, but a pretty authentic recipe. Thumbs up from a local.

  3. Scott Moog October 9, 2019 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Is the amount of beef stock 1/2 cup or 1 1/2 cup?
    I love the recipe, but just want to be sure I’m making correctly

Leave A Comment