Loco Moco (lo-koo mo-koo)

loco mocoThe Loco Moco is Hawaiian soul food. It's not exactly a healthy choice but if you have a serious hunger or hangover this may be exactly what you're looking for. From bottom to top, the Loco Moco consists of a bed of sticky white rice, two hamburger patties, two fried eggs, topped with gravy.

The first time that I tried this dish was in Corvallis, Oregon at a place called Local Boyz Hawaiian Cafe (see photo below) which at the time was run by two 280 pound Somoan gentlemen from the Islands.
Local BoyzLocal Boyz logo

They served up alot of authentic Hawaiian fare at this establishment but the Loco Moco was by far my favorite. Over time I came to love this dish so much that I started to wonder where it all started. Who invented this dish and when? With a little bit of research, I found that the Loco Moco dates back to around 1949 and originated in Hilo, Hawaii at one of two restaurants: the Lincoln Grill or Cafe 100.

Apparently, there was a group of teens that formed a "gang" called the Lincoln Wreckers Athletic Club. The Wreckers used to hang out at the Lincoln Grill after their football games, playing cards, listening to the Wurlitzer jukebox, playing pinball, and just having a good time. They didn't have alot of money so they ate hamburgers or saimin. After a while, the Wreckers grew tired of the same old food so they asked a member of their gang, a guy nicknamed "Crazy" to ask the owners of the restaurant, Richard and Nancy Inouye to create a special dish just for them. That is how the Loco Moco came to be.

Note: This recipe makes 4 Loco Mocos. Each Loco Moco uses 2 hamburger patties and 2 eggs. If you don't want to make this many, you can freeze the extra burgers for later.

Recommended Equipment:
cast-iron skillet
rice cooker

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
9 eggs
bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 cup beef broth
all-purpose flour
1 tbsp butter
Worcestershire sauce
medium grain rice

  1. In a bowl, mix together the ground pork, ground beef, 1 cup of bread crumbs, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Form 6-8 hamburger patties from this mixture. Each Loco Moco uses 2 patties.
  2. Cook one cup of medium grain rice in a rice cooker according to the directions that came with the cooker. When the rice cooker goes to "warming mode", proceed to step #3.
  3. Oil the bottom of a cast iron skillet with olive oil.
  4. Cook 2 of the patties in the skillet over medium heat. 3 - 4 minutes each side depending on how you like your burgers.
  5. Remove the burgers and set on a plate for at least 5 minutes. (Do not cut into the burger to see if it is done).
  6. Make the gravy - Add one cup of beef broth to the skillet along with one tablespoon of butter. Heat the broth over medium to medium low heat. Add a small amount of flour to help thicken the gravy. When it starts to get thick, remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  7. Scoop some of the rice onto a clean plate and form a flat, round bed.
  8. Place the burgers side by side on top of the rice.
  9. In a non-stick skillet, cook 2 eggs either sunny-side-up or over-easy.
  10. Place an egg on each of the burgers.
  11. Pour the gravy over the eggs, burgers, and rice.
  12. Enjoy your first of many Loco Mocos.
United States Hawaii

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