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A portrait image of a plate of Loco Moco.

Loco Moco (Hawaiian Beef Patty with Brown Gravy)

Course: dinner, lunch
Cuisine: Hawaiian, Polynesian
Keyword: beef, eggs, gravy, hamburger, rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
inactive prep: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 840kcal
Author: Marta Rivera
Hawaiian Loco Moco is a juicy hamburger patty served over a bed of sticky white rice and topped with a sunny-side-up egg and delicious brown gravy!
This easy-to-make, even easier to eat, recipe is "ono," which is Hawaiian pidgin slang for "really delicious."
Cooking time does not include steaming the white rice. Add 20 minutes for the rice.
Print Recipe


For the Beef Patties

  • 1/2 1/2 small onion grated (about 1/4 cup or 15 grams)
  • 2 large cloves (1 tablespoon or 9 grams) garlic crushed
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds (68 grams) ground chuck
  • 1/2 cup (75 grams) breadcrumbs

For the Brown Gravy

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) fat (rendered from the burgers add oil if you don't have enough to make 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750 milliliters) beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Optional Components

  • white rice steamed (about 4 cups)
  • 4 eggs fried sunny-side-up
  • thinly sliced green onions


  • Preheat an oven to (170°F/77°C) to keep the patties hot after you sear them and while you prepare the gravy.

Mix, Then Form the Burger Patties

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated onion, crushed garlic, the beaten egg, soy sauce, salt, and black pepper.
    Whisk these together to create a loose paste.
  • Add the ground chuck and bread crumbs to the seasoning paste and mix with your hands just until combined.
    Portion the meat into 4 meatballs of equal size and place them on a sheet pan.
  • Flatten the balls into patties about 3/4 to 1-inch thick and oval in shape.
    Cover and leave the patties at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat. If you plan to marinate them longer, wrap the pan well and keep them in the fridge.
  • Begin steaming the white rice before you sear the burger patties.

Sear the Burger Patties

  • Preheat a 12 to 14-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. 
    Press the patties into the skillet once it feels hot when you hold your hand over it.
  • Sear the meat for 3-4 minutes on the first side without moving it, so it develops a nice, brown crust. A spatula should meet little resistance when you slide it under the patty.
    Let the meat sear a minute or two longer if the spatula cannot get under the meat easily.
  • Flip the patties and sear for 3-4 minutes on the other side.
    Transfer the meat from the pan and set it on a clean sheet pan. Put the sheet pan in the warm oven while you prepare the brown gravy.

Make the Brown Gravy

  • Strain the fat from the frying pan into a heat-safe separate bowl. Return the rendered fat to the pan and heat it over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle all-purpose flour over the fat and whisk them together to create a tan-colored paste.
    Cook this roux for 2-3 minutes on low heat, constantly whisking, until it begins bubbling and becomes the color of peanut butter.
  • Gradually pour the beef stock into the roux, constantly whisking to avoid creating lumps in the gravy.
    Heat the gravy for 4 to 5 minutes, frequently whisking, until it thickens.
    Season the gravy with soy sauce, salt, and black pepper to taste. Keep the gravy warm while you assemble the rest of the dish.

Fry the Eggs, Then Assemble the Loco Moco

  • Add a small amount of oil large skillet and heat it over medium-high heat.
    Add the eggs to the oil in the pan and fry them until the edges are crispy and browned and the egg white is opaque- about 3 minutes.
  • Spoon a cup of steamed rice onto each plate.
    Nestle the beef patties on the rice and pour a generous amount of the warm gravy over each one.
    Top the patties with the fried eggs and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.


Swaps and Substitutions:
  • You can replace the soy sauce with Worcestershire sauce.
  • Instead of plain beef patties, make teriyaki beef patties by replacing the soy sauce with teriyaki sauce in both the patty mixture and the gravy.
  • You can also decrease the ground chuck to 1 pound and add a half-pound of Portuguese sausage for a more flavorful burger patty.
  • Make a spam loco moco by omitting the beef patty and frying thick slices of spam instead.
  • Make the traditional beef gravy
    1. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl until smooth.
    2. Heat beef stock until steaming over medium heat in a small pot.
    3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot stock in a slow, steady stream and heat, constantly whisking until it thickens.
    4. Season as instructed above.
  • Make a chicken gravy by replacing the beef stock with chicken broth.
  • You can also sauté onions and add the cooked onions to the gravy for even more onion flavor.
  • Swap the white rice for steamed brown rice, cauliflower rice, or wild rice.
  • The traditional way to serve loco moco is with a sunny-side-up egg, but you can cook your egg to your preference.
  • Top the fried egg with a sprinkle of furikake seasoning for added flavor.
Tips and Techniques:
  • Straining the fat removes the bits of meat from the pan, which may burn and cause the gravy to taste bitter. It's also a good idea to wipe out the pan.
  • The surface of the brown gravy will form a skin if left warming without being stirred, so stir it often. If a skin forms, stir it into the gravy or skim it from the top and discard it. 
  • You can fry all four eggs simultaneously if the skillet is large enough. If not, fry the eggs in batches.
  • If you own a rice cooker, begin steaming your rice cooking while you prepare the beef patties, gravy, and eggs. If not, start the rice in a pot right before frying the beef patties, so everything's ready at the same time.
Storage Instructions:
  • To store leftover loco moco, transfer the patties to an airtight container and refrigerate them for 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
Freezing Instructions:
  • You can freeze the hamburger patties for 6 months after forming them, wrap them well in plastic film or transfer them to a freezer storage bag, and have them ready for future meals. 
  • To freeze loco moco, don't fry the eggs and freeze the fried beef patties in the gravy in a freezer-safe container.
  • Thaw them under refrigeration and reheat until warmed through. 


Calories: 840kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 339mg | Sodium: 1862mg | Potassium: 998mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 309IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 7mg