Hawaiian Loco Moco Barbecue

Loco Moco
Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.
  • 55 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Ratings (9)

Since the 1990s, Hawaiian barbecue has become a huge hit, with hundreds of restaurants popping up across the country and spreading internationally. This mainstay of Hawaiian barbecue might just be the ultimate comfort food. Loco moco is a grilled burger patty topped with rich gravy and served on rice with a fried egg on top. It is also considered the perfect hangover cure.

The dish was developed late in the 1940s as inexpensive diner food that teenagers could afford. It certainly packs the caloric content needed to satisfy active and growing youth. This recipe keeps it as simple as it was back in those times. Now that Hawaiian cuisine is coming into its own, you will see plenty of variations that add mushrooms, caramelized onions, salsa, and more to the dish. Besides a beef patty, you may see Spam or sausage used. Feel free to experiment a bit yourself—go a little loco with loco moco.

What You'll Need

  • For the Gravy:
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water (lukewarm)
  • For the Loco Moco:
  • 2 pounds ground beef (85 percent lean)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 6 cups white rice (cooked, sticky)
  • 6 large eggs

How to Make It

  1. To prepare the gravy, simmer the broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, ketchup, onion powder, black pepper, and salt in a medium saucepan for 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high. In a separate bowl, mix together water with cornstarch until well combined. Slowly whisk this into the gravy, stirring until mixture has thickened. 
  3. Remove the gravy from the heat and it let cool until you are ready to use it. Rewarm the gravy right before serving the loco moco.
  1. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Form six large patties out of ground beef. Salt and pepper them to your liking.
  3. Place the patties onto a grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 F (75 C.).
  4. Remove from the patties from the heat and tent them with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
  5. Fry the eggs to your liking. Sunny-side up is preferred so the warm yolk can be broken and mixed with the rest of the dish.
  6. To assemble, place 1/2 to 1 cup of warmed sticky rice onto a plate. Top with a burger patty, gravy, and then a fried egg.
  7. Serve loco moco with a side of your favorite potato salad and chopped onions.

Loco moco is meant to be a huge plate, but you can certainly cut down the size of the patties if you are feeding less voracious eaters.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 1114
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 9 g
Unsaturated Fat 9 g
Cholesterol 285 mg
Sodium 606 mg
Carbohydrates 157 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 62 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)