This iconic Hawaiian comfort food is as delicious as it is easy! You, your family, and friends will definitely love the combination of meaty beef patties, warm steamed rice, and a fried egg – all topped with a generous amount of rich mushroom gravy. In this recipe, I teach you how to make this Hawaiian local favorite!
What is Loco Moco
Loco Moco is a modern Hawaiian staple dish that’s become known and loved by home cooks for its delicious flavors and easy cooking process. The most widely recognized version of Loco Moco features white rice topped with a juicy hamburger patty, fried sunny side up egg, and flavorful gravy.
There are also many traditional and non-traditional variations of the dish where the burger patty is replaced with spam (a favorite protein in Hawaii), chicken, or even fish.
History of Loco Moco
It’s believed that the dish was first served by Richard and Nancy Inouye of the Lincoln Grill in Hawaii when a group of teenagers came in requesting the now-famous combination of rice, hamburger patty, and gravy. The fried egg was added later.
The dish’s unique name was allegedly invented by the group as well. It’s a combination of loco which is Spanish for “crazy” (a nickname for one of the group’s members) and moco which was added at the end because it rhymes with loco. Fun fact: to Spanish speakers, Loco Moco is an odd name for a dish because it translates to “crazy snot”!
How to Make the Best Loco Moco Mushroom Gravy
Though there are many variations of the popular dish such as pork, teriyaki beef (I have a wonderful authentic teriyaki sauce recipe here), and even mahi-mahi Loco Moco, the version I’m making in this recipe is the classic. And my favorite thing about the classic Loco Moco is the delicious gravy! I think a rich and flavorful gravy is the key to making a great Loco Moco.
My secret for making the best Loco Moco gravy is to use mushroom seasoning. Mushroom seasoning (sometimes called mushroom powder or mushroom dust) is made from ground dehydrated mushrooms. It’s packed with deep, savory, umami flavors and is the key to making your Loco Moco gravy really memorable.
You can easily find mushroom seasoning online and I highly recommend buying it because you can incorporate it in so many dishes. It’s also considered by some to be a great substitute for MSG. But if you’re in a pinch, beef broth would also work well.
Another tip is to sauté the shallots and mushrooms in the same pan you fried the patties in. This imparts more complex, meaty flavors into your gravy and creates a wonderful harmony of flavor when poured over the meat. Plus, it helps you cut down on dishes to wash! It’s a win-win.
What to Eat with Loco Moco
This Loco Moco is already super satisfying on its own. But if you want to incorporate some vegetables into the mix, I recommend serving it with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. They add a hint of acidity and freshness that complements the rich flavors in the dish.
Easy Loco Moco Recipe |Hawaiian Loco Moco with the Best Mushroom Gravy
- 6 pieces Beef Patties 6 oz. each Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder to taste
- 3 cups Water
- 3 tbsp Mushroom Seasoning
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tsp Fish Sauce
- 4 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Corn Starch
- 2 pieces Shallots–medium size diced into small cubes
- 6-8 pieces Mushrooms more or less to your liking
- 6 pieces Fried Eggs Salt and Pepper to taste
- Season ground beef patties with salt, pepper and garlic powder to your liking.
- Slice mushrooms and dice shallots.
- Mix water with mushroom seasoning, sugar, ketchup, fish sauce and light soy sauce. Whisk and then add corn starch and whisk thoroughly and set aside.
- Fry up the beef patties. I like to fry mine on medium to medium-high heat to give the outside a nice crust and the inside stays medium to medium rare. This should take about 3-4 minutes each side.
- Set fried patties aside. Drain off some of the oil from the pan.
- Use the same pan to Sauté the shallots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk your sauce thoroughly to make sure the corn starch is not stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Add the sauce to the shallots and the mushrooms. Cook gravy for 3-4 minutes until it has a nice thick consistency. Once done, set aside.
- Fry the eggs sunny side up.
- Start the plating with Jasmine rice. Then put a beef patty on top followed by a fried egg. Then pour a generous amount of the mushroom gravy over the entire plate. The gravy is what makes this dish absolutely delicious in my opinion.