Loco Moco

It all started with these:

Loco Moco. A local Hawaiian favorite. Rice, beef patty, fried egg, and gravy! Small Town Girl Blog

Fresh Manapua from the Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory in Honolulu. My cousin was in town visiting and brought these fabulous fresh treats – Thank you thank you thank you!! So Ono (delicious)! It’s one of those things like New York pizza or a Chicago style hot dog, it has to be from the place of origin to taste it’s best.

Manuapua is a Chinese influenced treat the Hawaiians adopted and reinvented. The Chinese version, char siu bao, was often sold by food vendors back in the day when a large number of Chinese immigrants settled in Hawaii. Nowadays, Manapua is often sold in food trucks all over the island. Manapua is short for mea ono pua’a (“mea ono” for cake or pastry, and “pua’a for pork).

Loco Moco. A local Hawaiian favorite. Rice, beef patty, fried egg, and gravy! Small Town Girl Blog

So dinner plans changed, the only thing I wanted to share this plate with was Loco Moco. Loco Moco was said to have originated in Hilo in the 1940’s. It is considered Hawaii’s first attempt at “fast food”. An attempt that is still very popular in the islands. When it was first introduced to me at Zippy’s (Hawaii’s version of Denny’s) someone called it a Hawaiian style hamburger. I was so confused when it didn’t come with a bun or ketchup. Anywho, here’s what it is:

A layer of white rice, a beef patty, and a fried egg on top. Then you cover the whole thing in gravy. It may sound odd but it is GENIOUS!! There are tons of different variations you can get in the islands but here’s how I make mine at home.

  1. Cook rice – 1-2 cups per plate
  2. Cook your beef patties – season and grill them just like you would for a hamburger. If you want to get extra fancy Hawaiian style, finely dice some onion and mix into beef patty. Adding a slice of cheddar just like you would for a burger is pretty darn delicious too!
  3. Make your gravy – Typically it’s made with brown gravy, but I’ve also seen it done with country gravy. I make 2 packets of brown gravy and then add 1 cup of beef broth, a table spoon of flour and a few dashes of worcestershire sauce to pep up the flavor a bit.
  4. Cook your egg – traditionally it’s served sunny side up, but I prefer over easy.
  5. Assemble your food: rice, a little gravy, beef patty, egg, more gravy!

Loco Moco. A local Hawaiian favorite. Rice, beef patty, fried egg, and gravy! Small Town Girl Blog

PS. Manapua dipped in egg and gravy is onoliscious!!

2 thoughts on “Loco Moco

  1. Pingback: A Year in Food 2014 | The Ramblings of an Aspiring Small Town Girl

  2. Pingback: Loco Moco in Hilo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s