Hawaiian Loco Moco #Recipe #Food

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Dinner Tonight

I found a package of four hamburger patties in my freezer (they were fresh and I froze them) and started thinking about what I would do with them for dinner tonight. We had cheeseburgers on the grill Saturday and Sunday at camp so we’re all taking a break from those. I pictured a Salisbury Steak type meal with some brown gravy packets and white rice. I’m swamped and have zero time for homemade anything tonight.

Poking around on the web at various adaptations for salisbury steak recipes I found, Loco Moco, a traditional Hawaiian dish that is extremely simple and is served at even the most elegant restaurants in Hawaii. It’s not the healthiest meal but it will do in a pinch. And, today, I need a pinch.

I found many variations, including Spam Loco Moco and the more traditional hamburger Loco Moco recipe like the one from Guy’s Big Bite which includes the recipe from scratch. 

Hawaii Food Tours on TV Food Network

Shortcut Loco Moco

I’m making shortcut Loco Moco. Instant rice, preformed hamburger patties (available in the meat section at most grocery stores) and Brown Gravy packet mix. 

Prepare rice and gravy according to package directions. 

Brown a quarter cup chopped sweet onion in 2 Tbs. butter . Add four 1/4 lb beef patties. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until patties are done. Remove patties from pan. Drop in four eggs, cooked sunny side up (or as desired). 

Put a scoop of rice (flattened a bit) on your plate, then top with a hamburger patty. Pour over some of the brown gravy. Top with an egg. Enjoy! 

History and Origin of Loco Moco

Loco moco is a traditional meal in the cuisine of Hawaii. There are many variations, but the essential loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy.

Variations may include chili, bacon, ham, Spam,kalua pork, linguiça, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, oysters, and other meats. Loco Moco is also the name of a Hawaiian-based restaurant chain that serves Hawaiian rice bowl dishes.

 The dish is rumored to have been created at either the Lincoln Grill or May’s Fountain, two restaurants in Hilo, Hawaii, in the 1940s. The most probable origin of the name is that “loco” is a variation of “local”, while “moco” was added simply because it rhymed.


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About Erica Buteau

Erica Buteau is head chef at Chateau Buteau where she cooks for three great kids and one hunk of a man, also known there as babe, mom and sometimes referee. She is the author of Moms at Home: A Collection of Recipes and Moms at Home: Holiday Traditions.Additionally, Erica is an Associate Professor of Technology at a Community College and also does freelance writing, blogging and is heavily involved in Social Media and Online Marketing, PR and Marketing Measurement and Communications Research. Her PR Friendly blog, ButeauFull Chaos! focuses on product reviews, parenting, being a mom, empowering women, children's issues (including Autism, ADHD, Childhood Bipolar Disorder and Learning Disabilities), family travel and recipes.


  1. This sounds so yummy! I can’t wait to try it!

  2. That actually looks really yummy! With a big old side of Texas Toast!

  3. At first, it sounds kind of gross, but looking at the photos, I think “hmm… I need to try this”. Great job!

  4. Oh yum! That looks so delicious and would definitely be something my family would eat (sans the egg, but I am definitely all about the egg). I’ve never heard of Loco Moco up until now, funny enough. I love discovering new recipes :)

  5. Yum!! I can’t eat red meat so I have to sub in ground turkey or pork whenever I make a beef recipe. I don’t let it get in the way of me trying new recipes, and this one’s going on my list! It looks really good…and I didn’t eat lunch today, so I’m sooo hungry!

    • I love using ground turkey whenever I can to replace the ground beef. As long as my husband isn’t looking! Plus, you can’t beat a good turkey burger!

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