Classic Hawaiian Loco Moco Recipe

When you think of Hawaiian food, you might think of items found at a lu'au — roasted pork, fresh fish, and tropical fruits like pineapple and coconut. You might not think of a ground beef patty served with mushroom gravy and an egg. But that's exactly what this classic Hawaiian loco moco recipe entails. For recipe developer Chanel Murphy-Lowe it holds a special place in her heart. "Prior to our meeting, my husband was in the army and stationed in Hawaii. This is a dish he introduced me to and taught me how to make. I really love the beef patty paired with the mushroom gravy and the runny yolk of the sunny-side-up egg," she says. 

It also makes a great weeknight dinner because four servings only take about 30 minutes to make, and it's a fun way to mix up a standard menu rotation. Murphy-Lowe suggests pairing it with a Hawaiian macaroni salad or a fresh green salad. And for drinks? She says to keep the tropical theme going. "Pineapple or mango juice would be great. For cocktails, I'd recommend a Mai Tai or piña colada," she suggests. 

Gather the ingredients for this classic Hawaiian loco moco

You'll need quite a few ingredients for this recipe because you're essentially working on three different parts: the beef patties, the mushroom gravy, and the items you'll need for serving. For the beef patty, you'll need ground beef, a finely chopped onion, garlic powder, an egg, panko breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce (which you'll also need for the gravy), and salt and pepper (which, again, you'll need for the gravy). 

For the gravy, you'll need unsalted butter, finely chopped mushrooms, all-purpose flour, beef broth, and soy sauce. 

Finally, for serving, you'll need cooked jasmine rice, sunny-side-up eggs, and chopped green onions. 

Mix the beef and form the patties

Start by making the beef patties. If you've ever made hamburgers, it's not too different. Simply combine the ground beef, onion, garlic powder, egg, panko breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper together in a bowl, mixing with your hands until it's all well combined. Shape the beef into patties. 

If you've never used breadcrumbs in your beef patties before, there's a good reason to add them. "The breadcrumbs serve as a binder and help absorb some of the moisture from the beef, egg, and Worcestershire sauce, creating a meat mixture that holds its shape better when forming the patties. They also add a slight texture to the patties, making them a bit more tender," says Murphy-Lowe. 

Cook the beef patties

Cook the patties over medium heat in a skillet for about 4-5 minutes per side. Of course, you can also cook them more or less, depending on your personal preference for doneness. Set the patties aside when they're fully cooked. 

Start making the gravy by sautéing the mushrooms

With the beef patties cooked, your next step is to start on the gravy. Just make sure you use a clean skillet, rather than using the same one with beef fat in it. 

Start by melting the butter over medium heat before adding the chopped mushrooms to the skillet. Sauté the mushrooms until they're tender, which should take about 5-6 minutes. 

Add flour to make a roux

With the mushrooms tender, start making the roux, which is this recipe's special touch. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms and butter and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes as the flour starts to cook. According to Murphy-Lowe, the roux is what's used to thicken the gravy. "It adds richness and helps achieve a smooth and velvety texture [in] the gravy," she says.

Finish making the gravy

To finish making the gravy, gradually pour the beef broth into the skillet, continuing to stir constantly. Following the beef broth, pour in the Worcestershire and soy sauces, too. "When Worcestershire and soy sauce are combined, they create a rich and savory umami flavor profile. The Worcestershire sauce adds depth with its tangy, slightly sweet, and complex flavors, while the soy sauce contributes a salty and earthy umami taste. Together they enhance the savory character of the dish," says Murphy-Lowe. 

Mix everything together and bring the gravy to a simmer. For the next 5 minutes or so, allow the gravy to cook and thicken, stirring occasionally. "For this recipe, I prefer a thicker gravy. It intensifies the flavors. If the gravy becomes too thick, you can add some additional broth," Murphy-Lowe advises. 

When the gravy has thickened to your liking, season it with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Assemble the Hawaiian loco moco

Your loco moco is now ready to assemble! Divide the cooked jasmine rice among four plates. Top each with a beef patty, then spoon the gravy over the patties. Add the sunny-side-up egg on top of the gravy, then garnish with chopped green onions. 

While the sunny-side-up eggs aren't really a part of the recipe in the same way as the beef patty and gravy, Murphy-Lowe has tips on how to get the perfect egg. "Start with a non-stick skillet and heat it over medium-low heat. Add a little oil or butter to the skillet. Crack the egg gently and carefully into the skillet, making sure you do not break the yolk. Reduce the heat to low, and cover the skillet with a lid to allow the steam to cook the top of the egg gently. This method helps to keep the yolk runny while the whites set," she says.

If you're only cooking for two or three, you can easily save the leftovers. "Store any remaining beef patties, mushroom gravy, and rice separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Reheat the beef patties and mushroom gravy on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. The rice can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water," Murphy-Lowe says. Just take a few minutes to make fresh eggs to add on top. 

Classic Hawaiian Loco Moco Recipe
4.9 from 30 ratings
This dish has everything you'd expect from a classic loco moco, such as a beef patty paired with mushroom gravy and the runny yolk of the sunny-side-up egg.
Prep Time
Cook Time
classic hawaiian loco moco plated
Total time: 30 minutes
  • For the beef patty
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the mushroom gravy
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For serving
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 4 sunny-side-up eggs
  • Green onions, chopped (for garnish)
  1. To make the patty, combine the ground beef, chopped onion, garlic powder, egg, panko bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  2. Shape the beef mixture into 4 patties, about ½ to ¾ inch thick.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the beef patties for 4-5 minutes per side, or until they reach your desired level of doneness. Remove the patties from the skillet and set them aside.
  4. For the gravy, melt the half stick of butter in the skillet (cleaned) over medium heat.
  5. Add the chopped mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for about 5-6 minutes until they become tender.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and butter. Stir well to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing the flour to cook slightly. The mixture should look like a blond roux.
  7. Gradually pour in the beef broth while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Add the Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce to the skillet and mix well.
  8. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the gravy thickens. Stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. To assemble, divide the cooked jasmine rice among 4 plates. Place a beef patty on each bed of rice. Spoon the mushroom gravy over the beef patties, and top with sunny-side up eggs. Garnish with chopped green onions.
Calories per Serving 800
Total Fat 41.7 g
Saturated Fat 18.1 g
Trans Fat 1.4 g
Cholesterol 311.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 68.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.9 g
Total Sugars 3.2 g
Sodium 1,292.6 mg
Protein 36.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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