Hawai’i is home to me. The island where I found my head, my heart, and my stomach full and in sync. It’s the most beautiful place, with the most beautiful people, in the world. I call it “the sweet spot of the universe.” It’s the home of hula, luau, tiki, ukulele, electric surf, musubi and kalua pork combo plate lunches.
During my short time there, days would begin with packing up my tatami mat, hopping on a bike in a bathing suit, and stopping by the market for a mango before heading out to the beach. Swinging by the local to grab a beer and seeking out my favorite meal for the day was the best part of every day.
I remember riding down Waikiki Beach Walk and right across from Kapiolani Park I noticed an unassuming shack with a sign for Bacon Moco. It was calling to me and I had to try it (Chefs LOVE bacon). I walked in, ordered two, and met up with my parents on the sandy beach. We inhaled that plate in what felt like two-seconds flat and since then, no loco moco has never been the same. Never.
Loco moco combines all of my favorite foods in one dish. Rice, hamburger patty, brown gravy, and to top it all off, a perfectly fried egg. Finish it off with a squiggle of Sriracha and it’s the food of the gods.
There have been countless iterations of this famed contemporary Hawaiian dish. From kimchi rice, lamb patties, cheese-stuffed jucy lucy, mushroom gravy, you name it–it’s been done. We’ve landed on a delicious umami-rich version of this classic.
Bacon-Beef Loco Moco
A bacony, beefy version of a classic contemporary hawaiian dish.
Prepare rice in a rice cooker or stovetop according to the directions on the package before beginning the next steps.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Over mixing will cause patties to shrink, so we like to work the mixture just until everything looks homogenous.
Form them into two patties, cover and allow to rest in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350f degrees.
Heat a pan on medium/high heat. Add a touch of oil to prevent sticking. Once pan is hot and oil is shimmering, place meat patties in pan and cook each side for 2-3 mins until patties have rendered some fat and each side has a nice sear.
Remove patties and place on a baking sheet. Transfer to the preheated oven and immediately turn oven off.
Using the same pan, turn the heat to medium and add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Saute until golden for approx 4 mins.
Add flour to the mushroom mixture and stir until coated. Add butter and cook for 2 mins.
Quickly whisk in broth and soy or Worcestershire sauce until there are no visible lumps and sauce begins to thicken. Reduce heat to medium/low and continue cooking until sauce is slightly translucent and thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
For Fried Eggs
In a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, heat oil on medium/high.
Once it begins to shimmer and smoke slightly, crack individual eggs on opposite sides of the pan.
Turn heat off, season with salt and pepper. Allow sides of egg whites to crisp and brown. Remove from stove.
For the Final Assembly
Place one cup of freshly cooked rice in the center of the plate.
Remove cooked patties from the oven. Internal temperature should read 150f or higher to ensure bacon is thoroughly cooked.
Spoon a small amount of gravy on top of the rice. If you would like it spicy or more umami, sprinkle a dash of furikake or togarashi onto the rice.
Place the burger patty on top of the bed of rice and smother with a heavy spoonful of gravy until it pours onto the sides.
Top with fried egg and a sprinkle of green onions. Serve with a bottle of sriracha and soy sauce for those who like it extra.