loco moco

loco moco 3

lest you think i live off of a diet of sugar, i thought i'd throw in some "real" food, however unhealthy it may be....

loco moco (loh-koo moh-koo), a hawaiian favourite: a generous bowl of rice, topped with a ground beef patty, fried egg, and gravy. traditionally it is made with white rice, hamburger, and a brown gravy, but my version has brown rice, ground sirloin, and a mushroom cream sauce. just 'cause.

the loco moco is said to have originated in hilo, on the big island of hawaii, but it can be found all over the islands, with many various permutations. i happen to prefer the cream gravy over the brown one, grilled fish over hamburger, and brown rice over white, but that doesn't stop me from order the basic config time and again.

i once ordered a pork chop loco moco from sam choy's restaurant here on guam, which consisted of four scoops of rice, two grilled pork chops, two fried eggs, a heaping mound of grilled caramelized onions, and a shiitake mushroom cream gravy. after i was rolled out of the building, down the parking lot ramp, and woke up from my food coma, i tried recreating the mushroom cream sauce. i believe the sam choy's gravy is made with a pound of butter, 3 cups of half and half, some soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms thrown into the pan that the pork chops are cooked in, which is all well and good but actually, is not all well and good--i mean, @#$% &*#@!!!! a pound of butter to loosen up the pork grease and bits and then finished off with cream? oh go ahead, try it. live a little. die a lot.

i now do a mushroom gravy based on cream sauce i once had at the swiss inn in honolulu. considerably lighter, but packs a ton of flavour, without adding much more work (although, ya gotta try the sam choy gravy of death™ sometime--why not).

mushroom cream gravy

a handful of mushrooms sliced (about 1 to 1 1/2 cup--hey i have a beeg hand)
1 tbsp butter (or less, if using pan drippings)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
chopped parsley (optional)

sautee mushrooms with a little butter or in the pan used to cook the meat portion of your moco until wilted. add wine, heavy cream, and sugar. simmer for a minute or two, add parsley, and season to taste.

update: this, i believe is the recipe for the gravy of death™ (without the dill, though)--and the pork chops are stuffed with crab meat in this recipe too [jaw dropping to floor]


wow, stunning. your version looks tempting, but that gravy of death does sound *awfully* good to me. (do you think i need help?)

hi melissa! the only help you'll need is getting up after eating one of these with the gravy of death™ :D

Oh gosh, all you need after this meal is a leche flan dessert. Ayayay!

Good God, Santos...you actually made me come out of my crushing food-blogging apathy with this post! Therefore, I think I love you.

Loco Moco is on the menu for this weekend. You rock.

Seriously wanting this meal. The dreamy mushroom cream gravy has me sitting here unblinking for 10 minutes now. Hmm the brown rice, it looks like it was fried with some bacon?

You're a great cook AND a great photographer. So delicious!

1 tbsp brown sugar

Well maybe just a leetle sugar for Mr Jones.

This is great Santos - it's Nasi Goreng, Donburi, Cream Sauce, and Burger all in one. One stop, one shop for me to stop in at for Me Hungry! moments.

Hi Santos,

You just had to do this to me didn't you! *sigh* One look at that and I just had to have something with gravy tonight. Thanks! =P

oh my, that looks delicious! and so simple to make. i'll definitely have to try making it, as soon as the weather gets cooler that is. ;) i don't think i will be able to handle heat and food coma together.

"Gravy of Death™" - I like that. I love loco moco too.

hey santos,

i was never aware that loco-moco is from the big island... come to think of it, i don't think i have ever had loco-moco there. hang on, i did have one once, but it was at an airport cafeteria. how does that sound???

i have to admit that that gravy of death does sound good, even if i hate anything related to shiitake. great job!

Oh gosh - loco moco sounds and looks great. It's got all my favs: mushrooms, sauce, ground beef, rice and eggs!

Thanks santos as I think this may end up being one of our favourites.

Mushrooms, beef, and gravy?! Wow! Just out of curiosity: do you suppose oyster mushrooms would do if I'm all out of shiitakes and buttons?

Chocolate brownie ice cream's the only way to finish this meal off! ^_^

hi karen and midge--how about leche flan *and* ice cream for dessert?

hi moira--you only love me for my gravy! >waaaaaaaaah< i'll love you back if you blog about your weekend moco, though :)))

hi oslo foodie--that's actually an unhulled bit of red rice which was mixed into the brown rice, but i completely welcome bacon as an addition to this. the more the merrier!

hi toni! thanks for the praise, but i think you're just after my moco, young lady!!!

anthony--i found a recipe for the swiss inn's mushroom cream sauce, and i swear it said to add a half-cup of brown sugar, which i found completely unreasonable. i suppose that you could leave it out, but eh. i don't think it hurts it any.

reid--c'mon, what did you end up getting for dinner?

hi yoony--good idea :) this isn't a light meal in any sense at all.

hi thomas! i wish there were more places on island with loco mocos. but then again, i'm better off without having them available all the time.

hi chika! it's nice to hear from you. any mushroom will do, and i don't know if i'd count the loco moco at the airport cafeteria. i hear that there's a restaurant in tokyo that sells all different kinds of loco mocos called, uh, loco moco. wouldn't it be funny if your next loco moco is in tokyo when you were in hilo all that time?

hi boo_licious--if you make this, please blog about it, as i'd love to see how yours turns out!

Ayayay! One of my uncles has at least two desserts after each meal. He'd love your suggestion. Thank goodness we don't have diabetic genes. :-)

Tag! http://www.arach.net.au/~ted/myfood/archives/07-01-2005_07-31-2005.html#12 The Five Cookbook Meme Of Death may be exactly what you need! Comes from http://pumpkinpiebungalow.blogspot.com/2005/06/history-of-5-cookbook-meme.html via BecksNPosh and myself. If you want to.

omg, i want me some of that pork chop loco moco!

Hey.. Santos,
I love it.. but i know.. i'm gonna have to stop eating for a week after having the loco moco.. heh!!
Love the pic.. !!

Hi Santos,

I didn't have loco moco for dinner, but I came close....I had boneless chicken with gravy over everything! LOL! =P

Oh loco moco looks so good. *sigh* four scoops of rice i can hang with the gravey of death ;P But hey once in awhile you just gotta ride the russian roulette of food. Thanks Santos, I think I better try out the hawaiian food resto here and get me some loco moco! (necause im too lazy and too hot to make it ;P )


oh my, that picture is fabulous ...every single element looks so perfectly done...cheers,j

I think ill have a go at the mushroom sauce, it must be deliious poured over a good sirloin steak

hi santos!!
woweeee local moco!!! reminds me of growing up in kalihi where we used to buy mini plate lunches from the okazuya in the area before school would start! breakfast of champions!! then we'd get all sleepy from the carbo load of rice and rich gravy! lol :D thanks for reminding me we have ground beef and eggs sitting around the fridge and my wife is always craving for mushroom gravy and meat. keep up the wonderful blog of yours! :)

Hi Santos,

Fat is good that's what I say! (as do my love handles, ahem...)

Sounds pretty artery clogging and fab, must try it soon. This reminds me of a dish I use to get at a chili parlour in St. Louis, the 'Slinger' 2 burger patties, cheese, 2 fried eggs, hash browns all covered with chili, yum!

WOW! That is huge!
I have been looking at the loco moco on kirk(mmm yoso's) blog.....

I made a steak with davidsons plum cream sauce that I now realise you would call gravy! (I am just learning the lingo ;) ) normally I put mushrooms in instead, I can see that this would be great! (and our cultures aren't that far apart)

hi karen! mmmm, two desserts. mmmmmm.

hi teddleruss--thanks for tagging me!

hi maria--that pork chop moco is worth the artery-clogging. just make sure to get a babysitter so you can take a looonnnng nap.

hiya big bok! share some with daddy and baby bok :)

hey reid--so just moco, not so loco :P

hey milgwimper--thanks for stopping by! where are you? can you find loco mocos where you are? they are definitely worth trying, but if the gravy's sub-par, it can be a disappointing experience. i hope you come across good gravy!

hi j! certainly not elegant, but it definitely satisfies :)

hi fanny! deliriously good poured on a lot of things ;)

hi reggie--i like your version too!

hi vivilicious--that slinger sounds equally as deadly, i'd love to try it.

hi clare--your steak with davidson's plum sauce looks divine. i saw kurt's post with the loco moco, it looks pretty darned good as well! gravy's an interesting word, i never know when it's appropriate. i always used to think that gravy just applied to the meat sauce made with pan drippings that is served with cooked meats, but i've seen white sauces referred to as gravy (like this one), and some italian-americans who refer to marinara sauce as gravy. i may live in the us (sort of), but i don't think i'll ever get it quite straight.

Hi Santos! That looks soooo yummy! I'm finally going to Hawaii in September and I'm so excited! If you have any recommendations for places to go and eat (most importantly), it would be fantabulous!! I have checked out the ono grindz site which seems pretty comprehensive. BTW do you know if they have Papa Beard cream puffs in Hawaii? I heard a rumour they were setting up there? They don't have it here in Sydney - which is kind of good otherwise I might not be able to button my jeans up! Thanks and keep up the good work!

hi bex! that's exciting--will you just be going to honolulu? beard papa will have stores in hawaii (they plan on opening 7 in the next 3 years) but i don't know when the first one will open up. there are many other alternatives you might like to try though, like the local malasadas (puffy doughnuts) from leonard's, or the chantilly cream puffs from liliha bakery. i'll think of more things for you to eat and places to visit!

Thanks Santos!! I'm competing in a canoe race across the channel from Molokai to Oahu http://www.nawahineokekai.com/ so I'll be in Molokai, then off to Kauai for a few days and then back to Honolulu for a few days as well...so I'm hoping to cram in some serious eating (and shopping) while i'm there.

what a coincidence! i was just reading up on loco moco the other day! yum.

hi bex--that is so awesome and amazing, cheers to you. when are you doing this? i'm tempted to fly over to cheer you on! i'd been asked to join a canoe team in the past, but have never had the time, so i stick to casual ocean kayaking. still, i watch the crews practice outside my window--maybe they'll be participating the same event.

reid at ono kine grindz is a great resource as you know, but so is gail's website, hhawaii diner. not only does she have restaurant reviews, but full menus and specials listed for oahu, kauai, and molokai.

what kind of shopping do you plan on doing?

hi stef! it seems like loco mocos are on a lot of people's minds these days. where did you read about it?

Santos - it's great fun, you should take full advantage of the fact that you are in a warm climate. I am forced to train in thermals, longjohns and a beanie!

As for shopping - I'm hoping to go to premium outlets and shop BIG! Also some handicrafts stuff - definately want a kukui nut lei!

Thanks for the links. I'm considering extending my stay because I want to hang out on Oahu for longer!

I was in Hawaii for 5 days and could have eaten loco moco everyday for every meal.

Hi santos - Sorry I didn't catch this earlier - looks good. Nice job, though the gravy is usually brown - that burger and egg are perfecto-mundo!!!!

hi bex! good luck to you and your crew!

hi joz--me too, then i'd die of a heart attack (but happy).

hi kirk! i like brown gravy when it's done well, but the last couple of mocos i had had a very weak gravy. this is a nice change from that.