I love Hawaiian food – from big-eye tuna to loco-moco, a seriously rib-sticking breakfast dish of rice topped with hamburger patties, onions and fried eggs. Here’s my simpler, more refined version that works beautifully for lunch or a homey supper. Kids dig right in, and so do adults. You can of course have loco-moco for breakfast – in which case I advise major post-meal surfing.
Most people like their burgers on the rare side, but for this dish, rare or well-done work equally well. For tender burgers, form the patties as lightly as possible. Then, to ensure even cooking, make an indentation with your thumb halfway into the center of each. To avoid contamination from cutlery, crack the eggs against the side of a work surface, or against one another. The method for making the eggs – pouring all the eggs from a bowl into the hot pan and, when cooked, separating them with a spatula – is good to know when preparing fried eggs for a crowd.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 large onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts, sliced 1/4 inch thick, 1 tablespoon greens reserved for garnish
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon naturally brewed soy sauce
- 2 cups fresh beef or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups white rice
- 3 cups brown rice
- Heat a large heavy sauté pan or wok over a medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook on one side until caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn, cook on the second side for about 5 minutes, then set the onions aside. Reserve the pan.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the beef, all but the reserved scallions, the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and season with pepper. Mix and form gently into 4 patties about ½ inch thick.
- Heat the pan over a medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper, transfer to the pan and cook, turning once, for about 4 minutes for medium-rare, 5 minutes for well-done. Transfer the patties to a plate to rest for 5 minutes.
- Return the pan to medium heat, and add the onions. Pour in the stock, bring to a simmer and add the remaining 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and simmer until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 1 minute . Taste to adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Break the eggs into a bowl. Heat a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, and when hot, gently slide in the eggs.
- Cook for about 1 minute, turn and cook for about 2 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft. (If you prefer your eggs sunny side up, add the eggs, cover, cook for about 1 minute, uncover, then cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 2 to 3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the rice among 4 soup plates or serving bowls, top with the burgers and top with the onions. With a nonmetal spatula, separate the eggs, transfer to the onions, garnish with the reserved scallion greens and serve.
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