Loco moco

Loco moco is a dish featured in contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. There are many variations, but the traditional 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, Portuguese sausage, 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.

Loco moco
Loco Moco
A loco moco plate lunch, with soba noodles (left) and macaroni salad (right)
CourseMain course
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateHawaiian cuisine
Associated national cuisineUnited States
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsWhite rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy
Hamburger locomoco
Hamburger loco moco at Aqua Cafe, Honolulu
Fish loco moco
Fish loco moco

History and origin

In 1949 by its proprietors, Richard Inouye and his wife Nancy, at the request of teenagers from the Lincoln Wreckers Sports club seeking something that differed from a sandwich, was inexpensive, and yet could be quickly prepared and served. They asked Nancy to put some rice in a bowl, a hamburger patty over the rice, and then top it with brown gravy. The egg came later. The teenagers named the dish Loco Moco after one of their members, George Okimoto, whose nickname was "Crazy". George Takahashi, who was studying Spanish at Hilo High School, suggested using Loco, which is Spanish for crazy. They tacked on "moco" which "rhymed with loco and sounded good".[1][2][3] To Spanish-speakers, however, the name can sound very odd, given that they hear it as "crazy snot" (moco is Spanish for "mucus").[4]


This dish was featured on the "Taste of Hawai'i" episode of Girl Meets Hawai'i, a Travel Channel show hosted by Samantha Brown. The episode features the dish being served at the popular restaurant, Hawaiian Style Cafe, in Waimea together with the plate lunch, another Hawaiian specialty dish.

The loco moco was also featured on a Honolulu-based episode of the Travel Channel show Man v. Food (this episode aired in the show's second season). The host, Adam Richman, tried this dish at the Hukilau Café, located in nearby Laie. Richman also tried an off-the-menu loco moco at a San Francisco eatery called Namu Gaji on his 2014 show, Man Finds Food. Then in 2018 on a different episode of the revived Man v. Food, host Casey Webb tried a loaded version of the loco moco at Da Kitchen in Maui.

See also


  1. ^ Laudan, Rachel (1996), The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage, University of Hawaii Press, p. 20, ISBN 0824817788
  2. ^ "The Loco Moco - Cafe 100, Hilo Hawaii". Cafe100.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  3. ^ "Loco Moco Recipe, Loco Moco History, History and Recipe of Hawaiian Loco Moco, Hawaii's Feel Good Food, Hamburger Recipes". Whatscookingamerica.net. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  4. ^ "SpanishDict.com translation for 'moco'".

Further reading

  • Gimla Shortridge, Barbara; Shortridge, James R. (1998), The Taste of American Place: A Reader on Regional and Ethnic Foods, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0-8476-8507-1. A reprint of Kelly's original paper.
  • Kelly, James (1983), "Loco Moco: A Folk Dish in the Making", Social Process in Hawai'i, 30: 59–64.
  • Hawaii Tribune-Herald article written by Gene Tao, staff writer. September 23, 1981 edition.
...So Far

...So Far is a solo piano album by D. D. Jackson. It was recorded in 1999 and released by RCA Records, and won a Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year.

Billie Idle

Billie Idle (stylized BILLIE IDLE®) is a Japanese female pop group that was founded in 2015. They are produced by Nigo and Watanabe Junnosuke.

Cooked rice

Cooked rice refers to rice that has been cooked either by steaming or boiling. The terms steamed rice or boiled rice are also commonly used. Any variant of Asian rice (both Indica and Japonica varieties), African rice or wild rice, glutinous or non-glutinous, long-, medium-, or short-grain, of any colour, can be used. Rice for cooking can be whole grain or milled.

Cooked rice is used as a base for various fried rice dishes (e.g. chǎofàn, khao phat), rice bowls/plates (e.g. bibimbap, chazuke, curry rice, dal bhat, donburi, loco moco, panta bhat, rice and beans, rice and gravy), rice porridges (e.g. congee, juk), rice balls/rolls (e.g. gimbap, onigiri, sushi, zongzi), as well as rice cakes and desserts (e.g. mochi, tteok, yaksik).

Rice is a staple food in not only Asia and Latin America, but across the globe, and is considered the most consumed food in the world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies rice as part of the grains food group. Nutritionally, 200 g of cooked steamed white rice contributes 60 g (2 oz) toward the daily recommended 170 and 200 g (6 and 7 oz) of grains for women and men, respectively, and is considered a good source of micronutrients such as zinc and manganese.

Cuisine of Hawaii

The cuisine of Hawaii incorporates five distinct styles of food, reflecting the diverse food history of settlement and immigration in the Hawaiian Islands. In the pre-contact period of Ancient Hawaii (300 AD–1778), Polynesian voyagers brought plants and animals to the Islands. As Native Hawaiians settled the area, they fished, raised taro for poi, planted coconuts, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and yams, and cooked meat and fish in earth ovens. After first contact in 1778, European and American cuisine arrived along with missionaries and whalers, who introduced their own foods and built large sugarcane plantations. Christian missionaries brought New England cuisine while whalers introduced salted fish which eventually transformed into the side dish lomilomi salmon.

As pineapple and sugarcane plantations grow, so did demand for labor, bringing many immigrant groups to the Islands between 1850 and 1930. Immigrant workers brought cuisines from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Portugal after arriving in Hawaii, introducing their new foods and influencing the region. The introduction of new ethnic foods, such as Chinese char siu bao (manapua), Portuguese sweet bread and malasadas, and the Japanese bento, combined with the existing indigenous, European, and American foods in the plantation working environments and in the local communities. This blend of cuisines formed a "local food" style unique to Hawaii, resulting in plantation foods like the plate lunch, snacks like Spam musubi, and dishes like the loco moco. Shortly after World War II several well known local restaurants, now in their 7th decade opened their doors to serve "Hawaiian Food". Chefs further refined the local style by inventing Hawaii Regional Cuisine in 1992, a style of cooking that makes use of locally grown ingredients to blend all of Hawaii's historical influences together to form a new fusion cuisine.


Donburi (丼, literally "bowl", also abbreviated to "don" as a suffix, less commonly spelled "domburi") is a Japanese "rice bowl dish" consisting of fish, meat, vegetables or other ingredients simmered together and served over rice. Donburi meals are served in oversized rice bowls also called donburi. When need to distinguish, the bowl is called donburi-bachi (丼鉢) and the dish is called donburi-mono (丼物). Donburi are sometimes called "sweetened" or "savory stews on rice".

The simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredients, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with soy sauce and mirin. Proportions vary, but there is normally three to four times as much dashi as soy sauce and mirin. For oyakodon, Tsuji (1980) recommends dashi flavored with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. For gyūdon, Tsuji recommends water flavored with dark soy sauce and mirin.

Donburi can be made from almost any ingredients, including leftovers.


The original Frita is a Cuban dish with a seasoned ground beef and pork patty (sometimes mixed with chorizo) on Cuban bread topped with shoestring potatoes. Variations also include lettuce, onions, and a spiced ketchup sauce. A similar dish on Cuban bread is called pan con bistec (bistec de palomilla) topped with the shoestring potatoes. This type of burger is found mainly in South Florida.

This burger is usually washed down with a batido de trigo, a Cuban puffed wheat milk shake.

One of many burgers featured in Hamburgers and Fries by John T. Edge. Frita along with Loco Moco, Jucy Lucy, green chile burgers at Bobcat Bite, and the fried onion burgers of El Reno, Oklahoma are considered some of the unique regional takes on the hamburger in the United States.

Fruit ketchup

Fruit ketchup is a condiment prepared using fruit as a primary ingredient. Various fruits are used in its preparation, and it is also used as a spread and marinade, among other uses. Banana ketchup is a type of fruit ketchup that is common in the Philippines. Some companies mass-produce fruit ketchup, such as Philippines-based Jufran, and Chups, a small company based in Washington, D.C., United States.

Hamburg steak

Hamburg steak is a patty of ground beef. It is similar to the Salisbury steak. Made popular worldwide by migrating Germans, it became a mainstream dish around the start of the 19th century.

Hangover food

Hangover food consists of foods and dishes that have been described as having a theoretical potential for easing or alleviating symptoms associated with the hangover. While recommendations and folk cures for foods and drinks to relieve hangover symptoms abound, hangover foods have not been scientifically proven to function as a remedy or cure for the hangover.

List of Hawaiian dishes

This is a list of dishes in Hawaiian cuisine, which includes Native Hawaiian cuisine and the broader fusion Cuisine of Hawaii. The Cuisine of Hawaii refers to the indigenous, ethnic, and local cuisines within the diverse state of Hawaii.

List of egg dishes

This is a list of egg dishes. Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have been eaten by mankind for thousands of years. Bird and reptile eggs consist of albumen (egg white) and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes all surrounded by a protective eggshell. Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, quail, roe, and caviar, but the egg most often consumed by humans is the chicken egg, by a wide margin.

List of regional dishes of the United States

The cuisine of the United States includes many regional or local dishes, side dishes and foods. This list includes dishes and foods that are associated with specific regions of the United States.

List of rice dishes

This is a list of rice dishes from all over the world, arranged alphabetically. Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia and the West Indies. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after maize (corn), according to data for 2010.

Nick Tahou Hots

Nick Tahou Hots is a Rochester, New York restaurant featuring a dish called the Garbage Plate. The restaurant was founded in 1918 by Alex Tahou, the grandfather of the 21st-century owner (also named Alex Tahou), and named for Nick Tahou, the founder's son, who operated the establishment until his death in 1997. While there are other Upstate New York variants, Nick Tahou's is the originator of the trademarked Garbage Plate.

Plate lunch

The plate lunch is a quintessentially Hawaiian meal, roughly analogous to Southern U.S. meat-and-threes. However, the pan-Asian influence on Hawaiian cuisine, and its roots in the Japanese bento, make the plate lunch unique to Hawaii.

Standard plate lunches consist of two scoops of white rice, macaroni salad, and an entrée. A plate lunch with more than one entrée is often called a mixed plate.

Slinger (dish)

A slinger is an American Midwest diner specialty typically consisting of two eggs, hash browns, and a hamburger patty (or any other meat) all covered in chili con carne (with or without beans) and generously topped with cheese (cheddar or American) and onions. The eggs can be any style. Hot sauce is usually served on the side. The slinger is considered to be a St. Louis late-night culinary original. It is described as "a hometown culinary invention: a mishmash of meat, hash-fried potatoes, eggs, and chili, sided with your choice of ham, sausage, bacon, hamburger patties, or an entire T-bone steak.

Spam (food)

Spam (stylized as SPAM) is a brand of canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Minnesota. It was first introduced in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. By 2003, Spam was sold in 41 countries on six continents and trademarked in over 100 countries (not including the Middle East and North Africa). Spam's basic ingredients are pork with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch (as a binder), sugar, and sodium nitrite (as a preservative). Natural gelatin is formed during cooking in its tins on the production line. Many have raised concerns over Spam's nutritional attributes, in large part due to its high content of fat, sodium, and preservatives.By the early 1970s, the name "spam" had become a genericized trademark used to describe any canned meat product containing pork, such as pork luncheon meat. With an expansion in communications technology, it became the subject of urban legends about mystery meat and made other appearances in pop culture. The most notable was a Monty Python sketch, which led to its name being borrowed for unsolicited electronic messages, especially email.

Spam musubi

Spam musubi is a popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii composed of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori in the tradition of Japanese omusubi.

Inexpensive and portable, Spam musubi are commonly found near cash registers in convenience stores all over Hawaii.

Spam has become so ubiquitous in Hawaii that Spam dishes range from the cheap and fast at 7-Eleven (which also sells sushi in Hawaii), served on catering trays at formal events, to homemade Spam made by celebrity chefs such as Alan Wong at his exclusive restaurants.


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