When someone mentions "Hawaiian cuisine," you probably think of dishes like Spam musubi, macaroni salad, poke, and shaved ice. Hawaii is known for its diverse range of hearty and colorful dishes, many of which have recently gained popularity on the mainland. It seems like every few weeks there’s a new poke or acaí bowl place in town. However, one local Hawaiian favorite that you probably haven’t heard of is the Loco Moco.

The Loco Moco is a beef patty over rice, topped with a generous serving of gravy and a fried egg. For most locals in Hawaii, the Loco Moco is a classic comfort food that you can probably find at most casual restaurants and roadside diners.

My mom, who is from Hawaii, used to make this for me when I was younger. The Loco Moco is as simple and delicious as it sounds, making it the perfect lazy weeknight dish that you can throw together in less than half an hour. This loaded meal of carbs, meat, and fried eggs will send your mouth watering with every saucy, yolky bite you take. There are many variations of the basic Loco Moco. Creative eaters have added furikake (a popular dry Japanese seaweed seasoning), Spam, and Sriracha. Although twists on the recipe add new dimensions to the dish, the classic Loco Moco is packed with plenty of flavor.

If you're still not sold on the Loco Moco, try out this quick recipe for yourself. After trying this simple and hearty dish, it's sure to become your lazy weeknight staple. 

Loco Moco

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:35 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy


  • 1 serving cooked white rice
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Gravy
  • 1 or 2 eggs
Ariel Yue
  • Step 1

    In a mixing bowl, mix ground beef with desired amounts of salt and pepper. Form into a patty.

    Ariel Yue
  • Step 2

    Pour oil into a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties until slightly charred or brown, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

    Ariel Yue
  • Step 3

    Remove patty from heat and place on plate over generous serving of white rice.

    Ariel Yue
  • Step 4

    Heat up desired amount of gravy and pour over patty and rice.

    Ariel Yue
  • Step 5

    Top off your plate with one or two fried eggs.

    Ariel Yue

This is a quick recipe for the basic Loco Moco, but if you’re feeling creative, feel free to kick it up a notch by adding additional spices to your patty or making your own gravy. My favorite variation of the dish involves adding Portuguese sausage, another item commonly offered in casual Hawaiian dining, garnished with green onions. Other common additions include mushrooms along with the gravy, or pan-frying a few slices of Spam along with the patty.

If you thought Spam musubi was the greatest Hawaiian comfort food, think again. For those looking to try new comfort foods outside of typical American favorites, this could be your new favorite dish. Whether you want to call it Hawaii’s reimagined burger or a hidden Hawaiian street food gem, the Loco Moco is an undeniably delicious meal that you should definitely take a chance on.