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  • Writer's pictureLuis and JudyAnn

Lovingly Made Loco Moco

Updated: Jan 20, 2020

From the islands to your dinner table, Loco Moco is Hawaiian comfort food made with rice and a burger smothered with rich gravy and a runny yolk.

With a name that sounds more like a Mexican fast food joint or a designer drug, you’d hardly expect Loco Moco to be a dish that hails from a chain of volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Born out of the plate-lunch culture that is a pillar of modern Hawaiian cuisine, Loco Moco is a dish that could only have been invented in the melting pot that is Hawaii.

Loco moco is one of Hawaii’s most popular dishes. It’s a comfort breakfast dish but can be served for lunch or dinner. The dish is made of a beef patty topped with savory gravy and a fried egg on a bed of rice. The secret behind an amazing loco moco is behind the gravy. A comfort breakfast dish at its best!

There are many people who claim to have invented Loco Moco, but it is generally agreed that around 1949, either the Cafe 100 or the Lincoln Grill (both in Hilo, Hawaii) originated the first dish of Loco Moco. Legend has it, the dish was created for teenagers who wanted something different from typical American sandwiches and less time-consuming than Asian food to eat for breakfast.  The nickname of the first boy to eat this mash-up was "loco" (“crazy” in Spanish).  Moco rhymed with loco and had a nice ring to it, so "Loco Moco" became the name of the dish.

It certainly packs the caloric content needed to satisfy active and growing youth. This recipe keeps it as simple as it was back in those times, but feel free to experiment a bit yourself, go a little loco with loco moco.


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