Loco Moco (loh-koo moh-koo) is Hawaii's original homemade fast food and can be found at
just about any fast food joint, roadside diner, mom and pop restaurant or lunch wagon in the Islands.
It is truly unique to Hawaii,
and it is a comfort food, or "local grind," of the Hawaiian Islands. Local food is not the cuisine that is served in
upscale hotels and restaurants of Hawaii. It is a
basic structure was established soon after World War II - the best fast food
or mixture of cuisines from many Pacific rim countries, with a special
Loco Moco is a mountainous meal consisting of a heap of white rice topped with a hamburger patty and a Sunnyside-up egg,
and then smothered in gravy. This dish is popular for
breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is a candidate for the
Cholesterol Hall of Fame. As you eat, break the egg -
then blend the burger, egg, rice, and
gravy on your fork for each bite for a real taste of
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. According to the story, 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 concoction was Loco ("crazy" in Portuguese and
Hawaiian pidgin). Moco rhymed with loco and sounded great, so Loco Moco
became the name of the dish.
According to John Penisten from his former web site:
Rudy Legaspi, former member
and unofficial historian of the Tropi-Ties (also recently retired Executive
Assistant to the Mayor of Hawaii County and admitted loco-moco
fanatic) says "The loco-moco had its
origins with the Lincoln Wreckers Athletic Club, an
informal organization for local teenagers, in the late
1940's. The group used to hang-out at the Lincoln Grill
Restaurant across the street from Lincoln Park in
The Lincoln Wreckers, who played in the local
"bare-foot" football league of the time, had some
success on the field, but its main claim to fame was
their creation of the loco-moco. The popular local
dish has become a staple on restaurant menus throughout
the islands and is a recognized cultural cuisine icon,
as much as a taco is to Mexican fare or a pizza to
The loco moco story began in 1949, after
Richard and Nancy Inouye opened the Lincoln Grill
Restaurant. The teens used to hang-out at the eatery,
playing the pin-ball machines, cards, dropping nickels
in the Wurlitzer jukebox and constantly feeding their
hungry appetites. And in those days, when teens didn't
have much money in their pockets, the standard fare was
a bowl of saimin noodles or a hamburger, things which
didn't quite fill the always hungry teens.
So the club devised a plan to ask the Inouyes to create
a special dish just for them, something filling and
affordable. For the task, the Wreckers nominated a guy
nicknamed "Crazy" for his wild and madcap play on the
football field. "Crazy" approached the Inouyes with the
club's request and the rest is history."
Hawaiian Loco Moco Recipe:
Yields: 1 serving
Prep time: 15 min
1/4 pound ground beef (hamburger)
Hot prepared gravy
Hot pepper sauce
ground beef into a patty. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, cook patty
until cooked to your liking; remove from heat and set aside.
Fry egg (sunny-side
up or over easy) in the grease from the ground beef.
this dish by putting a bed of cooked rice in a large bowl, top with
hamburger patty, fried egg, and 1 to 2 ladles of hot gravy. Add hot pepper
sauce, ketchup, or soy sauce according to your preference.
serving for a very hungry person.
More delicious Hawaiian food to learn about and and make:
Shave Ice, and
Spam - Spam Musubi.