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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Loco Moco with a Sea of Gravy #FoodieReads

Not that I need an excuse to make loco moco, but this one was inspired by Someone Else's Life: A Thriller by Lyn Liao Butler.

Someone Else's Life: A Thriller by Lyn Liao Butler ended up on my to-read list on my Kindle. I am not sure why. Maybe the algorithm knows that I am a sucker for anything set on the Hawaiian islands. This book was a quick read that had me guessing almost to the end what the connection was between the two women. I mean, I figured that one was a stalker, but it grew more and more creepy as the story went on. But, spoiler alert!, it was wrapped up a little too neatly for this reader. Stalkers, dead children, ehhh... not my favorite read.

But, as I mentioned, I will breeze through even the most uncomfortable reads if it's set in Hawaii. And this book is actually set on my favorite of the Hawaiian islands: Kauai. I was even more thrilled when my favorite hole-in-the-wall saimin spot got a mention. "'I’ve never had lilikoi pie before. Is it good?' Annie rolled her eyes. 'So good. It’s really refreshing and so light. I think Hamura Saimin has the best lilikoi pie on the island. The three of us always get it after saimin when we eat there.' 'What’s saimin?' Serena looked at her with curiosity, and Annie was glad she’d distracted her." Even though we make saimin often, I realize that I have never blogged it. I will remedy that soon!

I have never heard of lu rou fan, but after this passage, I will definitely give it a try. "'My dad made me a pot of lu rou fan. Do you know what that is?' Serena shook her head. rou fan is usually finely chopped pork belly that’s slow-cooked in an aromatic soy sauce with five spices. But my dad doesn’t chop up the pork belly. He leaves it whole, which has a whole other name, I think kang rou fan, or something like that. But we just call it lu rou fan. He spoons the pork belly over hot rice with the sauce. He adds hard-boiled eggs in the sauce too, along with sliced carrots. So it’s like a stew, but the sauce is amazing." It sounds amazing, right?

In the end, it was the list of the family's favorites that had me heading into the kitchen: "Hawaiian sweet bread for Brody, Spam fried rice for Annie, and loco moco for Finn." Loco moco is one of Jake's favorite Hawaiian dishes. So, whenever we are craving a meat meal, this is at the top of his list. As far as the title of the post, he prefers a sea of gravy.

Ingredients serves 2


  • 12 ounces ground beef

  • 1 Tablespoon minced shallots

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, approximately 1 Tablespoon

  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated


  • 4 Tablespoons butter, divided

  • olive oil, as needed

  • 3 Tablespoons flour

  • 1-1/2 cups beef stock

  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons soy sauce, to taste

For Serving

  • steamed rice

  • fried egg

  • freshly ground pepper, as needed

  • sliced green onions


Burger Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined. Form the meat into 2 equal size patties, these were about 6 ounces each. Place on a parchment-lined plate and set aside until ready to cook. Cook, as desired, on a grill or on the stove with grill pan.


In a skillet, melt butter in a splash of olive oil. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the stock. Whisk constantly until thickened to a nice gravy consistency. Season to taste with soy sauce.

For Serving

Scoop rice onto individual serving plates. Spoon gravy over the rice. Position the burger on top of the rice and gravy, then top with a fried egg. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and sliced green onions as desired. Serve immediately. I usually serve this with some Asian-inspired salads on the side.

I am adding this post to the January 2023 #FoodieReads link-up, here.

18 views2 comments


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Feb 01, 2023

I have never heard of most of the dishes you mentioned but they all sound delicious and the loco moco looks amazing.

Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
Feb 01, 2023
Replying to

Thanks. It's one of our favorites, though this has me longing to make saimin. Soon!

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