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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Puaʻa Loco Moco and a Gravy Debate

Somewhere along the line, I went from despising Valentines' Day to enjoying planning loved up meals. Loco moco is one of Jake's favorite Hawaiian dishes. So, it's definitely one I make for him as cooking for people is my love language!


A Gravy Debate

First, though, let's talk about gravy. Jake and I do not agree on the proper amount of gravy on this dish. I was curious how other people feel about gravy, so I posed the question on social media.



Tell me how you loco moco! Swimming in gravy? Just enough gravy to taste? Jake and I do not see eye to eye on this dish.

  • B: I'm in the just enough camp.

  • I: All the gravy. Lots of hot sauce.

  • S: Well, damn. That’s a fine iteration right there. For the sake of the table though, with such a proper, generous portion of gravy, perhaps a slightly larger plate might be warranted?

  • D: Gravy, not much, but a little more than yours. I'm a gravy man.

  • G: Just casually wading in gravy. Topped off with a splash of Tabasco sauce.

  • W: I have never had this dish....anxious to try it and then I will let you know on the gravy issue.

  • I: Medium gravy, perfect balance.

  • J: I really can’t say without a sample of both offerings. You know where we live!

  • T: Lots of gravy!!


And my favorite response, though not my gravy sensibility, I appreciate her passion: "I need to be able to bathe it in." So, still no consensus on the perfect amount of gravy for this dish.


Puaʻa Loco Moco

Puaʻa is the Hawaiian word for 'pig' and 'pork'. Usually I made beef patties, but I had pork in the fridge, so here we go...


Ingredients serves 2


Burgers

  • 12 ounces ground pork

  • 1 Tablespoon minced shallots

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, approximately 1 Tablespoon

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemongrass

  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated


Gravy

  • 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

  • furikake for sprinkling


Procedure


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.


Gravy

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 furikake as desired. Serve immediately...with your desired amount of gravy.

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