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Loco moco

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Title: Loco moco  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of Hawaiian dishes, Cuisine of Hawaii, American fried rice, Congee, List of rice dishes
Collection: Hamburgers (Food), Hawaiian Cuisine, Regional Dishes of the United States, Rice Dishes
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Loco moco

A loco moco plate lunch, with soba noodles (left) and macaroni salad (right)
Hamburger loco moco at Aqua Cafe, Honolulu
Fish loco moco

Loco moco is a meal in the contemporary cuisine of Hawaii. There are many variations, but the traditional loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. Variations may include chili, bacon, ham, Spam, kalua pork, linguiça, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, oysters, and other meats. Loco Moco is also the name of a Hawaiian-based restaurant chain that serves Hawaiian rice bowl dishes.


  • History and origin 1
  • Popularity 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6

History and origin

The dish was reportedly created at the Lincoln Grill restaurants in Hilo, Hawaii in 1949 by its proprietors, Richard Inouye and his wife Nancy, at the request of teenagers from the Lincoln Wreckers Sports club seeking something that differed from a sandwich and inexpensive yet quickly prepared and served. They asked Nancy to put some rice in a bowl, a hamburger patty over the rice and then topped with brown gravy. The egg came later. The teenagers named the dish Loco Moco after one of their members whose nickname was "Crazy." Loco was Spanish for crazy. They tacked on "moco" which "rhymed with loco and sounded good".[1][2][3]


The dish is widely popular in Hawaii and now on the menu at many Hawaiian restaurants in the mainland United States. In keeping with the standards of Japanese cuisine, rice is used as a staple starch, finished off with the hamburger, gravy, and fried eggs to create a dish that does not require the preparation time of bento. Loco moco can be found in various forms on many Pacific islands from Hawaii to Samoa to Guam and Saipan, and is also popular in Japan.

This dish was featured on the "Taste of Hawai'i" episode of Girl Meets Hawai'i, a Travel Channel show hosted by Samantha Brown. The episode features the dish being served at the popular restaurant, Hawaiian Style Cafe, in Waimea together with the plate lunch, another Hawaiian specialty dish.[4]

The loco moco was also featured on a Honolulu-based episode of the Travel Channel show Man v. Food (this episode aired in the show's second season). The host, Adam Richman, tried this dish at the Hukilau Café, located in nearby Laie.

See also


  1. ^ Laudan, Rachel (1996), The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage, University of Hawaii Press, p. 20,  
  2. ^ "The Loco Moco - Cafe 100, Hilo Hawaii". Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Loco Moco Recipe, Loco Moco History, History and Recipe of Hawaiian Loco Moco, Hawaii's Feel Good Food, Hamburger Recipes". Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  4. ^ Girl Meets Hawaii - Taste of Hawaii (Flash) (Video).  

Further reading

  • Gimla Shortridge, Barbara; Shortridge, James R. (1998), The Taste of American Place: A Reader on Regional and Ethnic Foods, Rowman & Littlefield, . A reprint of Kelly's original paper.  
  • Kelly, James (1983), "Loco Moco: A Folk Dish in the Making", Social Process in Hawai'i 30: 59–64 .
  • Hawaii Tribune-Herald article written by Gene Tao, staff writer. September 23, 1981 edition.

External links

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