If there is one dish in Hawaii that has enduringly captured the imagination of chefs and their guests, it’s the loco moco. Created in 1949 at The Lincoln Grill in Hilo, the cheap and easy dish quickly became a staple at every diner, hole-in-the-wall and lunch wagon worth its salt. But remarkably, this humble, comforting food also is present in one form or another at the finest restaurants in town.
We asked Chef Alan Wong to re-create a loco moco for the 21st century, to consider the dish as a statement of Hawaii’s culinary journey and our steps towards sustainability.
21st Century “Loco Moco”
Recipe courtesy Chef Alan Wong
* 4 ounces quinoa
* 2 (4-ounce) medallions of Maui Cattle Company beef tenderloin
* 3 MA’O Farms white turnips
* 3 MA’O Farms breakfast radishes
* Warabi tips from Hana Herb and Flowers
* 2 pieces Eryngii mushrooms from Hamakua Mushrooms
* Oil, to sautÃ©
* 3 ounces meat gravy (see recipe below)
* 2 whole eggs
* Chives, sliced for garnish
In a pot, boil the quinoa until tender. Drain and set aside. Wash the white turnips and breakfast radishes, and blanch in salted water until tender. Remove the vegetables; shock in cold water to prevent overcooking. Drain and set aside.
In a separate pot of boiling salted water, blanch the warabi tips. After about 10 seconds, shock the warabi tips in ice water to prevent overcooking. Drain and set aside.
Cut the Eryngii mushrooms in half lengthwise. SautÃ©. Sear tenderloins until the meat is cooked to the preferred doneness.
Place two whole eggs (in the shell) in an immersion circulator with water set at 61.5 degrees Celcius. Cook for one hour. After cooking, gently crack the egg shell and slide the cooked egg out.
Place the cooked quinoa in a mound in the middle of a dinner plate. Place the two seared beef medallions on the quinoa and top with the two cooked eggs. Pour the meat gravy over the eggs, and place the vegetables around the plate. Garnish with chives.
* 1 pound ground beef
* 1 cup white onion, finely diced
* 1 teaspoon minced garlic
* 8 cups vegan brown stock (see recipe on website)
* 4 tablespoons cornstarch slurry
* Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large sautÃ© pan on high heat, brown the ground beef with a little oil. When beef is browned, add the onion and sautÃ© for about three minutes. Add the garlic and sautÃ© for about one minute, then add the vegan brown stock. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Thicken with cornstarch slurry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.