If you’ve spent some time in Hawaii, you have probably experienced (or at least wondered about) the Loco Moco plate found on local menus.
Loco Moco is a traditional Hawaiian meal consisting of a pile of sticky white rice, topped with a thick hamburger patty, a fried egg, and gravy all over the top. Here’s a look at one from this Huffington Post Taste article.
I know, I know…
It’s tasty. It’s filling. And...it’s loaded with some of the things we’re not supposed to eat very often.
Well before we talk health food and all of that, let’s talk story. Because this Loco Moco plate has a bit of a history to it.
The story is that the Loco Moco was born on the Big Island, in the town of Hilo, in the 1940s. According to one debated legend — it began at the Lincoln Grill, where Nancy Inouye, the wife-owner of the grill was trying to satisfy a group of hungry neighborhood kids who couldn’t afford the other menu items. She came up with this cheap and filling combination, then wrote it on her menu board, asking her husband Richard (the restaurant’s cook) what she should call it. He said, “The kids are crazy. Call it Loco Moco.”
There is another legend that this meal is named after the first boy to eat one; he was nicknamed Loco.
However the story came to be, we know that the loco moco stuck. And spread. And today you’ll find this very meal in many local restaurants on all of the islands. Occasionally the hamburger patty is replaced by a slab of Spam. (Again, I know.) The combination of ingredients in the loco moco is a classic mash-up of cultures, which represents the melting pot that is Hawaii: A little Asian, a little American, and a little…gravy? (who gets credit for gravy anyways?)
Well I’m not against a little loco moco now and then. (Remember, I major in moderation.) But for the every day post-surf meal, I have created a lightened-up version for my boys.
We start with a brown rice/quinoa blend. Top it with turkey bacon, fresh spinach and/or avocado, then top it with an egg (scrambled or fried.) I haven’t found an alternative to the gravy, but so far we haven’t missed it. There’s plenty of flavor in this delicious plate.
No, it’s NOT real kine loco moco. But it’s got some of the same feel, and it is definitely a little better for you.
I know a lot of you have visited (or live in) Hawaii, so I hope you’ll share your stories of trying the real loco moco~ Did you try it? Did you love it?
And also, I always wonder: Do you eat rice with eggs where you live?
Maybe this weekend is your time to try a loco moco, one way or the other! 🙂
Pin and share to spread the Aloha…Mahalos!!