My late father’s sister, Ryoko, was a busy person. She owned and managed a family restaurant. As such, her day would start in the afternoon, when she would shop for nightly specials and a family dinner. She would also find time to keep the books (with an abacus!), and cook for dinner, all before heading to work in the evening. So, no wonder she was very efficient in how and what to cook every day. She had a collection of reliable reciepes that could be made in advance and still taste great.
This Japanese hamburger is an adaptation of Aunt Ryoko’s slow-cooked ground beef steaks in stock, soy sauce, and ketchup, which now is our family favorite. Enjoy it with a side of salad or steamed vegetables, rice, and miso soup.
Thank you, Aunt Ryoko-san.
Aunt Ryoko’s Japanese Hamburger Steak (a.k.a. Hambagu)
For Hamburger Steak:
- 1 pound ground beef from my uncle’s Rockin’ Farm in MN
- 1/2 medium onion minced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 teaspoon vegetable oil for frying
For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 -2 cups beef stock low sodium
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worchester sauce optional
- 1/2 red, green, or yellow pepper julienned
- Gather the ingredients.
- Make the hamburger steak by mixing the ingredients. Mix well with your hands and divide the meat into eight portions.
- Heat a frying pan large enough to hold all the meat. Add 1-2 teaspoons of vegetable oil when the pan is hot, then place hamburger steak. They can be snuggly as they shrink in portion size as a cook. Work in batches if the pan is not large enough to hold all the hamburgers.
- On medium-high, brown each side well, then transfer to a plate.
- If there is excess oil, use a paper towel to remove the extra oil from the pan. Make sure to keep all the meat juice. Bring the frying pan back to the stove, add half of the beef stock, and deglaze the pan by scraping the bottom. Once the pan is deglazed, add the remaining stock, turn the heat low, and add ketchup, soy sauce, and Worcester sauce. Mix well.
- Return the hamburger to the frying pan with any juice from the plate. Turn the heat low and partially cover the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes: turn the meat once or twice to prevent dryness. Add peppers and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the hamburger rest in the sauce before serving.