Japanese style Hambagu steak



Hamburger Steak or Hambagu (ハンバーグ) we call it in Japan, is a very popular dish both at home and restaurants. I think it is one of the most popular side dishes in bento as well. If you ask kids what is their favorite bento ingredient, many will probably say immediately “Hambagu!” 🙂  To me Hambagu reminds me of my childhood. My mom was very good at making delicious Hambagu in her kitchen. She made some variations time to time but her Hambagu was almost always with demi-glace red wine sauce. Later I came to Tokyo to study and had Teriyaki Hambagu with a fried egg on top for the first time. Wow, it was different from my mom’s but very tasty! I also like the very Japanese version of Hambagu with grated daikon and Japanese soy sauce seasonings as well. It is originally a western dish but it is something I am looking forward to eating in Japan as well. A famous meat shop in my home town Kanazawa makes wonderful Hambagu patties. They are not cooked, you can buy this seasoned and formed patty and cook it at home later. It is THE MEAT SHOP’S PROUD PRODUCT using generously the Japanese high quality beef from Matsuzaka. When the ingredients are at so high level of quality, it just can not go wrong!

Busy business districts in Tokyo all have good lunch joints for Hambagu. When you come to Japan and you like meat, I recommend you to try one of the lunch set menues with Hambagu and sticky Japanese rice and a bowl of miso soup all served on one tray. If you are joined by a bunch of busy Japanese  businessmen and office ladies, it is a good sign. Yes you are eating an authentic Japanese Style Hambagu Steak.

A variation calls for melting cheese on top

* Ingredients *  for 4 large Hambagu steaks

Beef ground meat   200g
Pork ground meat   200g
Onion              1
Panko           1/2 cup
Milk               3 table spoons
Salt               1 tea spoon
Pepper and Nutmeg      a little bit
Egg              1

Flour and salad oil
Sauce (red wine, ketchup, tonkatsu sauce, mustard) 


1. Mince the onion as small as possible. If the bits are large it does not mix with the ground meat well and the air will come in to crack the patty. I use my electric food processor to mince onion so well when making Hambagu.

2.  Heat a frypan, add some salad oil and sautee the onion for 15 minutes over medium heat. It maybe a long and boring process but hope you can manage. Turn off the heat, transfer the onion onto a plate and let it cool completely about 30 minutes.

3.  While you wait, mix panko and milk together in a small cup.

4.  When the onion is cooled, mix all ingredients in a large bowl.


Place a wet kitchen cloth on a table and put the large bowl on it (so that it won’t slip). Use your hand and mix well. When all the ingredients are mixed well, you go to the next step to knead. It should be like a well-combined soft meat dough. Just imagine your hand is a mixer and try to distribute the wet panko, egg and onion into every corner of the dough. Mix in all ingredients together so that you get one whole dough that is so well incorporated.


5. My Hambagu meat dough is very soft. When it is done you can wash your hand. Apply some salad oil on both your palms. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal potions and form them like an oval-shaped patty about 1cm in thickness. Throw each patty back and forth in your hands to release the air inside. Give a thin coat of flour and use your finger to make a small indentation in the middle.

S4DSC_3758  S4DSC_3759  S4DSC_3760

I made small ones for bento!
I made small ones for bento!

6.  Heat a frypan over medium high heat, add some salad oil. When both the pan and the oil are hot place the patties and fry. Give them a good crisp brown crust on both sides. It probably needs to be fried 2 or 3 minutes each side. Keep your eyes on them and do not burn!!


When the both sides are nice and crisp, turn the heat down and cook for 4-5 minutes through the meat.  Right before it is done, turn up the heat and pour in 50cc red wine and put a lid on. Wine-steam for 2 minutes.   

7.  Take the hambagu steak on a plate.  Mix 2 table spoons of the meat juice (and red wine in it), 1 table spoon of ketchup, 1 table spoon of tonkatsu sauce and 1 tea spoon of mustard to make a sauce. Bon Appetite! 🙂

xxx Rie







後記:2015年11月にカナダHuffpost Livingで「ミートローフレシピベスト28」のひとつに選んで頂きました。(^o^)

1.5L 容量 パウンド型1台分 5〜6人前

牛ひき肉 500g
豚ひき肉 200g

A) パン粉 40g 卵1個  牛乳 125g

塩 こしょう ガーリックパウダー 各少々
ケチャップ 、ウスターソース 各大1

B) たまねぎ 100g、人参 50g、セロリ 80g 赤ピーマン 100g


ボールにA)のパン粉と牛乳を入れて浸し、卵を割りいれます。 よく混ぜて、パン粉に水分を吸い取らせ、冷蔵庫に入れておきます。結構ドロドロです。


B)の野菜を微塵切りにして、 熱したフライパンにサラダ油をひき、軽く炒めます。火からおろして、よく冷まします。

牛豚のひき肉はよく冷やし、ボールに入れて軽くざっと混ぜます。 そこにA)とB)を入れて、全部がよく混ざりあうように混ぜます。 混ざったら、調味料を入れます。ケチャップが入ると粘りが出やすく なると思います。少し力を入れてこねます。



ミートローフにする時は、パウンド型に少しずつ空気を押し出しながら詰めていきます。 この材料の量で1.5L容量のパウンド型にちょうどきちんと入ります。


真ん中が持ち上がって焼けるので、真ん中に筋を作って少し 凹ましておきます。 180度のオーブンで45分から50分焼きます。途中で一度出して、 お肉から出てきた脂を捨て、向きも変えています。肉汁も混ざって いるので、あとからソースに加えたい方は捨てないでとっておくと いいです。 焼きあがってから5分〜10分ほどおいてから切るときれいに 切れます。味はついていますが、ケチャップとマスタードをあわせ、 タバスコを数滴落としたものをつけて食べると美味しいですよ。




Rie’s Meat Loaf/Menchi Katsu



Meat loaf is one of my husband’s favorite dishes and he is very happy when I make this for him. This recipe is based on a good meat loaf recipe I found in my mother-in-law’s old cooking book and I changed some ingredients as they are not available here in Oslo. It is very easy and always successful and I like this recipe very much.

PS… In November 2015 this recipe was chosen to be included in the article “28 Meal Loaf recipes in the world” by Ms. Joy D’Souza, Food Editor in Canadian Huffington Post. I was very happy when I received the news! I paste the link here to the article and the slide show. Please check out the other 27 wonderful meat loaf recipes in the world!

Rie’s Meat Loaf
This recipe is enough for 5-6 people, it uses a baking dish (1.5L volume)

Beef ground meat   500g
Pork ground meat   200g

Bread crumb      40g
Egg        1
Milk     125g
Salt, black pepper, garlic powder

Ketchup   1 table spoon
Worchester sauce    1 table spoon

Onion   100g
Carrot    50g
Celery    80g
Red paprika   100g

Salad oil


1. Mix bread crumbs and milk in a container and add egg. Mix all well and let it stand so that bread crumbs absorb milk and egg well. Keep it in fridge for 10 minutes.


2. Cut B) vegetables into small pieces. I use my food processor.

Heat a fry pan, add some salad oil and sautee the vegetables. You do not need to season it. It does not take so long time, maybe 5-6 minutes. Take it off from the heat. Cool it well.

Take the beef and pork ground meat out of the fridge. Put them in a bowl and mix lightly.

When the vegetables are cooled completely, add A) and B) and mix very well. Everything has to be at the same temperature, specially the vegetables should be cooled very well after sautéed. When it is all well mixed, add the seasonings. After ketchup comes in, you can knead it easier. Mix it very well.


If you are making it as Menchi Katsu, make balls, 100g each, and coat with flour, egg, bread crumbs before you deep fry in hot oil.


If you are serving it as a Meat Loaf, fill a baking dish mold with the meat dough. Use your palm to press out any excess air inside. This recipe is perfect for a mold of 1.5L volume.


Bake it in the oven 180C for 45-50 minutes. I take it out once in the middle of baking and discard fat and fatty juice. Then I turn it around to put even brown color on the surface of the meat loaf.

When it is finished, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

The meat loaf has already good seasonings in it but if you like to make a gravy, here is the recipe :

Pour all the juice in the meat loaf pan to a small sauce pan. Heat it up to reduce to half or until it is reduced to be about 1/4 cup. Add 1/4 cup red wine and reduce more. When the juice reduction and wine becomes thick but still aromatic add 1 table spoon of ketchup, 1 tea spoon of mustard and some drops of Tabasco. Season with salt.

Bon appétit!

xxx Rie