Easy Japanese Dishes Pt. 3 – Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)

The last post on the theme of easy Japanese dishes features a Japanese version of the classic Western hamburger, hambagu, or hamburger steak patty. I’m including a couple of miso soups, a vegetable side dish and some pudding (or purin, in Japanese) to finish things off.

The recipe for the hamburger comes from TabiEats and the result was meant to be used in a bento box. Instead, I used it as a topping for leftover Japanese mixed rice.

Hamburger Steak Mixed Rice Bowl

Hamburger Steak Patty – for 2 patties

100 gm /~1/4 pound ground beef or chicken
30-40 gm enoki mushroom base, shredded
2 tbsp finely diced onion (or 1 tsp fried onions)
1/4 tsp salt
few grinds of pepper

Ground beef and shredded enoki mushroom base

Mix all the hamburger patty ingredients together well. Shape into patty to get out the air. Divide into 2 and reshape into hamburger steak patty. Make a small depression in the center as the middle puffs up during frying. Pan fry over medium heat in 1 tsp vegetable oil for a few minutes on the first side and then turn and finish.

Since the burger on its own seemed a bit dry, I borrowed a recipe for a wine reduction hamburger steak sauce from Nami’s Just One Cookbook. Halve the ingredient amounts for the sauce, from the recipe below, if you’re only making two patties.

Hamburger Steak (Hambagu) – for 4 hamburger steak patties

1-2 tsp vegetable oil
4 hamburger patties, about 90 gm each
~1 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Sauce for the hamburger steak

3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp ketchup
3 tbsp tonkatsu sauce (or Worcestershire sauce)

Heat a cast iron or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the hamburger patties and fry 3-4 minutes on the first side. Flip, and add a couple of teaspoons of red wine into the pan.

After you flip, pour 2-3 tsp red wine into the saucepan and then lower the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minute, or until the inside of the patty is no longer pink. Take the lid off and increase the heat to medium-high to let the red wine cook off. When the pan is almost dry, remove the patties to a serving plate and reserve.

Combine the liquid sauce ingredients in a bowl. In the same pan in which you fried the hamburger patties, add the butter and the sauce ingredients and mix well. Lower the heat to medium low and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol. With a slotted spoon, remove any meat bits or scum from the sauce so it’s nice and smooth.

When the sauce has thickened to your liking, pour it over the hamburger steaks.

Serve with vegetable sides and rice.

Shira-ae is a tofu ‘dressing’ made of ground sesame seeds/tahini, miso and tofu and added to shredded vegetables.

I used it to dress some blanched broccoli florettes and served it with one of the hamburger patties and a bowl of miso soup.

Two kinds of white miso soup … egg drop/egg flower and tofu or a clear soup.

To finish up … dessert. Cause you ALWAYS need to finish up with something sweet. (Ok, I like cheese and fruit and nuts too but they weren’t in my budget nor did I know any savoury Japanese afters.)

Dessert was pudding, or purin, in Japanese. Both these desserts were made with the same vanilla bean custard mixture. For the flan/creme caramel, I made a hard caramel and poured it into the bottom of the large ramekins. The smaller ramekins were turned into creme brulee and bruleed under the broiler.

Vanilla Bean Flan/Creme Caramel and Creme Brulee


13 thoughts on “Easy Japanese Dishes Pt. 3 – Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)

  1. Wow, that burger sauce looks so rich and decadent! I had no idea the Japanese had a burger! Meat and mushrooms pair so well, so I’m not at all surprised. Miso is one of my favourite soups, I like how you’ve changed it up with the egg drop (also one of my favourites). Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

  2. I remember when I was in Japan many years ago and had a hamburger. I tasted so different and I bet it was because it had mushroom in the mixture. Your desserts look and sound good.

    1. Thank you. I have NO idea if it’s tradition or just one of Satoshi’s (the one with the beard) inventions.

      If you’ve never watched their channel, check out this review of a dozen Western style cakes from their local chain bakery (Cozy Corner) … gave me some ideas ie. the Tiramisu Millecrepe Cake and the Japanese style no bake (rare) cheesecake. 🙂

  3. Everything looks amazing, especially the Japanese burger! Or rather its sauce…. I’ve been meaning to do it for ages. Thank you for reminding me!

    1. Thank you. The sauce was tasty and easy to make. So many great Japanese recipes I want to try one day … eventually, I’m going to try making that jiggly cheesecake. 🙂

      1. What a post! And I’ve always wanted to give a try at that cheesecake, too!! That burger with the sauce – and that sauce is surprisingly easy! There’s so much here but I have to get to the other two posts in the series!!

      2. The recipes for the Japanese cheesecake I want to make either use a 6-7 inch diameter springform cake pan (which I don’t have) or a TON of eggs. I want to make a scaled down version and bake it in a 1 cup ramekin … probably with a parchment paper collar like with French souffles. My only real challenge is figuring out baking temp and/or time. I WILL do it though. 🙂

        I’m having a lot of fan with Japanese recipes. I’ve been reminded that I haven’t made chawanmushi (steamed egg custard) again since my first attempt several years ago. It’s like a savoury flan.

        PS: Check out the Okinawan taco rice post which preceeded these 3 posts. 🙂


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