Skip to main content

Loco Moco, A Traditional Hawaiian Breakfast Recipe

Susan has been sharing recipes online since 2006. She specializes in simple, delicious, family-friendly recipes that everyone loves.


You don't have to be in Hawaii to enjoy loco moco for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Call me crazy, but I love loco moco!

Loco moco is the name of a popular breakfast meal served in restaurants in the state of Hawaii. It's a true breakfast in a bowl, a meal high in protein, perfect for storing up energy before hitting the surf (or school, or even the office)!

I'm not a surfer, but I know a thing or two about breakfast - and this is definitely an unusual breakfast food, at least in all places besides Hawaii. Turns out that back in 1949 a group of guys requested that the owner of their local favorite restaurant in Hilo, Hawaii, create a cheap meal for their breakfast. They requested a bowl of rice with a hamburger on top, covered in gravy and crowned with a fried egg. Their wish was her command and the rest, as they say, is history. The breakfast dish was so crazy they decided to call it "loco." "Moco" made a nice rhyme and loco moco was born.

These days you'll find loco moco on the menu at many eateries in Hawaii and it's as popular as ever. If you can't make it to Hawaii for breakfast, you can do as I do and duplicate the dish at home. My version features brown rice, although the original has the sticky, white variety. If you prefer vegetarian, choose a veggie burger. If you can't do breakfast without ham or bacon, toss them in instead, or use a sausage patty instead of the hamburger. Oh, and don't limit loco moco to breakfast. It makes a great lunch or even a nice, easy supper meal-in-a-bowl.

No matter how you stack it, loco moco is a great-tasting, very filling, totally Hawaiian comfort food meal. I love it!

P.S. We've also included a recipe for Hawaiian macaroni salad, often served alongside loco moco. Don't miss it!

Loco Moco Recipe

Loco Moco, Hawaiian comfort food for breakfast or anytime! This is a good way to use leftover rice or hamburgers. I often plan for it in advance by cooking extra rice or a couple of extra hamburgers a day or two before. When it's time for the Loco Moco, it's quick and easy to heat the leftovers, fry the egg and heat the gravy, then assemble. Vary the ingredients to satisfy your own taste.

Cook timeReady inYields

30 min

30 min

1 (easy to adapt for more hungry people)


  • 2 scoops of rice
  • 1 hamburger patty
  • brown gravy
  • 1 fried egg
  • sliced green onion for garnish


  1. Note that the time specified includes time to cook both the rice and the hamburger. If you're using leftover rice, hamburger, or even gravy and those items are already ready to just heat and serve, you can assemble your Loco Moco in mere minutes.
  2. Scoop the cooked rice into a bowl; top with the cooked hamburger patty. Ladle the gravy over the hamburger. Top with the fried egg (cooked over-easy or to your taste). Garnish with some sliced green onion.
  3. Serve with a side order of Hawaiian style macaroni salad (recipe below) if you like. Enjoy!
  4. Variations: Use sausage, ham, even Spam, or maybe a turkey or vegetarian burger instead of the hamburger.

POLL: What do you think about loco moco? - Participate in our poll, please!

February is Hot Breakfast Month

Loco moco is filling and delicious. A perfect choice for a hot, family breakfast!

Kona Coffee from Hawaii to You

Never Lose Your Loco Moco Recipe. Enjoy your Kona coffee in this great mug!

Loco Moco Recipe on a Mug - Aqua

Loco Moco Recipe on a Mug - Aqua

Click here for details or to order this Loco Moco Recipe Mug

Loco Moco with a scoop of Macaroni Salad on the side

Loco Moco with a scoop of Macaroni Salad on the side

Serve Macaroni Salad With Your Loco Moco

... if you want to be authentic!

Order a plate lunch of loco moco or anything else in Hawaii and you'll likely get a scoop of Hawaiian-style macaroni salad on the side. I asked my online friend and amazing cook, Smine27, who happens to have grown up in Hawaii, if he knew why macaroni salad is so popular there. He didn't know, but he did some research and came up with this newspaper article from the archives of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that covers the topic well.

What did they find out? While there are many theories, it seems no one has a definitive answer, but it's a great article, well worth a five-minute read, especially if you're interested in Hawaiian culture.

Photo source

Scroll to Continue

Hawaiian Style Macaroni Salad Recipe - . . . to make your plate lunch (or breakfast) complete.

Macaroni salad is a staple with any Hawaiian plate lunch, as well as with loco moco. There isn't anything much simpler than basic Hawaiian-style macaroni salad. In fact, three main ingredients plus a little milk and a shake of salt and pepper will get it done for you in no time.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves: A family


  • Large elbow macaroni - thoroughly cooked
  • Shredded carrots - about 1/4 cup
  • Mayonnaise - Best Foods or Hellman's - no substitutes - about a cup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook the macaroni well, drain, then gently stir in the shredded carrots, the milk, and the mayonnaise until well coated. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve a scoop of macaroni salad with your loco moco for an authentic Hawaiian breakfast meal.

Loco Moco Facts

Loco moco is a dish native to Hawaiian cuisine. There are many variations, but the essential loco moco consists of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. Variations may include chili, bacon, ham, Spam, kalua pork, Portuguese sausage, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, oysters, and other meats.

Read more on Wikipedia

How About a Hawaiian-Style Cookbook for Your Collection? Choose this charming bestseller to broaden your home-cooking horizons.

Hawaiian Loco Moco - How did "Loco Moco" get its name? Here's a short video which includes a history of the origin of loco moco and how it's made.

"The kitchen sink of meals"

Have you tried Loco Moco?

Plan to? We'd love to read your comments, and do let us know if you try our loco moco recipe. You'll find our guestbook below.



More Recipes That Families Love

  • Recipes for Real People
    You'll find more recipes that your family will love in my recipe blog. All recipes are family-tested and approved!

© 2009 Susan Deppner

Comments? What do you think about Loco Moco?

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on July 31, 2014:

@Faye Rutledge: You're welcome! Give it a try to let me know what you think. Sausage sounds good!

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on July 30, 2014:

Hmm, never heard of this, but it sounds pretty good. I think I'd like mine with sausage. It does sound like a very filling breakfast that would stay with you awhile. Good for dinner, too. Thanks for this recipe.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on June 21, 2014:

@jc stone: Very glad you did! I hope you'll give our recipe a try. It's delicious!

Jordan on June 20, 2014:

I seen this on Google and thought i would stop by.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on June 19, 2014:

@Vicki_P: So glad you shared that - it sounds delicious! In fact, very delicious. Mmmm! Thanks for stopping by!

Vicki_P on June 19, 2014:

I'm hungry . . . This reminded me of something I haven't made in a while, but everyone loves. I'll share it with you, if that's OK. Make couscous with chicken broth, and simply top with an egg (or two!) and Thai sweet chili sauce. I only have the large-type of couscous right now, but I think I'm going to have to make it!! It's all good . . . your lens and the Loco Moco!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on April 03, 2014:

@Diana Wenzel: Wouldn't that be nice! I hope you do!

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on April 03, 2014:

I'm just loco enough to fly over to Hawaii and try this. Things always taste better in Hawaii.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 28, 2014:

@junecampbell: Thanks! I'm sure loco moco isn't for everyone. I really appreciate your kind words!

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on March 27, 2014:

I doubt if I will try Loco Moco, but you have done an excellent job of this lens.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 14, 2014:

@Brite-Ideas: Give it a try! It really is delicious and filling in a nice, comfort food way.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 14, 2014:

@Elsie Hagley: It really is good. My husband always loves when I fix loco moco. Let me know if you try it, Elsie!

Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on March 13, 2014:

I have never heard of it before, but that won't start me from trying it. Thanks for sharing you have a very interesting article here, nice photos.

Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on March 13, 2014:

I've never heard of this! I'll have to pin it to my collection of recipes!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 13, 2014:

@shay-marie: Wow, that's funny, Shay, but don't tell him I said that!

Shay Marie from Southern California on March 13, 2014:

My husband loves this stuff. He gets angry whenever local Hawaiian restaurants don't serve it.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 13, 2014:

@Merrci: I owe you about 20 more in exchange for all of yours! :)

Merry Citarella from Oregon's Southern Coast on March 13, 2014:

Look yummy and it's making me hungry! Thanks for the recipe Susan.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 10, 2014:

@sierradawn lm: Wow, I had no idea it was THAT popular. Cool!

sierradawn lm on January 09, 2014:

I remember that you could even get Loco Moco at McDonalds when I lived in Hilo. In fact, you could even get it at the concession stand at the movie theater. I love it!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on November 24, 2013:

@LadyDuck: Hope you love it!

LadyDuck on November 23, 2013:

What a good breakfast idea. I am surely going to try this.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on June 04, 2013:

@OneFunMom: Cool! My husband would love the corned beef hash version and I never would have thought of that. I really appreciate the comment and suggestions. Have fun in Hawaii!

OneFunMom on June 04, 2013:

We moved to Hawaii three months ago and love loco moco. We just had it for dinner the other night! Every place you go has their own special spin on it. I personally like pork gravy rather than brown gravy and my husband loves his with corned beef hash sometimes instead of the burger!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 30, 2013:

@Cynthia Haltom: I'm sure a vegetarian version would be delicious!

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 30, 2013:

I need to make it vegetarian.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 22, 2013:

@soaringsis: I was surprised at how well they went together!

soaringsis on May 22, 2013:

I like all of the ingredients, I think I might try them together. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 26, 2013:

@DivaChick LM: Great idea!

DivaChick LM on February 26, 2013:

Sounds great for brunch :-D

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on February 25, 2013:

I am definitely going to try it. It sounds very Asian.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 06, 2013:

@Jogalog: Or even supper!

Jogalog on February 06, 2013:

I'd love to try it - Maybe for lunch though!

Aditya Gogoi from Sunnyvale on February 05, 2013:

Looks Yummy!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 01, 2013:

@KobayashiFiction: LOL Awesome!

KobayashiFiction on February 01, 2013:

@SusanDeppner: Haha. Thanks to you, I fried an egg for the very first time! ^_^

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on February 01, 2013:

@KobayashiFiction: Oh, wow, that sounds absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing that variation with me! I never really thought to use my leftover turkey that way, but I will in the future!

KobayashiFiction on February 01, 2013:

Thanks to this Lens, I did a bit of experiementing (turkey in place of beef hamburgers and adding corn to the gravy for sweetness) and made beautiful Loco Moco last night! My husband was really surprised be something so different! And I liked how exotic it looked! Thank you! Ono / Delicious!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 29, 2013:

@Brandi Bush: Oh, yes. It's good!

Brandi from Maryland on January 29, 2013:

Oh my...loco moco sounds SO good! I would love to try this! :)

sean-carthew on January 17, 2013:

Mmmmmmmm can't wait to try this

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on January 14, 2013:

@jgrivera: I love it when someone who has lived in Hawaii finds this page! Thanks so much for your comment!

jgrivera on January 14, 2013:

I was born and raised in Hawaii now living is Cali. We ate Loco Moco at least once a week! When in Hawaii stop by L&L restaurant for the best Loco Moco. Awesome job Susan! Thank you for sharing!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on December 06, 2012:

@anonymous: That is too cool! Wow, thank you so much for sharing that experience. The Super Loco Moco sounds delicious! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

anonymous on December 06, 2012:

In Hilo yesterday and had the "super loco moco" at Cafe 100.

Hamburger, Portuguese sausage & spam!

Loved it, glad I'm going to the gym while here on vacation!

Gr8fulGirl on September 23, 2012:

@SusanDeppner: Thanks, I already have the recipe (being a Maui native and all), but I was suggesting that you introduce it to all those uninformed people out there--since you wrote this lens so well, I'm sure you'd be able to convince even the anti-spam people to give the spam musubi a chance. :o)

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on September 23, 2012:

@Gr8fulGirl: So glad you found this page! Maybe I'll leave the spam recipe for you. Go for it!!

Gr8fulGirl on September 22, 2012:

Been eating it my whole life........and I'm still not sick of it! I'm from Maui, where loco moco is as common a meal as a burger and fries. I'm guessing a lot of people who have never tried it may be anti-loco-moco, so it's great that you wrote a pro-loco-moco lens to convince them to give it a chance. I wouldn't be surprised if you've already converted a, you should tackle spam musubi :o)

anonymous on September 18, 2012:

I am always looking for a quick breakfast recipe that is delicious, this certainly fits the bill.

SilmarwenLinwelin on September 18, 2012:

I've never tried it, but I'd like to!

Heidi from Benson, IL on September 17, 2012:

Wow...I've never heard of this dish! Looks pretty funny but I might try it if I ever make it to Hawaii.

lewisgirl on September 17, 2012:

The Kona coffee I will do. I don't think I could do the loco moco.

Sara Krentz from USA on September 17, 2012:

I had never heard of it, but it sounds delicious!

RoadMonkey on September 17, 2012:

sounds great - just my type of breakfast!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 28, 2012:

@HolisticHealthC: Awesome!

HolisticHealthC on August 28, 2012:

Had this when I visited my friend in Oahu. Da Kine!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 27, 2012:

@DrBillSmithWriter: LOL Pretty fascinating and totally delicious!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on August 27, 2012:

@DrBillSmithWriter: LOL Pretty fascinating and totally delicious!

William Leverne Smith from Hollister, MO on August 27, 2012:

Fascinating approach! ;-)

anonymous on July 30, 2012:

Stopping back to enjoy your wonderful Loco Moco style!

anonymous on July 29, 2012:

I didn't have Loco Moco when I was in Hawaii. Maybe next time!

gold3 on July 25, 2012:

This looks so good! I love the combination of eggs and hamburger.

dpgibble on July 20, 2012:

We have our own version of this created for the same reasons: little money, friends who give us venison, a garden and a flock of hard working chickens. Fabulous lens as usual!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on July 18, 2012:

@rawwwwwws lm: You're making me hungry! LOL

rawwwwwws lm on July 18, 2012:

.. I am starving, and I think I am craving a LOCO MOCO! Yum!!!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on July 06, 2012:

@TonyPayne: I love skillet breakfasts, too! A meal in a bowl, to me, is great comfort food!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on July 06, 2012:

This sounds pretty good to me. There was a diner we used to go to in South Bend Indiana that did a Mexican Skillet, with hash browns, taco meat, scrambled egg, onions, green peppers, melted cheese, and it was so good, very filling. These days breakfast is a lot healthier for us, but once in a while it's nice to indulge.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on July 05, 2012:

@anonymous: Hope you can find some gravy (I love the gravy). Let me know how you like it!

anonymous on July 05, 2012:

I just happen to have leftover rice and burgers in the house and this is looking mighty appealing.

kazzablue on June 12, 2012:

I have actually had this when we visited hawaii last year is amazing

Lori Green from Las Vegas on June 05, 2012:

I have never eaten it but there is nothing in it that I wouldn't like. Looking forward to trying it.

blessedmomto7 on June 05, 2012:

Never heard of this. Interesting. Too much for breakfast, maybe for lunch.

Starwrangler LM on June 02, 2012:

Sounds amazing, I know what I'm having tomorrow...

Tara Wojtaszek on May 31, 2012:

Wow, I have never heard of this before. I love trying new things for breakfast and will definitely give this a go. Thanks Susan!

JonTempleton on May 30, 2012:

This looks FANtastic! I wonder how it would be with venison?

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 29, 2012:

@Millionairemomma: I used the Polaroid module in the Squidoo workshop for that picture.

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 29, 2012:

@Scarlettohairy: It'd still be awesome even without the hamburger!

Peggy Hazelwood from Desert Southwest, U.S.A. on May 29, 2012:

I'd never heard of Loco Moco. It sounds like too much meat for my taste. Leave off the hamburger and I think I'd like it!

casquid on May 26, 2012:

Very interesting, and now I have to make it at home. Tasty!!!!

Millionairemomma on May 24, 2012:

I ate this a lot, especially at Zippy's. Don't know Zippy's? Betcha do. This lens makes me homesick. You did a really wonderful job including the instructions and ingredients in clear detail. How did you get the image of the loco moco to appear like it is on a Polaroid photograph? Please click on my bio pic to respond. Thank you so much and aloha!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on May 22, 2012:

@xriotdotbiz lm: I've never had it in Hawaii, but when I make it at home it's fabulous. In fact, it's gained a spot on my "favorite comfort foods" list. Love it! If you do try it, let me know!

xriotdotbiz lm on May 22, 2012:

Always looking for local favorites, will try it the next time in Hawaii. Afraid if I made it I would not do it justice.

Mercedes Flores on May 22, 2012:

As a late breakfast at about 12 or so, I would love that!

Kristen from Wisconsin on May 17, 2012:

I had this dish in Hawaii, it was awesome! This Lens has inspired me to make it at home!

Beverly Lemley from Raleigh, NC on May 15, 2012:

Looks and sounds delicious! B : )

soaringsis on May 06, 2012:

This sounds like a comfort food dish. I am going to try it. The cook ahead tip is

the key to a quick and filling dish. I have to check out the rest also. Thank you

Wedding Mom on April 09, 2012:

Loco Moco looks delicious.

JoshK47 on April 09, 2012:

Stopping back in to bless this tasty looking recipe!

CreativeXpressi on April 05, 2012:

Susan, this sounds really good. I'd probably try it with chili (instead of gravy) and scramble my eggs. I sometimes add leftover rice to my scrambled eggs - tasty. Thanks for the great receipe and history lessson too!

Susan Deppner (author) from Arkansas USA on March 27, 2012:

@anonymous: I saw that last night on Hawaii Five-0, too! Wondered if anyone would go looking for information and find it here. Glad you did, Linda N!

anonymous on March 27, 2012:

Saw it on Hawaii Five-0. It looks interesting and I will try it! Aloha!

Brandi from Maryland on March 21, 2012:

I've never heard of loco moco, but it sure looks delicious! Doens't help that I am very hungry right now! ;)

peterpberget lm on March 19, 2012:

Beautiful, It reminds me of the "Cuban rice" I leaned to love as a child in the Caribbeans and still enjoy. Basically its a plate of rice topped with black bean stew and a fried egg, fried plantains on the side.

I live your recipe and I think its quite healthy, you want it richer just ad some cheese :)

grflgrfl on March 12, 2012:

MMM - Loco moco - thaz the kine, sistah! (Pigeon for, "I agree 100%. Loco moco is delicious.")

cynch18ify on February 29, 2012:

Loco Mocos are my favorite! Heart attack waiting to happen!

anonymous on February 27, 2012:

I tried this a while back; I think I saw your lens a while ago. It was great! Very satisfying meal when you need high energy, perfect for just before a hike.

niicki on February 21, 2012:

Uh, yum! I look forward to trying this (without the gravy)!

IYenForZen on January 31, 2012:

Reminds me of the Islands!

Lorna from USA on January 14, 2012:

Sound delicious! Thanks for sharing!

TinyTes LM on January 06, 2012:

Wow!! I came here to check out how you make your lenses...looks GREAT, by the way...and now I'm hungry too!! I shall have to try this recipe, will report back when I do! :)

Related Articles