Saturday, June 25, 2011

和風ハンバーグ (Japanese Style Hamburger)

"Mmhmm...this is a tasty burger!"

I must say, Yuki Morishima, the "Asian Grandmother" behind this recipe, knows how to make a good hanbaagu (hamburger). In the Japanese style, it's made as a hamburger steak (Hamburg steak), rather than served on a bun. This was easily the best wafuu (Japanese Style) hamburger I've had. I've generally been unimpressed with the wafuu hanbaagu I've had in the past; they've been a little bland. This version was very savory and flavorful, though, and the textures were great with the crisp, seared exterior and soft interior (another thing past versions have lacked).

Wafuu hanbaagu is part of the Japanese "youshoku" (洋食), literally "Western food", which is a set of Japanese interpretations of Western dishes, which emerged during the Meiji Restoration. Youshoku is great! Really a bunch of comfort food, like breaded, fried pork cutlets (tonkatsu) potentially in combination with curry, korokke (croquette), breaded, fried shrimp, omurice (rice omelette), and more.

I'm not quite sure why, but making this successful dish gave me particularly great satisfaction. I went on to start inventing my pork meatball recipe, which I'd been thinking about since having some really good ones that family friends made a year or two ago. [They turned out well, and are great in soup with rice, though I want to do further refinements.]

What are the white, crumbly things? Tofu! Morishima-san made a healthier version, the health benefits of which I promptly eliminated by including more beef and making a satisfyingly thick patty.


  1. I completely understand the satisfaction of getting a dish or a recipe just right, finally ... although, I must say, I lack patience for repeated attempts, so I admire your perseverance! I'm looking forward to reading about your perfected pork meatballs!

  2. @Jessie @ The Happiness in Health Oh, this was actually the first time I'd made this dish! But yeah, definitely agree on when dishes finally work out.
    Heheh, I generally approach it kind-of like with science: limiting changes to one variable. Though, that's if I'm reasonably close. If not then I'll just overhaul things.