Irish loco moco with eggs

For St. Patrick’s Day, yesterday’s breakfast special at the Palo Alto Creamery. The name loco moco was new to me; the dish turns out to be 20th-century Hawaiian comfort food. Presented here with three conventionally Irish-American twists: corned beef , potatoes (in this case, hash browns), and green food (in this case, asparagus pieces).

From Wikipedia:

Hamburger loco moco at Aqua Cafe, Honolulu

Loco moco is a meal in the contemporary cuisine of Hawaii. There are many variations, but the traditional 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, linguiça, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, oysters, and other meats. Loco Moco is also the name of a Hawaiian-based restaurant chain that serves Hawaiian rice bowl dishes.

The dish was reportedly created at the Lincoln Grill restaurants in Hilo, Hawaii, in 1949 by its proprietors, Richard Inouye and his wife Nancy, at the request of teenagers from the Lincoln Wreckers Sports club seeking something that differed from a sandwich, was inexpensive yet quickly prepared and served. They asked Nancy to put some rice in a bowl, a hamburger patty over the rice and then topped with brown gravy. The egg came later. The teenagers named the dish Loco Moco after one of their members, George Okimoto, whose nickname was “Crazy”. George Takahashi, who was studying Spanish at Hilo High School, suggested using Loco, which is Spanish for crazy. They tacked on “moco” which “rhymed with loco and sounded good”.  However, to Spanish-speakers, this may sound odd, considering that moco means “booger” [‘mucus’] in Spanish.

So: potatoes instead of rice; corned beef slices instead of hamburger; sauteed asparagus pieces added for green; and with a choice of egg style instead of fried egg sunny-side up specifically. But with brown gravy.

 

 

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