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With hambagu (ハンバーグ) we indicate the hamburger cooked according to the Japanese method, which is not served with bread but with cooked vegetables or salad.

This dish is a typical example of yoshoku cuisine and is highly appreciated in Japan, especially by the youngest, and is never missing from family restaurants. In many schools it is served as a meal during the lunch break, accompanied by steamed rice.

It is more of a meatloaf than a real American hamburger, which in Japan takes the name of "hanbaga".

The very first appearance of this dish in Japan dates back to the Meiji era (at the time it was more of a steak than a meatball) and was called "German steak". The first hamburger recipe in Japan is recorded in the "Complete Book of Western Cooking Law" (Shintaro Takano, 1905).

In general, eating this type of dish was considered expensive because the beef was highly prized. Since the 1960s, however, since lower-cost ground meat (such as chicken or pork) was also included in the recipe, even housewives managed to prepare hamburgers at home for children. With the growing influence of American culture in the Far East, in the 1970s the hamburger became a normal consumer food in all respects. INGREDIENTS

  • 30 gr minced beef

  • 30 gr minced pork

  • 1/2 onion

  • vegetable oil

  • 1 beaten egg

  • ground pepper

  • salt

  • 3 tablespoons of panko (you can make it fresh)

  • 2 tablespoons of red wine

  • 1 piece of butter

  • 1 tablespoon of milk

  • 2 spoons of ketchup

  • 2 spoons of Worcestershire sauce


  • Cut the onion into small and thin pieces.

  • Heat a pan with some oil and brown the onion. Turn off the stove and keep aside.

  • In a bowl, combine the two types of minced meat, the panko, the milk, the egg, salt and pepper. Mix the mixture with your hands and form a large flat meatball: quickly pass the hamburger from one hand to the other in order to eliminate the air inside.

  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a pan and cook the burger on one side for about 3 minutes over low heat. Add some water and turn the burger over to the other side, cover with a lid and cook for another three minutes. Keep the hamburger aside while still warm.

  • In the same pan, combine the butter, wine, ketchup and Worchestershire sauce. Add a drop of water and thicken.

  • Serve the hamburger garnishing it with the sauce. Accompanying with salad or cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and broccoli.

Hambagu recipe Cookingwiththehamster
Hambagu | © Cookingwiththehamster

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