Life is full of remakes. I remember growing up with the Hawaii Five-O theme running through my head with the iconic surfing scene.
Watching old episodes now it is hard to sit through the stilted acting and the simplistic story lines; the current remake of the show is much edgier and fast moving. But regardless of whether it is the old or the new version, going to Hawaii was one of my dreams. Thanks however to several strategically located American Academy of Neurology meetings, I had the opportunity to go there twice and to check out Waikiki beach and a volcano or two. Along the way we discovered Spam sushi (yikes!), snow cones and Loco Moco.
Hawaiian food is a little strange – it’s an unrecognizable hodgepodge of Polynesian, American and Japanese cuisines. For some reason it seems to work surprisingly well. One of the oddities I came across in Hawaii was Loco Moco. The name suggests something a little crazy and truly this contemporary Hawaiian breakfast dish is an example of the odd marriage of Japanese and American food. Loco Moco is usually a hamburger patty and fried egg over a bed of Japanese sticky rice and doused with brown sauce.
Not surprisingly, kid #1 took a shine to this dish when I made it after that trip to Hawaii. I realized it pandered to his twin favorites – Japanese rice and hamburgers. Loco Moco seems a rather hefty breakfast by typical Asian standards, given that our typical breakfast is usually a slice of bread or a bun in the mornings. So I decided to make it for dinner instead. Kid #1 is still on a low carb diet still (I caught him admiring his abs in the mirror) and wanted a low carb version of this dish. Cauliflower rice is my usually substitute for white rice and actually matched well with the hearty beef patty. So here is the Loco Moco low carb version. At least I’m sure it should be healthier than the regular Loco Moco!
Low Carb Loco Moco
- 1/2 head of cauliflower
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp chilli pepper
- 1/4 tsp garam Marsala
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500g beef mince
- 1/2 small onion, finely minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/3 white onion, finely minced
- 6-7 brown mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups of beef or mushroom broth
- 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 4 eggs
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Cauliflower Rice: cut the cauliflower into florets, then place in a food processor and chop into fine rice- like bits. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot. Fry the garlic over moderate heat. When fragrant and slightly browned, add in the cauliflower, salt, pepper, chilli powder, garam masala and ground ginger and continue to stir fry. Taste and adjust seasoning. When cauliflower rice has softened slightly (about 3 – 4 minutes), add the chopped coriander and mix well. Remove off the heat and set aside.
- Hamburger patties: mix the onions and beef mince and divide into 4 portions. Form into 4 balls in the palm of your hand and flatten out into a patty. Make it slightly concave, then sprinkle the salt and pepper on both sides. Heat up the olive oil in a large skillet. Place the patties and turn over, browning each side about 3-4 minutes each. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Gravy: melt the butter in a pot. When hot, add the chopped onion and sauté until fragrant. Add the sliced mushrooms and heat further. Add the beef stock and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Add the arrowroot to 1/2 cup of water and make into a slurry. Add to the stock and stir as it thickens for another 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
- Eggs: heat the oil in a non stick pan. Fry the eggs one at a time, being careful not to break the yolk.
- Assembly: place the cauliflower rice into a regular rice bowl and pack in. Invert the bowl in a deep plate to create a neat mound of cauliflower “rice”. Top the rice with the hamburger patty and an egg. Pour the gravy around the rice. Serve hot.