If you are bored with the traditional hamburger or steak, try Hambāgu, the Japanese hamburger steak.

So is it hamburger or steak? It is both.

Hambāgu is the Japanese transliteration of the word Hamburger. It presumably evolves from Salisbury steak, which originates from the US with western seasoning. The patty is seasoned with the Japanese flavor and coated with a thick sauce to serve with rice, not sandwiched in between the buns.

It doesn’t matter if you are confused as long as it tastes good. It is a fusion food of western and Japanese cooking methods, and I love the intense and concentrated flavor of the sauce the way it is presented.


Not all the Japanese restaurants here serves Japanese hamburger steak or Hambāgu, so I decide to make it myself.  I can assure you that the taste is so much superior to fast food burger or a pepper steak, which is a revelation if you never have a taste of it.  You will addict to its unique flavor from the first bite and become your go-to recipe for the hamburger.

The distinct flavor of Hambāgu comes from the set of Asian seasoning used. Hambagu is prepared with wine, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and oyster sauce. In addition, chefs made Hambāgu with a mix of beef and pork or added with tofu and chicken meat.

The presentation is different from the traditional hamburger too. It is not served with the bun, but with rice or salad. The patties are cooked in reduced wine and Worcestershire after grilling. The chef will give a final touch by drizzling the remaining gravy in the pan onto the patties, forming a luscious tangy-sweet coating.

It is easy to prepare the Japanese hamburger steak at home

By now you should have an idea how Hambagu is significantly different from the fast food burger. But I’d love to have this ‘burger streak’ because I love to Asian food a well as the burger. So with a slightly greedy thought, I would hope to have the best of both by eating Hambagu.

Hambāgu is surprisingly easy to prepare. The best part is you can make it in bulk, and keep the remaining in the freezer. You can also use any meat you like although the traditional Hambāgu comprises of pork and beef. In any circumstances, you do not need to worry about the ‘pink slime’ issue that concern some people. By the way, pink slime refers to the process to remove the fat from meat and involve using ammonium hydroxide (which is toxic) to kill the bacteria, before using it as part of the meat in the patties. It does raise some concern to some people.

Let see how to make this delectable patties which are the holy amalgamations of Japanese flavors and the classic American staple.


Video: how to prepare the mouth-watering Japanese hamburger steak (4.22 minutes)


5 from 1 vote
Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Hambagu is a Japanese fusion food looks likes a hamburger with a delectable oriental flavor
Course: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: hambagu, Japanese hamburger
Servings: 8 steaks
Calories: 1520 kcal
Author: KP Kwan
Ingredient A - the patty
Ingredient B- the sauce
  1. Saute the onions and garlic with vegetable oil until caramelized
  2. Combined the onion, garlic with the rest of the ingredients in A, until it is well mixed.
  3. Divide the mixture into eight portions. Shape each piece into an oval shape, about 2.5cm thick.
  4. Heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Place the patties on the pan.
  5. Pan-fried each side of the patties until they become medium to dark brown and form a crust.
  6. Mix the ingredient in B together and pour into the pan.
  7. Cook with the lid on for about two minutes ensure the patties are cooked Flip the patties over once to let both sides absorb the sauce.
  8. Remove the lid to check the thickness of the sauce. Remove from heat when the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Arrange the patties on a plate.
  9. Pour the remaining thick sauce in the pan on the patties and serve.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

The nutritional value in this recipe is for your reference only. It is calculated with Calorie Count by caloriecount.com.

Nutrition Facts
Japanese Hamburger Steak (Hambagu)
Amount Per Serving (895 g)
Calories 1520 Calories from Fat 567
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 97%
Sodium 2.7mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 75g 25%
Sugars 35g
Protein 152g 304%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Japanese hamburger steak recipe


8 Important tips to cook the succssful Hamburger Steak

As usual, I always simmarize a list of important note in each post to cover all aspects that you need to pay attention to cook.  I hope this will heop you to replicate my recipe successfully.

  • Saute onions have a caramelized flavor. However, some people prefer just to mix the chopped raw onion to the meat, which is acceptable too.
  • If you use beef alone, you may not need to worried about the doneness of the patties. However, it is better to cover the pan and cook a little longer if you use pork or chicken to make sure they are fully prepared.
  • Place the patties in the refrigerator for half an hour to let it harden a before frying if they are too soft to handle.
  • You can make a larger batch of patties and deep-freezed the remaining for future use. Separate the patties with the plastic sheet before deep freezing can prevent them from sticking together.
  • Make an indent in the middle of the patties right after you place them on the pan. The indent help preserves the shape of the patties and disappears when the patties are heated up and expand.
  • Use medium heat to pan-fried the patties. High heat will burn the patties quickly since it contains bread crumbs. Be patient and pan-fried them slowly.
  • You can add more water to the pan if the sauce reduces too fast and you need more time to cook the patties. Add a tablespoon of water at a time so to prevent the patties turn soggy.
  • You may also stuff some mozzarella cheese inside the patties to make a cheesy hamburger.

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    13 replies to "How to cook Japanese hamburger steak that makes you hungry"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am glad to reply any questions and comments as soon as possible.

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    • Dena

      We had this for dinner last night and my picky teen boys just loved it!

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Dena,

        Kids just love it. You can try to serve it with steamed rice and a fried egg next time. Very nice.

        KP Kwan

    • Dena

      I will!! I tried a different recipe once for this and it was no where close to being as good!!

      • KP Kwan

        Thank you. Glad to know you like the Japanese hamburger steak.

    • Dena

      I did make it again tonight and I had no wine and used blackberry brandy instead and still amazing! Thanks so much :). Have a great night 🙂

      • KP Kwan

        Great to know your brandy Japanese hamburger is successful. Enjoy!

    • […] sauce along with a tablespoon of tomato ketchup. This magic pair of sauces is also used in the Japanese Hambagu which I posted […]

    • Luminita Dudas

      what kind of stock please?

      • KP Kwan

        Hi Luminita,
        I use chicken stock for the Hambagu because it has a universal flavor. Otherwise, any types of stock should be fine.

        KP Kwan

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