Hamburg Steak (hanba-gu sute-ki) ハンバーグステーキ

The first two times I visited Japan I was a pesce pollotarian. I ate fish, but not meat and so I had never tried many of the iconic Japanese dishes because of this. When Super Sake Boy and I started seeing each other, I had recently begun eating meat again. I had been dreaming about eating blue steaks and took it as a sign from my body that it needed some meat. Super Sake Boy has a small arsenal of very well procured and excellently mastered dishes of Japanese cuisine. Hamburg Steak is one of them, and so my first ever experience of this dish was cooked by Super Sake Boy. I will happily admit, after eating it all over Japan, that his is definitely the best. The richest, most luxurious, delicious meal. This is a favourite at our place and I hope you enjoy it, too.

500g beef mince (good quality)
½ onion
20g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg 
2 tablespoons milk
Freshly ground black pepper
Half a nutmeg, freshly grated

For cooking:
3 tablespoons red wine
Rice bran oil
For Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
3 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce
3 tablespoons red wine
3 tablespoons water


  1. Finely dice the onion and then sauté until translucent. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Mix the mince with the salt and pepper and grate the nutmeg in. Add the onion once it has cooled.
  3. Add the milk, panko and egg. Mix really well with your hands.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 (if you make four they will be quite large).
  5. Take each portion and form it into a ball shape. Then toss the burger from one hand to the other, quite firmly. You are removing any air stuck inside. Once formed place on a plate and such a thumb print into the top of each burger. Wrap and allow to rest, in the fridge, for around 30 minutes.
  6. Heat a large pan, over a medium flame, and add a drizzle of oil. Place the burgers into the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Turn and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Add the cooking wine and reduce the heat. Cover and cook for a further 5-7 minutes. (Test with a skewer that the juices are clear). Remove the burgers and place them on a plate.
  7. In the same pan, add the ingredients for the sauce. Mix well together and simmer until thickened.
  8. Serve your hamburg steak on koshihikari rice, or short-grain rice if you can’t get Japanese rice. Spoon some sauce over each burger.
  9. We generally have ours with steamed broccolini and renkon (lotus root) with gomae dressing… (which is like a sesame seed mayonnaise).
  10. 美味しい😋 (oishii-yummy)

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