Hamburg Steak

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Hamburg Steak (ハンバーグ) is a type of Japanese food that is a variation of the “hamburger” and popular in both the home and in family restaurants.

A Hamburger is always served with a bun, and in Japan they are primarily found in fast food restaurants. Hamburg steaks, however, are a more well-cooked form of the patty and served without a bun. They are especially popular with children where they make popular lunch box meals.



Hamburg Steak was the original name for the original patty that became a hamburger. It was somewhat of a salt beef, and it was a while before it was renamed and redefined as a hamburger. Though the Japanese based their original Hamburg Steak off the popularity of the hamburger, the name of the steak is actually far more similar to the original name than “Hamburger” is.

The Japanese began making the Hamburg Steak in the 1960’s, though the idea of the hamburger and the beef patty had been present since after World War II. Much like the name implies, the Hamburg steak is linked directly to the standard hamburger. It gained popularity in the 60’s because the price of most nutrient rich foods had risen dramatically, and the Japanese needed a cheaper and easier to prepare meal.

Cooking and Preparation

Hamburg Steaks are made with pork, beef or both. They are often mixed with eggs, breadcrumbs, onions and whatever additional species are necessary. Much like western steaks, they are often served with some form of steak sauce, though it is not uncommon to see them served with curries instead.

Standard Recipe

There are several different recipes, but most recipes have several ingredients in common.

  • 1lb ground beef (or pork, or both)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 minced onion
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs (Panko)

Many Japanese also use ketchup, but steak sauce is far more common.

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