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Japanese Hamburg Steak (Hambagu)
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4.8 from 5 votes

Japanese Hamburg Steak

Japanese Hamburg Steak is moist, juicy and served with a sweet tangy ketchup-based sauce. It is perfect for dinner, lunch box and also child-friendly.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: hambagu, hamburg steak, Japanese hamburger steak
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 562kcal
Author: Sophie


For the meat patties

  • 1/2 lb ground beef (225g)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork (225g)
  • 1 small onion, finely diced (or half of a large onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk (95ml, dairy milk or almond milk is fine)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (and more for garnishing)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • black pepper
  • olive oil

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup sake (60ml, white or red wine will work too)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (60ml)
  • 3-4 tablespoons water (45-60ml)


  • Place a pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and then add garlic and onion. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes until translucent to develop sweetness. Do not let them burn. Set aside to cool down. We need about 1/2 cup of cooked onions.
  • In a mixing bowl, add ground beef and pork, cooked onions and all other ingredients to make the patties. Mix thoroughly for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is well combined and sticky.
    Ingredients for Japanese Hamburg Steak (Hambagu)
  • Divide the meat mixture into 6 or 8 equal parts, and form into patties. Slightly press down to create an indentation in the center, because the center will rise up slightly when we cook them.
    patties of Japanese hamburger steak
  • Heat a heavy bottom frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and add the patties to the pan. Cook for about 8-12 minutes depending on how big and thick they are, flip once until they are all cooked through. If they are browned but not cooked through, you can cover the pan for 1-2 minutes to cook the inside thoroughly. Transfer them to serving plates.
    frying Japanese hamburger steak
  • To the same pan, immediately add sake and stir and deglaze the pan for 10-15 seconds. Then add the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Stir to combine, simmer to desired thickness, a minute or less. Taste and adjust to your liking.
    Ingredients for Japanese hamburg sauce
  • Spoon sauce over the meatballs. Serve hot with rice and steamed/boiled vegetables.


Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 165mg | Sodium: 1458mg | Potassium: 824mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 269IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 4mg