Ah yes, it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to put the “instant” in Loco Moco. Shoots, if they could do it for ramen noodles, why not a hamburger patty and gravy, right?
Here we have the Wiki Wiki Chef Loco Moco style seasoned patty with gravy, a product of Redondo’s, famous for their Portuguese brand sausage. It’s sort of a “kit”, where all you need to complete the dish is a bowl of hot rice and egg to top it.
Wiki Wiki Chef
Aloha! Wiki Wiki means quick and fast in Hawaii. Now, we are introducing the Wiki Wiki Chef line of products, a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious meal at home! Wiki Wiki Chef is the perfect meal solution for people on the go!
There’s actually two products in this line-up, where the other one is the same, except the gravy is a demi-glace. In case you don’t know what a demi-glace is, it’s traditionally made with veal stock, however it can vary from beef and/or chicken stock, plus a number of other ingredients and technical cooking steps. This, all for a richer, full-bodied flavor. We’ll review the demi-glace Loco Moco in a follow-up post. And yes, Loco Moco is all about da’ gravy, baby!
Interestingly, this “instant” Loco Moco burger patty includes both beef and pork. I always thought the traditional Loco Moco was an all-beef patty. For you hamburger steak fans, fillers are important, which the Loco Moco is essentially a hamburger steak plate with an egg on top. For patty filler, Wiki Wiki Chef’s Loco Moco has panko in it, along with dried onion flakes and “seasonings”. I remember my grandmother used to put rice in ground beef as a filler. Brah, small keed time, she go!
To heat this up, you can either nuke it, or my preferred method, on the stovetop in a pot of boiling water, right in the vacuum-sealed packet it’s sold in.
I bought these at Don Quijote, merchandised in the refrigerator section where all the Portuguese Sausage and Hawaiian food fresh products are sold. It was $3.59 each. Not bad.
Along with the hot rice and fried egg on top, I also added some sauteed sweet Ewa Onion, green onion garnish and a twist or two of fresh cracked black peppah.
Speaking of eggs, Loco Moco is all about it, so insist on local, fresh eggs, where here I used a Kalei egg. I was going to put two eggs, but I thought it might cover too much of the burger patty for a good photo, so opted with one. Sunny side up of course. You want the runny yolk mixing in with da’ brown gravy. you know da’ rules, braddah cuz!
As instructed, I boiled the Loco Moco packet in water for 3 minutes exactly, then let it sit in the hot water as I fried the Kalei egg. Also equally important, a bowl of hot steaming white rice, made fresh.
Opening it up, no surprises yet. Only thing, the plastic packet is very hot to handle, requiring me to basically semi-burn my hands. I tried handling it with tongs and dish cloth, but forget it. Add to that, you must squeeze the hot packet to extract every last drop of that precious gravy.
OK, now this is where I’m disappointed, as the burger patty doesn’t have any sear marks on it. What’s up with that? Auwe! It looks like a run-of-the-mill TV dinner Salisbury steak. The patty is quite large, so I’ll give it that. It measures exactly 4¼”Lx3½”Wx1/2″D, with net weight of the patty and gravy at 6.5 ounces.
The gravy has a nice ‘n thick consistency, however it’s lighter than I hoped it would be, as I like my Loco Moco gravy to have a rich dark brown tone to it, indicating it has an intense beefy flavor.
Add on some sauteed sweet Ewa onion and a couple twists of fresh cracked black peppah.
Finishing off the kit, it’s topped with a “pride” sunny side up egg and green onion garnish. Like dot. (why I’m throwing in Filipino, don’t ask lol)
Going in for the money shot and sample session, notice the cross-cut of the patty how dense it looks. Loco Moco the way I interpret it should look like a hamburger patty, where as this looks more like a sausage patty. And you know what? That’s what it tastes like! WTH? It’s like Redondo’s transposed their Portuguese Sausage, sans the strong spices and disguised it as a hamburger patty. It has this weird spice flavoring in it. I can’t tell what it is except for as the package says, dried onion flakes, but it just tastes weird. Like, you remember the hamburger steak they served in elementary public school? Kinda’ like that. It’s like an “institutional” burger patty. Same for the texture, where it’s dense and spongy.
The gravy is a disappointment as well, not having nearly as much rich beef flavor as I was hoping. The lack of sear marks on the burger patty also means lack of that char flavor in the gravy as well. I’ll put it this way: I prefer McCormick’s packaged brown gravy over this one.
The last Loco Moco I had prior to this was from Liliha Bakery on Nimitz Highway, and that was by far the best one yet. The tasty all-beef burger was flame grilled with great sear marks, and the gravy was killahz! Best Loco Moco gravy I’ve had yet!
In contrast, I hate to say it, but this Loco Moco kit is not good at all. Redondo’s Wiki Wiki Chef needs to get back in the kitchen and rework this recipe. Namely lose the pork in that patty and sear the dang thing! And work on that gravy, because as it stands, it’s not good. It’s not bad, but not good.
I sure hope the Demi Glace Loco Moco I’ll review shortly will bring redemption, because it sure needs it!
What? Redondo’s Wiki Wiki Chef Loco Moco Style Seasoned Patty with Gravy
Where did you get it and how much? Don Quijote Kaheka, $3.59 regular price
Big Shaka to: Reasonable price and decent size single serving portion. Long shelf life in refrigerator. Gravy has good texture. Made in Hawaii. Hope that the demi glace version will bring redemption. Hope is always good.
No shaka to: burger patty lacks any sear marks or “crustification”, and overall tastes weird, with a strange spongy texture as well. Like a cheap TV dinner Salisbury steak. Gravy lacks beefy depth and tastes odd too. Overall like this is something served in a public school cafeteria, not from your favorite neighborhood drive-in.
The Tasty Island rating:
1 SPAM Musubi (average, meaning it’s edible, filling and that’s about it).