Japanese hambagu “that connects our two cultures”

Tell us about your hambagu recipe…

It’s a Japanese family dish that you can’t really find anywhere. I am interested because it is a recent dish. The Japanese love to appropriate recipes and adapt them in their own way, and this one is a perfect example! This hambagu, therefore derived from the hamburger, may allow a first approach to Japanese dishes. We have international codes (even if the rice replaces the bread), with quite a few Japanese connections in the sauce. And it’s very easy to make at home!

What wine would you suggest with this Japanese dish?

Even if in Japan we tend to accompany our dishes with sake or beer, I would gladly recommend a red wine, rather a light one, which could emphasize the sweet side of the sauce. Therefore, we need a wine that is not too strong. Gamay or Pinot Noir can perfectly enhance this recipe. Or a syrah like Pic Saint-Loup that will stay fruity!

Is this hambagou the recipe you offer at your restaurant Kuro Goma in Lyon?

At lunch, I actually settle on suggestions for different donburi, typical Japanese rice-based dishes on which we have different ingredients. On the other hand, in the evening we rather accept the codes of the traditional izakaya. It’s kind of like a Japanese tapas bar! We come to drink and eat, ordering all the plates we want, which we share together in the middle of the table.



For 2 hambagu


Steaks : 300 g minced beef • 2 eggs • 1 large onion • Salt, pepper • 30 g panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

sauce : 10 cl soy sauce • 10 cl cooking sake • 10 cl mirin (slightly sweet cooking sake) • 1 tbsp. heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar

Japanese white rice

1 head of fresh onion


Steaks : The onion is cut into slices, the eggs are beaten.

Mix all ingredients by hand.

Shape 2 steaks with the preparation to the desired thickness.

sauce : Combine sake and mirina and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. This step will allow the alcohol to evaporate and bring the sauce to the desired consistency. Turn off the heat and add the sugar and soy sauce. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.

Cook both burgers over high heat. At the end of cooking, reduce the heat and stir the sauce. Deglaze and allow to reduce (about ten minutes depending on desired consistency). The sauce should be a bit thick.

Cook Japanese rice.

Arrange the rice, the meat with the sauce and finally sprinkle with the chopped spring onion. You can also accompany this hambago with coleslaw or crunchy vegetables.

By Maximilien Rich-Sakata, head chef of Kuro Goma, Lyon 7th

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