I went through a phase also known as my TWENTIES when I would eat breakfast every single chance I had. Since I just exited my twenties, I’m not 100% that this trend won’t carry over into the next decade because breakfast is just the best.
This Loco Moco recipe (which I adapted slightly) is in the book along with tons of other great breakfast recipes that you can slide onto a dinner table.
Yield: Serves 2.
1 cup white sticky rice (or sushi rice)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup water (1 1/2 cups for sushi rice)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
1/2 pound ground pork
Pinch of fennel seeds (optional)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Fresh cilantro, minced
1) The rice will work best if you add the water and rice together, stir them, and let them sit in the fridge for 6-8 hours. Alternatively, bring the water to a simmer,covered, stir in rice, remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
2) Stir coconut milk into rice and set over low heat. If the rice is completely dry, add another 1/2 cup of water. Bring back to a simmer over low heat, cover, and let cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam, covered, for about five minutes. Then fluff with a fork.
3) In a small pan, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, and sriracha. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until thick, about 8-10 minutes. It should have the consistency of a very thin gravy. It's important to use low-sodium soy sauce or it will be too salty.
4) Cook pork in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season with salt, pepper, and fennel seed and cook until browned, breaking up pork as it cooks. This should take 8-10 minutes.
5) Remove pork from skillet and wipe the skillet clean. Add a drizzle of oil and crack in two eggs over medium-high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then cover and cook for another 45 seconds for over-easy. Cook longer for firmer yolks.
Serve the rice in a big bowl topped with pork and an egg. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and drizzle with soy sauce reduction.
Recipe slightly adapted from Breakfast for Dinner.
Making the rice
The recipe in the book has some very important notes on the rice preparation for this dish which… I promptly ignored almost to my detriment. I didn’t have any of the rice they recommend (sticky white rice) so I used sushi rice which required a bit more water during cooking.
Most importantly though, I got ready to cook the recipe and then noticed the first step: Combine rice and water and let soak for 6-8 hours. DOH!
I did not have that long so I tried a quick-soak method like one might for dried beans. Basically, I brought 1.5 cups of water (for 1 cup rice) to a simmer and then added the rice, stirred it together, and removed it from the heat. I let this soak for about 15 minutes and it seemed to get the job done.
After the quick soak, I stirred in my coconut milk which gives the rice some seriously awesome flavor. Please ignore that my coconut milk is a bit chunky. I just did a bad job of shaking the can before opening it. It all cooked up fine though.
The next step can be a bit finicky and will depend on your rice, but basically you want to cook the rice over low heat for probably 8-10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through and a bit on the sticky side.
I had to add a little more water to mine halfway through because it was looking dry. After it cooks for 8 minutes or so, remove the rice from the heat and let it steam for a few minutes. This was my finished rice which I couldn’t stop eating out of the pot.
This rice bowl is good on its own, but this sauce takes it to the next level. It’s also super-easy to make. Just toss the ingredients together in a small pot and bring it to a simmer for a few minutes over medium heat until it thickens slightly, about 8 minutes.
It should have the consistency of a thin gravy and will thicken a bit more as it cools.
The very important note on the sauce is to use low sodium soy sauce. If you use the full-strength stuff, it will be too salty.
Pork is always a good breakfast topping and while you could get away with some sort of breakfast sausage in this dish, I like that the recipe just called for normal ground pork. There is already quite a few other flavors going on in the dish.
I just seasoned the pork with some salt and pepper and a pinch of fennel seeds (my addition). Cook the pork in a large skillet until it’s nicely browned.
In my opinion, the egg is the most important part of the dish. A runny yolk mixes with the soy sauce reduction and makes for a great sauce for the rice. Once my pork was done, I just spooned it out of the skillet and cracked in my egg. I let it cook, sunny side up, for about 2 minutes, then covered it with a lid and let it cook for another 30-45 seconds until the top of the egg set, but didn’t cook through.
Then just pile everything in a bowl!
This was an awesome dish and you better believe I would eat Loco Moco for breakfast, lunch, dinner or any other time it’s offered to me.
Check out the Breakfast for dinner book, people. It’s seriously beautiful and if this recipe is any guide, the recipes seriously rock.