Hambagu Steak / Dueling Hambagu Meatballs

It was John’s idea to have hambagu steak in curry sauce for dinner this week. This is a dish we had in Japan at Denny’s, of all places (yes, Denny’s is quite different in Japan). I figured since I was making a meat patty, I might as well make some meatballs in the process. And since I had some tonkatsu sauce leftover in the fridge from the katsu sandos, I could use that to make a second meatball sauce…you get the idea.

I used Japanese curry cubes for the sauce here because we had some on hand, but you could also make a homemade sauce (like we did here) if you’re more ambitious or can’t find them around. I used this recipe as a general guideline for the patties/meatballs and the traditional sauce. You can serve the hambagu steaks either with curry sauce or traditional sauce — I tend to favor the curry but enjoy both.


For the meatballs/hambagu patty
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/3 cup panko
1-2 tbsp or so milk
1 egg
1 tbsp or so Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
a couple of splashes red wine (for cooking the patties)
1/2 onion, minced
olive oil

For the curry sauce:
1.5 cubes Golden Japanese curry
2 cups water
white pepper

For the traditional sauce:
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp red wine
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp. ketchup
3 tbsp tonkatsu sauce (I used homemade)

In pan, heat about 1-2 tsp oil. Cook onion until soft (about five minutes). Allow to cook completely.

Combine bread crumbs, egg yolk, and milk and whisk together. Add ground meat, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion, and salt and pepper. Form into patties or meatballs, whichever you are making. Allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

If you’re making meatballs: Bake meatballs at 350 for about 35 minutes, with toothpicks in them, while preparing sauces.

If you’re making the steaks: In one saucepan, break up curry cubes into small pieces with a knife. Add pepper and water and simmer until thickened. Keep an eye on it.

Toss each burger patty back and forth in your hands a few times (this was a tip from the online recipe). Make sure there’s an indent in the patty. Heat about 1 tbsp oil in pan on medium. Brown burgers for five minutes.  Flip. Add a couple of splashes red wine, cover, and simmer for about 8 more minutes. Remove lid and cook until wine is almost evaporated and burgers are cooked through.

Remove burgers from pan and tent with foil. Add remaining traditional sauce ingredients to pan – heat through and let simmer. Serve burgers with either sauce, or serve sauces with meatballs as dipping sauce.


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Filed under beef dishes, meatballs, pork dishes, Uncategorized

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