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Hambaagu - Japanese Hamburger Steak

Hambaagu (ハンバーグ) is Japanese interpretation of Salisbury steak. Unlike the original Salisbury steak though, hambaagu is made with a combination of beef and pork. A 50:50 ratio is easy to remember and will definitely work and is what I usually use, though some prefers a ratio of 60% beef to 40% pork and even 70% beef to 30% pork.

Hambaagu - Japanese Hamburger Steak
Hambaagu - Japanese Hamburger Steak

When I first heard about hambaagu, I thought people were referring to hamburger, you know, the buns, patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, etc, but no… in Japan, what we know as hamburger is called hambaaga (ハンバーガ), rather confusing no? And although hambaagu is based on Salisbury steak, it has become uniquely Japan, and along with Japanese curry, hambaagu is definitely one of the more popular Yoshoku, or Japanese style western food. So if this peaks your interest, give the recipe a try okay? :)

Hambaagu - Japanese Hamburger Steak
Hambaagu - Japanese Hamburger Steak

Hambaagu - Japanese Hamburger Steak

5.0 from 7 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • Steak
  • 200 gram onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 400 gram ground beef and ground pork mixture (*)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • 20 gram panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoon red wine
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoon ketchup
  • 3 tablespoon tonkatsu sauce (**)


  • Steak
    1. Heat oil in a frying pan, and sauté onion over medium high heat until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.
    2. Add ground meat to the bowl, along with egg, milk, panko, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well with hand until the mixture comes together and is sticky.
    3. Divide into 4 portions, and shape into oval patties. Tossing the patty from one hand to the other (imagine playing catch with a baseball ball) will release the air from inside the patty and prevent from cracking when cooked, so please do so for about 5 times for each patty. Place the patties in a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.
    4. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, place the patties on the pan. Indent the center of each patty with 2 fingers (use index and middle fingers), the indentation will rise again with heat.
    5. Cook the patties until browned, about 5 minutes. Then flip the patties, pour the red wine, lower the heat, cover the pan and cook until the patties are thoroughly cooked, about 5 minutes.
    6. Uncover the pan, increase the heat again to medium high to evaporate the red wine. When the wine is almost gone, transfer the steaks to individual serving plates, set aside.
  • Sauce
    1. To the same frying pan (without cleaning), add butter and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium low, and simmer until the alcohol has evaporated.
    2. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat, and pour the sauce over the steaks. Serve with a side of salad.


  • (*) I use 200 gram ground beef and 200 gram ground pork, but you can use a 60:40 or 70:30 ground beef to ground pork ratio.
  • (**) Can be substituted with Worcestershire sauce.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Adina Adina says:

    This totally peaks my interest! :) I would love to eat this, I love the look of that sauce. It is saved for the first time my children will request meatballs.

  • fanny fanny says:

    Looks so yummy.. Would like to know what can be substitute for red wine? Thanks.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Fanny, I would say red wine vinegar or grape juice. Cheers!

  • stephanie stephanie says:

    These burgers look mouth watering delicious. I can't wait to try them.

  • Helen Of Fuss Free Flavours Helen Of Fuss Free Flavours says:

    The sauce is a brilliant colour and sounds delicious. It's so good to get an insight on food from other countries, and see the different ways in which the same foods can be served. Such a delicious meal and very doable in your own kitchen.

    • Anita Anita says:

      So true. I love traveling and sampling dishes from other countries. But when I'm not traveling, cooking and eating dishes from other countries feel like a mini-vacation for me. :)

  • Kelly Anthony Kelly Anthony says:

    I love anything cooked with red wine. It always adds so much flavor and depth to any recipe.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Indeed, every time we open a bottle of wine, it's almost a guarantee that we won't be able to finish it. And it's also almost a guarantee that the leftover wine will be turned into these lovely hambaagu steaks. :D

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    These hamburger steaks are so plump and juicy! The panko bread crumbs made them so tender and the sauce was fantastic! Will definitely make this again!

    • Anita Anita says:

      We are quite addicted to these hambaagu too. Even though we are not a big wine drinkers, we buy red wine just to make this. :D

  • Patrice Patrice says:

    I've never heard of these before but they look delicious! Love your photos and enjoyed the story behind the dish.

  • Irene Irene says:

    Thank you for the recipe! Works well ❤️ But for the sauce i’ve done a bit modification to suit my taste


    the recipe calls for transferring cooked onions to large mixing bowl. what are we supposed to do with it; mix it with the hambaagu mixing bowl?

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Maria, yes, basically step 2 needs to be added to the bowl with onion. I'm sorry if it wasn't clear in the instruction.

  • Jane Jane says:

    One of my monthly staples for my kids’ packed lunch menu!

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