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Japanese Hamburg steak with Daikon sauce.

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Japanese hamburg steak with daikon white radish mouli sauce served with rocket and baby tomatoes by kurumicooks

So what exactly is a Hamburg steak? I hear you ask.

The answer is very simple. Take away the bun from a hamburger and you're left with...yes, you guessed it, a Hamburg steak. As the name suggests, the Hamburg steak had it's genesis in Hamburg, Germany in the nineteenth century.

The Hamburg steak found it's way to Japan via the USA during the occupation at the end of the Second World War. While the hamburger has gone on to achieve global domination since it dressed itself up inside in a bun, the Hamburg steak has fallen into something like obscurity in most places but retains its popularity in Japan. I think the reason is that the Hamburg steak consists of minced beef (although in Japan it's also made with pork) mixed with onion, some panko and some egg. It suits the Japanese tradition of eating meat in smaller pieces rather than as a steak or a similar large cut. Meat has always been (and to a degree still is today) viewed as a scarce commodity so the idea of making it go further by cutting, mincing and mixing, is still deeply rooted in the Japanese psyche.

The thing I love about a Hamburg steak is that you can infuse lots of different flavours into the meat before it's cooked and you can mix up the other constituents as well - the result - more flavour and less reliance on the meat itself for satisfaction. For this recipe, I used some mirin and soy sauce for flavouring . The daikon sauce adds still more flavour as well as providing another high fibre vegetable to your meal.

If you think this is a recipe to try in your kitchen, you can find the youtube tutorial by clicking Hamburg steak or by scrolling to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.

A similar Japanese dish to the Hamburg steak is Menchi Katsu, a panko coated minced pork meat ball. You can find the link to that recipe clicking here Menchi Katsu.


Hamburg Steak


(makes 2 servings)

1/2 onion

250g minced beef

2 tbsp panko/breadcrumbs

2 tbsp milk

1/2 egg, beaten

a little salt & pepper

1/2 tbsp veg oil

2 tbsp mirin

3tbsp japanese cooking sake

3 tbsp soy sauce

200g daikon/white radish


how to:

finely slice & chop the onion

add the milk to the panko, mix and set aside for 5 mins

put the minced beef in a bowl, add the onion, beaten egg, salt & pepper and the panko mixture and mix everything together well

take 1/2 the minced beef mixture & shape into a burger

repeat with the other 1/2

peel & halve lengthways, then slice the daikon. then put it into a blender & blend to a pulp

add the mirin & blend again into a puree

heat 1/2 tbsp of veg oil in a frying pan, fry the burgers for 3 mins with a lid on, then turn over and cook for another 2 mins

add the cooking sake, soy sauce & daikon puree to the pan, stir the daikon puree around the hamburg steaks and cook for 5-6 mins, so that the alcohol evaporates

your dish is ready - serve with a salad or vegetables


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