Japanese Wafu Hamburger Steak

This soft and juicy Japanese hamburger steak topped with a sweet and tangy Japanese wafu sauce made with ponzu, onions, garlic and sweetener is what dinner dreams are made of!

This easy Japanese recipe goes great with a side of fresh shredded cabbage and is perfect for any day of the week.

My entire family loves Japanese hamburger steak.  I can pretty much guarantee that my kids will clean their entire plate every time they have it, which for a mom is always a win!

Japanese wafu hamburger steak served on a teppan.

That’s why it’s usually on the weekly or bi-weekly rotation.  We switch off between this sauce Japanese wafu sauce and demi-glace sauce, which you can find here.

When paired with a side of fresh shredded cabbage or bean sports, this Japanese wafu hamburger steak is a hearty and filling meal, especially if you’re doing intermittent fasting or OMAD (one meal a day).

Ingredients for Japanese hamburger steak prepped on the counter top.

What is Japanese hamburger steak?

Japanese hamburger steak, also known as Hambagu, is made up of a mix of ground beef and pork along with other seasonings, formed into a patty and pan-fried.  It’s usually topped with a side of demi-glace sauce or wafu sauce.

Are there other kinds of sauces besides wafu I can use for the Japanese hamburger steak?

You can use demi-glace, tonkatsu sauce, or even just sugar-free ketchup.

Japanese wafu sauce inside a food processor.

What does wafu mean in hamburger steak?

Wafu translates to “Japanese style” and it usually refers to salad dressing.  It’s a vinaigrette type dressing consisting of a base soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and oil. There are many different variations with additional ingredients.  For this recipe, we use wafu as a sauce for the hamburger steak, which we find is the perfect combination.

What is ponzu and what brand do you recommend using for the wafu sauce?

Ponzu is a citrus-based sauce.  The kind we use is ponzu shoyu by Mizkan, which is a soy sauce base with additional citrus flavors.

Japanese ponzo in a glass bowl.

What other Japanese hamburger steak recipes are there?

Now, let’s get making this Japanese Wafu Hamburger Steak recipe!

  • Prepping Time 5M
  • Cooking Time 10M
  • Total Time 15M
  • Net Carb/Serv ~3g
  • Servings 4

Ingredients

Hamburgers

  • 1/2 lb Ground Pork (fat>20% preferred)
  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef (fat>20% preferred)
  • 1/2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Onions
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1/2 oz Unflavored Pork Rinds (~1 tbsp if using Pork Panko)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Half & Half
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Sauce

  • 6 tbsp Ponzu
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 2 tbsp Onion
  • 4 tsp Sweetener (Monkfruit Erythritol Blend, sugar or sweetener of choice)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Neutral Oil (no taste)

Topping

  • 1 inch Daikon Japanese Radish (optional)

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

2) Use a vegetable peeler to peel off skin from optional Japanese radish (daikon), then grate with a grater and set aside.

3) In a stove top pot or Teflon frying pan, add Japanese sake and bring to boil.  Let it boil for 15 seconds, remove from heat and then set aside.

4) In a food processor or blender, add in all the ingredients for the sauce, Ponzu, boiled sake, onion, sweetener, garlic cloves, neutral oil and pulse until evenly blended.  Set aside.

5) Dice onions. In a medium sized fry pan, add 1/2 tbsp butter on medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add onion, cook until browned and set aside. Should take around 2-3 minutes.

6) Grate remaining 1 garlic with a grinder or a garlic press. Put into a large mixing bowl.

7) Pour Unflavored Pork Rinds into a food processor and pulse until ground into very fine.  You can also use your hands to crush the pork rinds if you don’t have a food processor, but we strongly recommend using a food processor.  Transfer the crushed pork rinds into the mixing bowl.

8) In the mixing bowl, add ground pork, ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, half & half, nutmeg, cooked onions from step 4). Combine with hands until mixed well.

9) Take 1/4 of the mix and throw from one hand to another while gently cupping the mix with the palm and hand forming a ball.  Place the ball onto a plate and press down on it with the palm of your hand to form a patty.  The patty should be around 1 inch thick.  Afterwards, take your thumb and gently press and make an indent in the middle of the hamburger patty.  This ensures the hamburger will retain its shape during the cooking process (otherwise it will expand upwards).  Repeat until all the mix is used up.

10) In a large fry pan, spray cooking oil and bring up to temperature on medium heat (about 2 minutes).  Carefully place patties with indented side upwards, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned.  Flip to the other side and repeat.

11) Once patties are cooked, pour over wafu sauce from step 3), cook for 5-10 seconds and transfer to a serving plate.

12) Top the Japanese hamburger steaks with grated daikon from step 2) and pour excess sauce oven.  Enjoy!

Hope you enjoy your Japanese Wafu Hamburger Steak!

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More Recipes

Japanese wafu hamburger steak served on a teppan.

Japanese Wafu Hamburger Steak

This soft and juicy Japanese hamburger steak topped with a sweet and tangy Japanese wafu sauce made with ponzu, onions, garlic and sweetener is what dinner dreams are made of!
5 from 5 votes
Course: dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Hamburger Steak, Japanese Hamburger
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe
Calories: 366kcal

Ingredients

Hamburgers

  • 1/2 lb Ground Pork fat>20% preferred
  • 1/2 lb Ground Beef fat>20% preferred
  • 1/2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Onions
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1/2 oz Unflavored Pork Rinds 1 tbsp if using Pork Panko
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Half & Half
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Sauce

  • 6 tbsp Ponzu
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake
  • 2 tbsp Onions
  • 4 tsp Sweetener monkfruit erythritol blend, sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Neutral Oil no taste

Topping

  • 1 inch Daikon Japanese Radish optional

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel off skin from optional Japanese radish (daikon), then grate with a grater and set aside.
  • In a stove top pot or Teflon frying pan, add Japanese sake and bring to boil. Let it boil for 15 seconds, remove from heat and then set aside.
  • In a food processor or blender, add in all the ingredients for the sauce, Ponzu, boiled sake, onion, sweetener, garlic cloves, neutral oil and pulse until evenly blended. Set aside.
  • Dice onions. In a medium sized fry pan, add 1/2 tbsp butter on medium heat. Once butter is melted, add onion, cook until browned and set aside. Should take around 2-3 minutes.
  • Grate remaining 1 garlic with a grinder or a garlic press. Put into a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour Unflavored Pork Rinds into a food processor and pulse until ground into very fine. You can also use your hands to crush the pork rinds if you don’t have a food processor, but we strongly recommend using a food processor. Transfer the crushed pork rinds into the mixing bowl.
  • In the mixing bowl, add ground pork, ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, half & half, nutmeg, cooked onions from step 4). Combine with hands until mixed well.
  • Take 1/4 of the mix and throw from one hand to another while gently cupping the mix with the palm and hand forming a ball. Place the ball onto a plate and press down on it with the palm of your hand to form a patty. The patty should be around 1 inch thick. Afterwards, take your thumb and gently press and make an indent in the middle of the hamburger patty. This ensures the hamburger will retain its shape during the cooking process (otherwise it will expand upwards). Repeat until all the mix is used up.
  • In a large fry pan, spray cooking oil and bring up to temperature on medium heat (about 2 minutes). Carefully place patties with indented side upwards, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Flip to the other side and repeat.
  • Once patties are cooked, pour over wafu sauce from step 3), cook for 5-10 seconds and transfer to a serving plate.
  • Top the Japanese hamburger steaks with grated daikon from step 2) and pour excess sauce oven. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 966mg | Potassium: 357mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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2 Comments

  1. Wonderful flavor and now my favorite burger.

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