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Wafu Japanese Hamburger Steak

Experience the true flavors of Japanese cuisine with my Wafu Japanese Hamburger Steak recipe! Combining ground beef and pork, these juicy patties are cooked to perfection and infused with a unique Japanese wafu sauce! Simple to make yet bursting with flavor, this dish offers a taste of authentic Japanese comfort food in every bite!

Japanese wafu hamburger steak served on a teppan.

Why I Love This Recipe

As a seasoned home cook, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that deliver restaurant-quality flavors with minimal effort! That’s why I love my Wafu Japanese Hamburger Steak recipe! It’s a family favorite that combines classic Japanese hamburger ingredients from my Japanese Hamburger Steak and Japanese Menchu Katsu recipes. But really sets off this hamburger steak is the savory, zesty Japanese Wafu Dressing, inspired by a sauce that was used at my former restaurant!

With juicy, tender hamburger patties bathed in this flavorful ponzu-based garlic sauce, this dish is a surefire winner for anyone craving an easy Japanese-style meal that tastes just like the ones served at restaurants! Trust me, once you try it, you’ll be hooked – it’s a must-make for dinner tonight!



  • Ground Pork – fat 20% preferred.
  • Ground Beef – fat 20% preferred.
  • Butter – use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Onions – chopped yellow or brown.
  • Garlic – grated using a hand grater.
  • Panko – panko bread crumbs.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Black Pepper – ground.
  • Egg – beaten.
  • Half & Half – can also use milk.
  • Nutmeg – ground spice.
  • Ponzu – a citrus flavored soy sauce found in most Japanese supermarkets, Mizkan brand preferred.
  • Japanese Sake – typically will come in a large bottle labeled junmai sake. Can also substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine, found at local grocery stores or Asian markets. 
  • Sweetener – use your preferred sweetener. 
  • Neutral Oil no taste or flavor with high cooking temperature. Some choices are sunflower oil, peanut oil, sallower oil, vegetable oil, and canola oil.
  • Daikon  Japanese style radish found at Asian grocery stores. Optional.

🍖 Ground Meat Note

Use a 50/50 blend of Ground Pork and Ground Beef with a minimum ratio of 90/10. This results in a juicy hamburger patty that avoids drying out.

Ingredients for Japanese hamburger steak prepped on the counter top.

Essential Kitchen Equipment

  • Large Skillet With a Flat Bottom


☑ Before Getting Started

Before getting started, ensure you have a Large Frying Pan with a Flat Bottom. This will provide ample room to cook your hamburger patties evenly.

Step 1 Begin by making the wafu sauce. In a food processor, blend together ponzu, boiled Japanese sake, onion, sweetener, garlic cloves, and neutral-flavored oil until smooth.

Wafu dressing in a food processor.

🌀 Blending Pro Tip

To avoid any mess, especially if your food processor is shallow, Cover the Top with a Towel while blending the dressing.

Step 2 For the patty mixture, combine sautéed browned onions, grated garlic, panko, ground pork, ground beef, salt, black pepper, eggs, and nutmeg. Mix well and shape into patties.

Japanese hamburger steak mix in a mixing bowl.

📄 Hamburger Recipe Notes

Placing an indent in the center with your thumb will Helps Retain its Shape during cooking.

Step 3 Cook these patties in a oiled skillet, covered, for 3-4 minutes per side on medium heat, until they achieve a browned exterior.

Japanese hamburger steak being cooked in a skillet.

🌡 Internal Temperature Check

Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F for safe and juicy consumption.

Step 4 Briefly infuse the hamburger steak with the wafu sauce in the pan for 5-10 seconds. Then, serve the hamburger steak on a plate and drizzle reserve sauce on top.

Wafu Japanese hamburger steak served on a plate.

🌿 Garnishing Pro Tip

For the perfect finishing touch, Top With Grated Daikon. This adds a crisp, refreshing flavor that complements the savory ponzu-based garlic sauce beautifully.

Recipe Variations

You can create a tasty variation by topping the hamburger patty with a fried egg and Japanese-style beef gravy to make a Loco Moco. Another option is to pan-fry cubed chicken and drizzle it with the same savory wafu sauce for Japanese Pan Fried Chicken with Wafu Sauce.

Pairing Recommendations

To accompany your hamburger steak, serve it with Japanese Cabbage Salad for a refreshing crunch or Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms for a warm savory touch. Pair with rice of choice and enjoy alongside classic Tofu Miso Soup or Egg Drop Miso Soup for a comforting meal.

Japanese wafu hamburger steak served on a teppan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you meal prep the hamburgers?

Yes, you can meal prep the hamburgers. Simply prepare extra hamburgers and cook them ahead of time. Once cooked, freeze them for convenient meal prepping.

What is the best way to shape the hamburger patties for optimal cooking?

To shape the hamburger patties for optimal cooking, aim to make them approximately 4-5 inches in circumference, ensuring they are flat with a slight indent in the middle created with your thumb. This method not only helps the hamburger retain its shape during cooking but also allows for even cooking throughout. Keep in mind that the patties will shrink down to about 3-4 inches after they are cooked.

How long should I cook the hamburger patties on each side?

To cook the hamburger patties evenly, aim for approximately 3-4 minutes per side with the pan covered. This method helps ensure that the patties are cooked through while retaining their juiciness.

What type of skillet or pan is best for cooking Japanese hamburger steak?

For cooking Japanese hamburger steak, opt for a large skillet with a flat bottom. This type of skillet provides ample space for the hamburger patties to cook evenly and ensures they don't overcrowd the pan.

Storage Tips

To store leftovers, place the hamburg steak and the sauce separately in airtight containers in your fridge. The hamburg will remain fresh for about 3-5 days, while the sauce can be enjoyed for up to 10-14 days.

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Watch How To Make It

Japanese wafu hamburger steak served on a teppan.

Wafu Japanese Hamburger Steak

Savory the flavors of Japanese hamburger steak, also known as Japanese hamburg steak. This comforting dish offers a delightful fusion of ground beef and pork, pan-fried to perfection and drizzled with a savory wafu sauce. Perfect for a satisfying meal that brings the taste of Japan to your table.
4.70 from 10 votes
Course: dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Japanese hamburg steak, Japanese hamburger steak
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Recipe
Calories: 366kcal



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


  • 6 tbsp Ponzu
  • 2 tbsp Japanese Sake can substitute with dry sherry wine or Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp Onions
  • 4 tsp Sweetener your preferred sweetener
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Cooking Oil      neutral, no flavor or taste


  • 1 inch Daikon Japanese Radish optional


  • Gather all the ingredients.
    Ingredients for wafu Japanese hamburger steak on the countertop.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel off skin from optional Japanese radish (daikon), then grate with a grater and set aside.
    Grated daikon.
  • In a stove top pot or frying pan, add Japanese sake and bring to boil. Let it boil for 15 seconds, remove from heat and then set aside.
    Japanese sake being boiled on a skillet.
  • In a food processor or blender, add in all the ingredients for the sauce, ponzu, boiled sake, onion, sweetener, 2 garlic cloves, neutral oil and pulse until evenly blended.
    Wafu dressing in a food processor.
  • 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.
    Chopped onions being browned.
  • Grate remaining 1 garlic with a grinder or a garlic press. Put into a large mixing bowl.
    Grated garlic.
  • In the mixing bowl, add ground pork, ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, panko, half & half, nutmeg, cooked onions from step 4). Combine with hands until mixed well.
    Japanese hamburger steak mix in a mixing bowl.
  • 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.
    Japanese hamburger steak formed.
  • 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.
    Japanese hamburger steak with wafu dressing in a skillet.
  • Once patties are cooked, pour over wafu sauce from step 3), cook for 5-10 seconds and transfer to a serving plate.
    Japanese hamburger steak being cooked in a skillet.
  • Top the Japanese hamburger steaks with grated daikon from step 2) and pour excess sauce oven.
    Wafu Japanese hamburger steak served on a plate.


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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  1. Wonderful flavor and now my favorite burger.

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