Hamburg steak

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Hamburg steak
Hamburg steak1.jpg
A Hamburg Steak
Place of originGermany
Main ingredientsbeef

Hamburg steak is a patty of ground beef. It is closely similar to the Salisbury steak. Made popular worldwide by migrating Germans, it became a mainstream dish in around the start of the nineteenth century.


In the early eighteenth century, Hamburg steak was already popular mostly among the Germans, who are claimed to have invented it.[1] One tale has it that the beef in Hamburg, a German port, was known for being minced and chopped – a method borrowed from the Russians by the German butchers.[1] Another one states that Hamburg steak is an English creation; it is mentioned in the 1745 cookbook Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse.[1] Migrating Germans introduced the dish worldwide and Hamburg steak became a mainstream dish in nineteenth-century America.[1] The first printed menu in the United States listed Hamburg steak as one of the food items offered; at ten cents, it was the most expensive item on the list.[2] After being wedged between two pieces of bread, the steak evolved into the hamburger.[3]

There is a distinction between the terms Hamburg steak and hamburger: The former refers to just a beef patty made a certain way, while the hamburger is a sandwich-like dish comprising the patty, a bun and, often, other ingredients.[1]


Hamburg steak is made from beef which is finely chopped, ground (American English), or minced (British English).[4] Seasoning, egg, breadcrumb, onion and milk may be combined with the meat,[4] which is then formed into patties and cooked, by frying, roasting, or smoking.[5]

Haute cuisine[edit]

Hamburg steak is listed by Escoffier as a classic dish in haute cuisine.[6]

Around the world[edit]

A Japanese hanbāgu steak

Hamburg (ハンバーグ, hanbāgu, Hamburg steak)[7] is a popular dish in Japan. It is made from ground meat with finely chopped onion, egg and breadcrumbs flavored with various spices, and made into a flat, circular shape about a centimeter thick and 10 to 15 cm in diameter. Many restaurants specialize in various styles of hamburg steak.[8] Some variations include hanbāgu topped with cheese (チーズハンバーグ, or chīzuhanbāgu), hanbāgu with Japanese curry, and Italian hanbāgu (with tomato sauce rather than gravy).[9]

Hamburg steak became popular during the 1960s as a more affordable way to serve otherwise costly meat. Magazines regularly printed the recipe during that decade, elevating it to a staple dish in Japanese culture. In Japan, the dish dates back to the Meiji period and is believed to have been first served in Yokohama, which was one of the first ports opened to foreigners. Since the 1980s, vacuum packed hamburgers are sold with sauce already added, and these are widely used in box lunches (bento). Frozen hamburgers are popular as well, and are often served in fast food style restaurants.

In Hawaii, hamburger steak is very similar to the Japanese hanbāgu. It consists of burger patty with brown gravy. It is usually served with macaroni salad and rice in a plate lunch. There is also a variety which includes an egg, which is called loco moco.

In Finland, the dish is called jauhelihapihvi ("ground meat steak") and is prepared and served like the meatball: pan-fried, served with potatoes and brown sauce.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e McWilliams 2012, p. 122.
  2. ^ Murphy, Jane (2010). The Great Big Burger Book: 100 New and Classic Recipes for Mouth Watering Burgers Every Day Every Way: Easyread Large Edition. ReadHowYouWant. p. 2. ISBN 9781458764638.
  3. ^ Urbans, Dennis (2005). God Wants You Healthy!. Xulon Press. p. 120. ISBN 9781597814638.
  4. ^ a b Hunt, Caroline Louisa (1910). Economical use of meat in the home. Department of Agriculture (United States). pp. 33–.
  5. ^ Blumenthal, Heston (2010). In Search of Total Perfection. Bloomsbury. pp. 195–. ISBN 9781408802441.
  6. ^ Le Guide Culinaire by Auguste Escoffier, 1903
  7. ^ "Japanese Hamburg Steak".
  8. ^ Murakami, Haruki. The Elephant Vanishes, p. 188-194.
  9. ^ ja:ハンバーグ