The Japanese version of Salisbury Steak, Stewed Hamburg Steak is made with a mixture of pork mince (ground pork) and beef mince (ground beef), cooked in a flavoursome sauce made with just beef stock, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and sugar, with/without red wine.
Add 1½ tablespoons of butter to a frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion for 3 minutes until the edge of the onion pieces start browning slightly.
When the onions are at least at room temperature, add all the Hamburg Steak ingredients except oil to the bowl of onions and mix well until ingredients are evenly mixed and the mixture becomes sticky.
Throw the mince ball from one hand to the other to flatten, like the baseball players do (although the baseball won’t flatten). Do it few times so that the air inside the mince mixture is removed. Then turn the ball into a flat oval shape of about 2.5cm (1") thick.
Press the centre of the oval gently to make it slightly thinner than the outer part of the oval (the centre bulges up when cooked). Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8 to make 4 patties.
Add oil to a frying pan over medium high heat. Place the 4 mince patties in the frying pan and place a lid on.
Wipe the frying pan to remove black bits but do not completely wipe off as good flavour is stuck to the bottom.
Melt butter in the frying pan over medium high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions become transparent.
Add the remaining Stewing Sauce ingredients to the frying pan, mix well and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium high and place the Hamburg steaks back into the frying pan including the juice on the plate.
Cook for 8 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly with a gravy consistency. While cooking, turn the Hamburg steaks over once and then once more at the end. Turn the heat off.
Transfer the Hamburg steaks to serving plates with a choice of vegetables. Pour the sauce with shimeji mushrooms over the Hamburg steaks. Serve immediately.
1. Panko is Japanese breadcrumbs and it is much coarser than standard breadcrumbs. When soaked in milk, the breadcrumbs become soft and easy to blend into the meat mixture. You could also use soft white bread ripped into small pieces.
2. Japanese Hamburg steak is usually made of pork mince (ground pork) and beef mince (ground beef) mixed together. But you can use just pork or beef if you want. It is also OK to change the ratio of pork and beef. The more beef you have in the patties, the firmer the cooked Hamburg steaks will be.
3. I used shimeji mushrooms to give a Japanese touch to the sauce. But thinly sliced button mushrooms are also great.
4. For a non-alcohol version, replace wine with water.