In Japanese cuisine, most meals fall into one of two primary categories - washoku (和食), and yōshoku (洋食), which literally translates into "traditional food" and "western food".
Yōshoku dishes include tonkatsu, korokke, and curry rice, all popular in Japan, ESPECIALLY in bento box lunches. One of THE most well-loved yōshoku dishes of all is the "hambaagu", which is the Japanese version of the ever-popular hamburger.
Unlike the traditional hamburger, though, the hambaagu is served without a bun, and is ALMOST like a meatloaf or Salisbury steak. The "patties" are thick, cooked in a rich sauce, usually a Tonkatsu sauce mixture, and served alongside Japanese sticky rice and maybe some shredded cabbage or kofukiimo (こふきいも), salty/sweet boiled potatoes.
adapted from No Recipes
1 small onion, finely diced (DIVIDED)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
6oz silken tofu
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1/2 cup dry red wine or beef stock
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp Tonkatsu sauce or Worcestershire sauce
Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a frying pan; once hot, saute 1/2 of the onions until medium-brown and caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled sauteed onion & garlic with the remaining raw onion and the ground beef, silken tofu, panko, 2 Tbsp ketchup, oyster sauce, parsley, soy sauce, black pepper and beaten egg. Mix with your hands until completely combined and mixed.
Add 1 Tbsp oil to the frying pan; heat over medium heat. Form the meat mixture into 8 oval patties, about 1" thick, adding each to the hot pan after forming (I usually do two batches of 4 patties).
Cook the patties until browned; they should form a dark brown crust. Carefully flip the patties and brown the other side. Transfer to a plate and drain off any excess oil.
Deglaze the frying pan with the red wine or beef stock; boil until reduced by half, then add the 1/4 cup ketchup, water and Tonkatsu (or Worcestershire) sauce. Stir to combine.
Return the patties to the pan; cover and cook in the sauce for 5-7 minutes, flipping once. Uncover, then cook for 3 minutes to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.