In many Japanese families, ハンバーグ hambāgu, or (Japanese) hamburger steak, is a popular dish. Not only are they tasty and enjoyed by many people young and old but they're also considered a practical dish to make since you can make a dozen or more in one cooking session and store the remainder in the fridge or freezer.

However, when it comes down to actually making them, one thing that's a bit of a bother is turning your meat mixture into individual patties.

After stirring up the mixture several times until it's consistent and will hold together when you form patties, you have to cook the patties one by one in a frying pan... It takes time and effort and can be tiring.

Twitter user つくね Tsukune (@merompans) enjoys hambāgu, but felt the process was too tedious. That's when they came up with a radical idea:

Slam the whole batch of meat mix into the rice cooker, press the button and be done with it!

Thankfully, they documented the whole process on their Twitter account for our benefit.

The end result makes quite a visual impact and this lifehack attracted a lot of attention:

Juicy giant Japanese hamburger steak

Reproduced with permission from つくね Tsukune (@merompans)

After cooking the meat mix in the rice cooker, this is what you get:

Reproduced with permission from つくね Tsukune (@merompans)

Presto change-o! You've got yourself a giant hamburger!

Surprisingly, in the rice cooker, the meat doesn't just mold itself to fit the rice cooker pot the way a meatloaf does in a meatloaf tray in the oven, as you might imagine. It actually ends up looking like a giant hamburger steak.

And look how juicy it is when you cut it open:

Reproduced with permission from つくね Tsukune (@merompans)

All you need to do is cut it into the appropriate slices for the number of people you have, and it's good to serve.

If you're bent on serving your hambāgu in individual round shapes, you may not appreciate this lifehack, but if you care more about taste than appearance, this method is more efficient than grilling each steak individually.

This method elicited numerous comments, such as:

  • "It looks delicious! I think it can be used as a party dish since it would be a lot for one person."
  • "It looks like a kid's dream come true. My kids would love it!"
  • "It's extra-large! Looks like it would fill you up. I never thought of using a rice cooker like that!"

Of course, this lifehack supposes you have a rice cooker at home. In the United States, for example, many Asian-American households have one and they're making inroads in the general population too. According to Statista, Between 2010 and 2017, the US rice cooker market grew by 65% from 3.1 million to 5.1 million units sold. If you like Japanese and other Asian cuisines, it could be useful to have one. Some of them are very reasonably priced...

If you have a rice cooker, why not give this a try?

By - grape Japan editorial staff.