Hawaii is synonymous with SPAM. Thanks to WWII and the heavy military presence SPAM has become ingrained into Hawaiian culture. Much like many dishes before it, the Japanese immigrant population got hold of SPAM and Musubi was born. Some people say it’s “spam sushi” which, I guess it is. Musubi is a thick layer of rice with a slice of Spam that’s been cooked in a sweet-ish sauce and wrapped in a thin slice of nori. I grew up having Spam, eggs, and rice for breakfast, or spam fried rice, and SPAM musubi for an after school snack. So Spam and I have a long history and has always been a favorite of mine. Every time I visit Hawaii, one of the first things I seek out is, musubi. Which are pretty easy to find every gas station, drug store, or grocery store. But in my opinion, Walgreens has the best out there; specifically the Walgreens in Wahiawa.
What people may not know is there are many ways to make musubi sometimes the SPAM is sandwiched between the rice then wrapped, sometimes there is an egg in it, often there is furikake and are usually served warm, but are still great room temperature. Even though I moved away from Hawaii when I was young it still surprises me on how many of my family and friends haven’t tried SPAM. If you’re looking for a good gateway Spam recipe to try out on hardcore spam haters, try this one. It works every time.
- 1 can Spam Sliced about 1/4 in thick, should get 10 slices
- 4c Prepared Sushi Rice
- 1/2c Teriyaki Sauce
- Furikake to taste
- 5 sheets Nori, cut in half hamburger way
- In a frypan over medium heat, sear the spam until it’s light brown and crispy but still tender on the inside. May need to cook in batches.
- Lay all the Spam in one layer in the frypan, lower the heat a little, and pour the teriyaki sauce on top. Cook the sauce, turning the spam making sure it is evenly coated but make sure to not burn the sauce! Since the teriyaki sauce has a lot of sugar, it could burn fast.
- Once the Spam is good and covered, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Cut the nori sheets in half so that it’s as wide as the spam.
- Take a musubi mold and place it on top of the nori about an inch from the edge. Fill the mold about 3/4th of the way with rice and press down so it’s about an inch and a half thick.
- Sprinkle furikake on the rice and lay the Spam on top, press the mold down again then remove from the mold.
- Wrap the nori fully around and secure it with some water. Repeat until they are all done. I serve mine room temperature or heated just slightly if it’s a leftover.
To cook the Spam
Rolling out the Musubi
If you don’t have a mold, use the spam can! Lay a large piece of cling wrap over the opening of the can and fill the can with the rice and pressing it down with a spoon to form an even layer. Making sure the cling wrap is still sticking out of the sides so you can pull the rice block out easily.