Now, before someone starts gagging and saying things like, “Ew! Spam’s not food!,” we’d like to invite you all over for a Spam musubi party. You’re welcome to engage in Spam-bashing afterwards – if you can still speak with your mouth crammed full of musubi.
Spam musubi was entirely unknown to me until I was a senior in college, when a Hawaiian underclassman friend decided he needed a little taste of home. I was right there with him. Spam had fallen out of my food rotation in high school, as the internet gave the word new meaning (Yes, I’m old), but hearing about it again conjured up all kind of happy memories. When visiting my family in Zamboanga we’d munch on fried Spam and rice or Spam and Eden cheese stuffed into warm pandesal. In Minnesota we’d fry up the Spam and make little hamburgers (Spamburgers?) out of it. This Spam musubi my dear friend conjured up was everything I remembered about Spam with a Hawaiian twist: salty and crunchy and sweet and tangy.
Raphe, on the other hand, is newer to the Spam party. After months of battling his admonishment of how processed and unhealthy it is, we finally reached a point of concession. We tried a simple fried Spam and rice dish, but it didn’t impress him much. I was a little afraid that he would never try again. I chided myself for not starting with the musubi and continued advocating for its deliciousness.
The moment arrived recently; without notice and without fanfare. This past January, we were making out like bandits at the Can-Can sale and I hear,
“Hey, Spam is 3 for $6. You still want to make that Spam sushi stuff?”
Did he really need to ask?
A few notes: Make sure you use sticky rice for this recipe. It’s also known as “sushi rice” or “glutenous rice” (although there is not gluten in it). Feel free to substitute white or apple cider vinegar into the sauce if that’s all you have on hand.
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Based on What’s Cooking America via a college friend
Makes 8 large musubi
|3 cups sticky rice (also known as “sushi rice” or “glutinous rice”)||New York Mart of Avenue U|
|4 cups water|
|1 can Spam||Shop Rite|
|1/4 cup soy sauce||Golden Farm|
|1/4 cup sugar||Shop Rite|
|1/4 cup rice vinegar||Golden Farm|
|4 sheets nori(toasted seaweed sheets)||Golden Farm|
|1. Cook rice.|
|2. Assemble sauce. Mix soy sauce, sugar and vinegar and heat to a simmer (I do this in the microwave).|
|3. Slide Spam out of can. Run a knife along the inside of the can to release the suction, then just turn upside down and enjoy the slurp. Slice spam into 8 equal-ish pieces.|
|4. Fry spam until dark brown and crispy.|
|5. When spam slices are properly brown and crisp, place them in the sauce until mold is ready.|
|6. Cut nori in half and place on a cutting board. Place musubi mold on the nori. Put a little warm rice in the bottom of the mold, directly on top of the nori. Press down until you have a firm layer of rice about half an inch thick (add more rice if necessary).|
|7. Pour a little sauce on the packed rice, then place the Spam slice directly on top.|
|8. Cover the top with another half-inch of packed rice.|
|9. Leave mold insert in place while you gently lift the outside mold off the musubi. Gently pull the mold insert off the top of the musubi, hold the top layer of rice down with a knife if it sticks.|
|10. Wrap the nori, using a little water on the tip of your finger to seal the edge.|
|11. Cut in half if using the large mold. Munch while warm!|