I’m not sure what possessed my husband to pick up some SPAM during a recent trip to our local Safeway. But there it was in his grocery bag. A can of SPAM. I don’t know what, if anything, he intended to make with it, but I immediately took it as a personal challenge! Could I whip out some gourmet dinner using SPAM, à la Top-Chef quick-fire gas station or vending machine challenge? I proceeded in my typical fashion: a little internet research to find what was SPAM exactly (I had actually never heard of it… I just quickly got a sense given that it was “meat” in a can that it wasn’t exactly gourmet…), a visit to the official SPAM website to see what kind of recipes you can find there and a little more internet research on my favorite blogs and cooking sites. I found out a few things. SPAM gets its named from SPiced hAM. It’s been around since 1937 and is produced in Austin, MN, also known as Spam Town USA, which hosts an annual SPAM Jam festival. And it’s big in Hawaii and Guam. I also found out that none of the recipes I was looking at looked appetizing. The only one that I could consider ingesting was SPAM musubi (a slice of SPAM fried in soy sauce, pressed onto sushi rice and wrapped in seaweed to form a small, bite site block) so I gave it a try!
1. Prepare the sushi rice how you would normally: wash the rice and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water. Once it is cooked and cooled down a bit add rice vinegar and 2 tbsp sugar. Mix and set aside while you prepare the SPAM.
2. Mix the soy sauce and sugar together in a small bowl. I did equal part sugar/soy sauce but you can use a little less sugar if you don’t want it to be too sweet.
|Slice up the SPAM then cook over medium heat in a pan. Once both sides have browned a little, add the soy sauce mixture. Once the SPAM is nice and caramelized, remove from the stove and set aside to cool for a few minutes.|
3. Assemble the musubi. If you’re not a regular SPAM musubi eater, you probably don’t have a musubi maker, which is used to press the block together. That’s ok. I just used the can of SPAM.
|The layers work in the following way: sheet of nori topped with rice, sprinkled with rice seasoning, then SPAM slice, more fumi furikake, rice, close the nori sheet, apply pressure and close with a little water.|
|4. Enjoy! SPAM musubi would probably not have won any Top Chef quick fire challenges, but my husband was onto something when he bought that box of SPAM. Maybe it’s because I love furi furikake and the taste of sushi seaweed (I used to eat roasted nori as a snack as a kid) but I actually *love* SPAM musubi. Who would have thought 😉|