Thursday, 14 January 2010

Spam musubi

Yes, you read that right. This recipe contains spam. If you have something against Spam (as in the canned luncheon meat, not unsolicited junk emails), I guess this is not going to appeal to you. But then, don't diss it till you've tried it! It is not the healthiest thing in the world (neither are cake, roast potatoes or cream sauces...), but no harm as an occasional snack. The pan frying of the spam actually does render out some of the oil, and I tend to buy the low-salt version since spam is normally quite salty.

Spam musubi

Spam musubi consists of a block of rice topped with a slice of spam and wrapped with nori seaweed. The spam is may be heated in a frying pan, or just sliced straight from the can as is. Some versions also include glazing the slices with teriyaki sauce, or topping the rice with furikake sprinkles. It is a popular snack in Hawaii. You would find musubi sold as snack food in convenience stores and they are also very popular and handy for picnics, walks and hikes. In that sense, they are rather like onigiri (rice balls) in Japanese culture.

Although musubi resembles nigiri sushi, the rice is not flavoured with rice vinegar. To compress the rice into an oblong shape, you can use a musubi mould (sold in many kitchen stores in Hawaii or order from an eBay seller), or use a spam can with both ends removed. Just be careful not to cut yourself with the sharp edges of the can.

Ingredients (about 8 servings):

1 can of spam/luncheon meat (I use the low-salt version)
4 cups of cooked Japanese short grain rice
2 large sheets of nori seaweed, cut into 8 wide stripes
A little oil for frying
2 tbsp light soy sauce (optional)
2 tbsp mirin (optional)
2 tsp sugar (optional)
Furikake (optional)


1. Remove the spam from the tin and cut horizontally into 8 even slices. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan (you won't need much, remember that the spam will have enough fat of its own). Pan fry the spam slices over medium heat, 2-3 minutes on each side, until slightly browned and crisp at the edges.

Spam musubi

2. You can remove the spam onto a plate at this stage. For an optional teriyaki glaze, mix the soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a bowl and pour over the frying spam in the pan. Heat the sauce until it thickens and coats the slices, taking care not to burn the sauce (it will become bitter).

3. Rinse the musubi mould (or spam can if using) with water (to prevent the rice from sticking) and place it over a strip of nori. Scope some rice into the mould and press down firmly with the lid to compress the rice (if using the spam can, use the back of a spoon to press the rice down). You want the block of rice to be fairly firm, otherwise it will disintegrate when picked up.

Spam musubi

Spam musubi

4. If using, sprinkle some furikake on top of the rice. Top the rice with a slice of spam. Wrap the strip of nori around the spam and rice, sticking the end down with a few grains of rice. Repeat with the remaining rice and spam until you have 8 musubi. Serve immediately. They can also be individually wrapped in cling film and taken as a portable snack (or stored in the fridge for a day).

Spam musubi


Lizzie said...

I LOVE spam. I think it's an Asian thing, because most people I talk to in London are horrified when I declare my love for it.

Lexi said...

I love your pics!
I've nominated you for a Happy 101 blog award as I love reading your blog. Please stop by if you'd like to pick it up!

Anonymous said...

Here in Hawaii, we call Spam the Hawaiian Steak. We love it.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Delicious, we love pan-fry SPAM too.

Marie said...

I adore spam musubi! When I first was introduced to them, I used to stop by an L&L chain location every once in a while to satisfy my cravings. It's been far too long since I've had one though; thanks for the reminder of this tasty (and cheap!) treat. :)

mycookinghut said...

Great idea!!

noobcook said...

I've never thought of spam sushi, what a great idea and it looks so beautifully; love the shape.

Tricia said...

I make this all the time for my son. I normally chop up my spam - fry till crispy, dry pan fry some chopped spinach, add some furikake and mix it all up with some sushi rice make into onigiri for him.

He can eat 2 of these in one sitting!!!

Nilmandra said...

Glad to hear from fellow fans of spam, or at least people who aren't turned off by the very mention!

Lizzie: Spam and egg fried rice - excellent stuff!

Tricia: Now that's a yummy onigiri, no wonder your son polishes them off!

Lexi: Thanks for the compliment!

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