How to Make Spam Musubi
Spam musubi, a.k.a. Hawaiian sushi, a.k.a. spam sushi is the best snack you’re not eating. If you’ve never had spam musubi, you’re missing out. In short, spam musubi is a classic Hawaiian treat that consists of rice wine caramelized spam on top of a rice patty wrapped in seaweed. It’s super easy to make and we even made our easy spam musubi recipe without a rice mold.
“But Pâté–isn’t sushi all about freshness? What would Jiro think?” When Jiro dreams of this sushi, it’s probably a nightmare. However, this delicious snack is a Hawaiian tradition. I also firmly believe that Spam needs a rebranding, as when paired properly it can be super delicious (hello, spam fried rice).
If you don’t know, Spam is a mix of pork shoulder, ham, potato starch and spices and crazy delicious when handled with care. It was basically created by a group of food scientists as a way to use some cheap leftover meat cuts but also create a shelf stable meat for imminent wartimes.
Spam was considered a “wartime delicacy” by Margaret Thatcher and was well loved at its onset, for both its shelf life and consistent flavor. However, in post-war times, the oversaturation of this canned meat delight came with some Stage 1 Hipster Backlash a la Monty Python’s famous Spam sketch. The popularity of this sketch eventually was honored by programmers when naming the infamous spam folders you see in email services today. TBH that’s straight whackness, and spam doesn’t deserve it. Be sure to follow our instructions for easy Hawaiian style spam musubi and don’t mind the haters.
BTW–if you want to learn more about the impact of war research on the foods you even eat today, you need to check out this book: Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat
Spam Musubi Recipe
- 2 cups short grain rice
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 can Spam
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons mirin or rice vinegar
- 2-4 sheets nori (seaweed)
- Make rice. Pour rice into a large bowl and swirl around in cold water. Pour water out (you may want to use a cheese cloth) and repeat twice more until water around rice is clear.
- In a medium pot over high heat, place rinsed rice and 2 cups of cold water. Leave uncovered and bring to a boil.
- Once the pot begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
- Keeping cover on, remove pot from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a separate small bowl or ramekin, mix rice vinegar, sugar, salt and microwave until warm (30 seconds).
- Uncover rice and mix in rice vinegar mixture to coat rice.
- Let rice sit out until at room temperature.
- Remove Spam from can and slice into 8-10 equal slices.
- Prep spam musubi sauce. While rice cools, in a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, sugar and mirin / rice vinegar. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add spam slices. Once slices begin to crisp on both sides, turn heat low and add soy sauce mixture making sure to flip and coat quickly.
- Remove caramelized Spam and put aside on a plate.
- Assemble Spam Musubi. In a rice mold, press down half a cup of cooled rice. You can also form your spam musubi without mold by pressing a portion of rice in a small, rectangle tupperware container like we did.
- Cut long strips of nori / seaweed, about 2-3″ wide and 4-5″ long–enough to wrap around your rice patty.
- Place rice patty in the center of seaweed strip, and top with one slice of caramelized spam.
- Wrap seaweed around spam and seal. If seaweed doesn’t immediately stick, lightly wet your fingers and gently rub seaweed.
- Enjoy your spam musubi fresh, or cling wrap and warm up as a snack
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