A favorite Hawaiian way to eat Spam is in the form of a musubi (pronounced moo-soo-bee, with no accent). It is a fried slice of spam on rice pressed together to form a small block, then wrapped with a strip of seaweed. The Spam musubi is eaten as a sandwich, and it is perhaps the Island’s favorite “to go” or snack food.
A special kitchen gadget, known as the Spam Musubi Press, is responsible for the proliferation of this treat. It is a special plexiglas mold with the outline of a single Spam slice.
Recipe Makes 32 Musubi Rolls
3 cups uncooked Japanese medium-grain sushi rice*
4 cups water
5 sheets of roasted-seaweed (Nori)**
1 (12-ounce) can Spam Luncheon Meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup rice wine (mirin)
- Wash rice, stirring with your hand, until water runs clear. Place rice in a saucepan with water; soak 30 minutes. Drain rice in colander and transfer to a heavy pot or rice cooker; add 4 cups water. If you don’t have a rice cooker, place rice and water into a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave pan, covered, for 15 additional minutes
- Cut nori in half widthwise. Place cut nori in a resealable plastic bag to keep from exposing the nori to air (exposing the nori to air will make it tough and hard to eat).
- Cut Spam into 8 rectangular slices approximately 1/4-inch thick. In a large ungreased frying pan over medium heat (Spam has plenty of grease to keep it from sticking), fry slices until brown and slightly crispy. remove from heat, drain on paper towels, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan over high heat, add soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine; bring just to a boil, then remove from heat. Add fried Spam slices to soy sauce mixture, turning them to coat with the sauce; let spam slices sit in marinade until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, add some water to use as a sealer for the ends of the nori wrapper; set aside.
How to Assemble:
Using a Spam Musubi Press, place a piece of nori on a plate. Position press on top of the nori so the length of the press is in the middle of the nori (widthwise). The press and the width of the nori should fit exactly the length of a slice of Spam. (Note: If you don’t have a musubi maker, you can use the empty Spam can by opening both sides, creating a musubi mold.)
- Spread approximately 1/4 cup cooked rice across the bottom of the musubi maker, on top of the nori.
- Press rice down with flat part of the press to compact the rice until it is 1/4-inch thick (add more rice if necessary).
- Place a slice of Spam on top of the rice (it should cover most of the length of the musubi maker).
- Cover with an additional 1/4 cup cooked rice; press until 1/4-inch thick.
- Remove the musubi from the press by pushing the whole stack down (with the flat part of the press) while lifting off the press.
* Only use Japanese medium-grain sushi rice in sushi making. It is a medium-grained rice and gets sticky when it is cooked. Long-grained American rice will not work because it is drier and doesn’t stick together.
** Roasted-Seaweed (Nori) – Sheets of thin seaweed which is pressed and dried. As a general rule of thumb – good Nori is very dark green, almost black in color.
Courtesy of Hormel Foods Corporation