Why is Spam so ubiquitous in Hawaii? Well during the World War II, it was difficult to transport fresh meat to the soldiers that were there on the Japanese/American war front. Enter spam. Of course, surplus from the soldiers made their way into civilian kitchens. Hawaii has a big Japanese American population, so its only natural that they would take the meat and use it in a way most familiar to them: wrapped up in nori and rice.
Now a lot of Americans look down on Spam as being a poor person's food, "mystery meat," trashy food, or generally disgusting canned meat. Next time you hear someone denouncing Spam, ask them if they have ever actually tried it. Chances are, they actually haven't tried it but they are just parroting a stigma. They are like food racists! I just say don't knock it 'til you've tried it.
The key to Spam is grilling it. Sure you could eat it straight out of the can, but don't. The aspic (meat jelly) that surrounds it is amazing when grilled, but no thank you otherwise.
|grilled to perfection|
I made a couple of variations for fun, since I had some magic red sauce on hand from my recent adventure in downtown Los Angeles. There is another style of Spam musubi where the Spam is not sandwiched in the middle of rice but is on top. I like rice on both sides of my Spam so I can really slather it in sauce and the rice will soak up any extra, but feel free to experiment. You can also put the teriyaki sauce in the pan while the spam is grilling, and I often do, but today I did not because I wanted to make a teriyaki free variation.
Spam Musubi: Four Ways
1 can of SPAM
1 pack of nori
hot chili oil (magical or other)
cooked sticky rice (approx 3 cups for 1 can of spam)
traditional with/without furikake:
|roughly spam shaped|
|the top layer before squeezing it|
|sprinkled with furikake|
Spicy Teriyaki Style:
Replace the furikake with shichimi togarashi powder, and brush the spam on both sides with the red chili oil.
My mother was nice enough to help my blogging skills out and get me a camera! While blogging with an iphone camera is doable, it is nice to have a zoom and better quality photos. I guess now I need to stop blogging about her jello eccentricities... or make her some more to eat.
|Shichimi below, spicy oil on top!|
|My new baby!|
*Almost all of these pics have the annoying time stamp but don't worry I figured out how to turn it off. I'm not the most technologically advanced so that was a feat!
Butter Mochi: Hapa Food
Furikake Chex Mix: Hapa Food