Tuesday, March 13, 2012

At Home: SPAM Musubi

Having grown up in Hawaii, I am no stranger to this popular spiced ham and rice snack with origins from Japanese cuisine known as SPAM Musubi.  Pinspired, you voted on which recipe I should attempt for my next installment of What Micky Eats...At Home and this little snack won!   

Inexpensive and portable, SPAM Musubi is often found near cash registers in convenience stores all over Hawaii.  As common as picking up a hot dog from a street vendor in New York, eating SPAM Musubi is in Hawaii.  I remember it being offered at school for lunchtime or as after school snacks as well as being a staple packed in my bag for days at the beach.  Stylistically, there are many ways to prepare and serve SPAM Musubi.  Some come with fried egg, some sprinkled with furikake seasoning, others are wrapped with full sheets of nori (edible dried seaweed, often used to wrap sushi) or small strips of nori with just the SPAM on top. 

But for my adventure At Home, I decided to keep it simple and go with the classic version.

SPAM Musubi
  • 1 can of SPAM
  • 2 cups of cooked white rice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • Nori sheets (dried seaweed)

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- Prepare the rice how you would normally: wash the rice and bring to a boil in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water, or use a rice cooker if you have one. Once it is cooked, let cool down a bit while you prepare the SPAM. Otherwise, the hot rice will steam the seaweed wrappers too much and the musubi will fall apart.
- Mix the teriyaki and soy sauce together in a small bowl.
- Slice the SPAM lengthwise.  Cook over medium heat in a pan.
- Once both sides have browned a little, add the soy sauce mixture to caramelize.
- Remove from the stove and set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Assemble the musubi. (I used Laetitia's awesome tip of using empty SPAM can as the vessel to press and shape the musubi.)
- Layer first with a sheet of seaweed topped with rice, then top with a SPAM slice.
- Close the seaweed sheet, apply pressure and seal with a little water.

So, how did I do? Are you "pinspired"? I think the intimidation of making anything remotely similar to sushi was initially too much. Those Itamae are skilled artists! But these musubi were surprisingly easier to make than anticipated. I did not have any Japanese nori on hand, instead I used Korean kim.  Kim is very similar to nori, with more roasted flavor and dusted with salt. However, I would recommend using nori if you can find it, as the roasted kim seemed to break apart a little more easily.  In addition, to keep the sodium factor low, you can use SPAM Lite or the Low Sodium version, as I did.  The soy sauce mixture and the kim added extra salt anyways.  When surviving in a post-Apocalyptic-zombie-infested-world and all that is left are cans and cans of spiced ham, we now know what to do with it all. Ha!

I liked making a "pinspired" recipe and think I will try it again.  Let me know if you have any great recipes I should pin!  Perhaps you will see it here on What Micky Eats...At Home.

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