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Spam Musubi ~ A Hawaiian Favorite

Updated on September 18, 2013

Spam Musubi at the beach

Spam Musubi at the beach
Spam Musubi at the beach

Spam Musubi, a Hawaiian tradition

Spam musubi is a popular snack food and lunch that I learned about fairly quickly when I lived in Maui, where I raised my children. Whenever we had a beach day, I would prepare the simple recipe for the kids to enjoy. It is simple to prepare, wraps up in plastic for easy serving, and is packed with three out of the five food groups. It is made with a slice of grilled Spam, on top of steamed rice, then wrapped up in a half sheet of sushi nori or dried seaweed.

It is very inexpensive and convenient to serve as a portable snack food. I first learned about Spam musubi when I first moved to Maui, where I saw it displayed by the cash register, next to the boiled peanuts, at our local beach market.

Spam Musubi for lunch

Spam Musubi for lunch
Spam Musubi for lunch

Fried Spam

Fried Spam
Fried Spam

Preparation & Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: Makes 15-20 rolls

Spam Musubi Ingredients

  • 3 cups Sticky Rice, cooked
  • 1 package Nori Sushi Dried Seaweed, usually comes in10 sheet package.
  • 12 ounce can Spam, sliced and fried
  • 1/4 cup Shoyu (Soysauce)
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Small dish water, to close the seaweed rolls

Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press

Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press
Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press

Hormel's 'Hawaii' Spam label 2003

Hawaii Spam label 2003 Collector's Edition
Hawaii Spam label 2003 Collector's Edition

Spam Musubi Instructions

  1. Prepare rice in rice cooker or on stove. Spam Musubi holds together best with hot steaming fresh sticky rice. Set aside.
  2. Slice Spam into thin rectangular slices and fry in ungreased pan. No additional oil is needed since the Spam's own juices releases plenty of grease for non stick in the pan. Set side
  3. In a small sauce pan combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Heat while constantly stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Place the cooked spam into the liquid, turn to cover and marinade until ready to use.
  4. Pour some water into a small finger bowl to seal seaweed rolls. Cut the seaweed sheets in half. Lay a half sheet on the nori onto a plate, then lay a Spam Musubi Sushi Rice Press over the nori. Make sure the nori is only as wide as the press, but no more. If you do not own a press, you can use the empty spam can with both ends open, as your mold for the rolls.
  5. Spoon some steaming rice in the bottom, and press it down with the lid. Add some seasoning and the fried spam, then more rice. Another quick press, only this time leave the lid down while removing the frame over all. A slight twist to loosen the lid, and perfectly formed roll is the result. Then wrap the nori around the whole thing. Keep the plastic clean between each musubi, and leave just slightly damp to completely reduce any sticking from the rice.
  6. Wrap individual spam musubi rolls in plastic wrap to keep fresh. Eat warm, or eat later. Ideal to pack in your lunches to go. Do not refrigerate, unless you can microwave them later. Enjoy!

This recipe gets 5 stars!

5 stars from 1 rating of Spam Musubi Recipe

Hawaiians love Spam.

They eat it regularly for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is commonly stir fried with eggs for breakfast, in lieu of bacon or sausage. It is eaten for lunch, most commonly wrapped with rice in a seaweed roll, known as Spam Musubi, and it is served as the main course at dinner with a pile of rice and sautéed cabbage. Hawaiian residents consume on average fifteen cans of Spam a year; more than anywhere else in the entire world. Because of their popularity on the Hawaiian Islands, Hormel introduced a limited edition "Hawaii” label on its can in 2003.

© 2013 Helen Kramer

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