The last couple of days around here haven’t been pretty. I’ve come down with a cold, or a mild flu, I’m not too sure which. My taste buds are off and I’m so much more careless in the kitchen when I’m sick, which means I’m going to take a little break from following Chang’s detailed multi-day recipes. Instead, I’m going to post some simple home-style meals Mike and I enjoy.
I’ve never been one of those sick people who like to languish around, dying. Ok, no, I do do that. But I’m certainly not one of those people who don’t want to eat when I’m sick. No, I’m of the belief that if you’re sick, you need to eat to get better!
When my brother and I still lived at home, my mom would never worry when I was sick. She knew I’d be in the kitchen, making congee or chicken noodle soup; something nourishing, comforting and warm. If my brother was sick, then she’d be the one in the kitchen, bringing food to him in bed. This may seem like disparate treatment, or favouritism to my brother, but I know (or at least I like to think) that she knew I was the one who could take care of myself.
I haven’t changed much: I’m still in the kitchen when I’m sick even though Mike tells me that he thinks I’m going to hurt myself by the minute. I can’t help it though, I love cooking. So much so that Mike, who loves cooking too, never gets a chance to. (Not that he complains much!)
When I’m sick I crave the usual things: soup, congee, Spam. Yes, Spam. I think it’s the immense amount of salt they put in each can. But don’t knock Spam, Spam is delicious. If you think it isn’t, it’s because you haven’t eaten it the way it was meant to be eaten.
When I was a kid my mom would sometimes make Spam (ok, knock-off Chinese Spam), eggs and rice for dinner. She’d pan fry the spam until it got super-crispy and caramelized. It tastes amazing with eggs with runny yolks and rice. Serious comfort food now that I’m an adult.
The key to Spam is frying it. Just slice it up into Spam steaks out of the can, put it in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and confit it in the wonderful Spam fat that leaks out. The Spam will crisp up and taste incredibly delicious. Add some sweet soy sauce, sandwich it between 2 layers or rice, wrap the whole thing up in seaweed and you have Spam musubi, the ultimate Hawaiian Spam creation.
Sweet, savoury, and hand-held, Spam musubi is a take on Spam sushi and it’s seriously good. Try some! You’ll like it, I promise!
Spam Musubi Recipe
Spam musubi mold or you can do what I do and make a ghetto mold by cutting out the bottom of your Spam can. Be careful though, cans are sharp when you cut them! Always place the cut side down when making musubis.
1 can of Spam
2 cups of cooked rice
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (less if you’re not into salt)
4 sheets of nori, cut in half
Open your can of Spam and turn it on it’s side to slice into 8 equal pieces. Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat and add your slices of Spam, cooking and turning until your desired level of crispiness.
Add the sweet soy sauce to the pan and turn the heat down to low. Make sure each piece of Spam is coated with soy sauce. The soy sauce will bubble and coat each piece of Spam with a sticky, salty, sweet goo. Put the Spam on a plate.
Place your half sheet of nori down on a cutting board, shiny side down and put your Spam can or musubi maker in the middle of the sheet. Scoop a generous amount of rice into the mold and pack it down. You want the rice to be compressed. Add a slice of Spam and another layer of rice, making sure you are packing it down as you go. Use a spoon (or your musubi handle), press down on the rice and use your other hand to pull the mold up and release the musubi. Wrap the nori around the rice, sealing the edges with a bit of water.
Spam musubi are make and eat kind of snacks so eat immediately to enjoy the crunch of the nori. Repeat until full.
I can always use new ideas for get-better food. What are some other good go-to get-better foods?