Spam Musubi Recipe

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?

63 Comments add yours

  1. yum! I just made this last week because I was craving it!

    Looking at the pictures, I’m starting to crave it again too! It’s so addictive.

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:26 pm
  2. hahaha cute, quick, easy I like it…

    You should give them a try!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:27 pm
  3. that looks amazingly delicious ……. mmmmm spam

    I think there are a lot of closet spam lovers!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:27 pm
  4. ooh, i love spam musubi. what a great idea using the tin as a mold! my ultimate feel-better food is chinese chicken noodle soup. :)

    I’m going to making some Chinese chicken noodle soup soon… :)

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Now you can make them at home too!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:28 pm
  6. Spam fried rice is something they do a lot of in Hawaii.

    Here is something to search for while you are sick.
    On PBS they sometimes run a series by Gourmet Magazine called Diary of a Foodie. An episode I recently saw was about fast food, or rather food that took a long time to prepare but is served quickly.
    The first segment of this episode was with David Chang at Momofuku.
    I don’t know what the equivalent of PBS in Canada is, but it may also be floating around on the internet.

    Also, there is a food stand in Florence, Italy I should try out.

    Spam fried rice is so good!

    I got a chance to look up the Diary of a Foodie and saw the tripe stand. It was a pretty good segment, I love fast/street food.

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:30 pm
  7. Love the post, but a good twist on this is equal parts mirin and shoyu. The mirin adds a little sweet tang to balance the intense saltiness of the spam and shoyu. Dat buggah is ‘ono! (delicious)

    I can’t wait to try with mirin and shoyu. I think some sweetness would really add an extra delicious twist!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:30 pm
    malikilailo on April 26, 2010 at 3:10 pm
  8. IKEA meatballs, always have a pack in My freezer (for lazy I-don’t-feel-like-cooking days). Get well soon!

    Heehee, Ikea meatballs are one of my standby I-don’t-feel-like-cooking times too!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:31 pm
  9. I wish more people were open to the musubi. It is just the best food to snack on.

    If they’d only try spam musubi, they’d know how wonderful it is!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:31 pm
  10. I love spam musubi! The cutting of the can trick is pretty clever. Gotta try that next tine, by try that i really mean have the boyfriend cut the can for me. Knowing me i might cause an accident. Haha.

    You should definitely get your boyfriend to help, I wouldn’t want any accidents! Hope you have fun spam musubi-ing!

    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:32 pm
  11. OMG! This is brilliant. LOVE

  12. Oh my goodness, to actually read someone write about SPAM Musubi is amazing to me. We make it all the time, but especially when we travel. It is the perfect travel food for the plane or the car. And of course during the Holidays. Every New Years we have won tons, musubi, poi, a variety of seafood and kalbi (local style) and ogo, if we can get it. We ring in the new year and reminisce about Hawaii and old family stories.

    My child does not like a lot of our Hawaiian / Local food, but she does love musubi. My favorite is SPAM but I also like to use lup Cheong.

    I think I’m going to have to plan a spam musubi picnic as soon as I’m better and the weather gets a bit warmer.

    I really want to visit Hawaii and taste authentic musubi. As a Hawaiian, do you find that the spam musubi tastes different when you go back and visit?

    We make it as authentic as we remember from when we lived there. You can also put different things into the musubi, my aunt likes it with a spicy beef, I like lup cheong, my mom likes her with umeboshi paste. And you can get it several ways.

    Mmm, I really must go to Hawaii one of these days!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:35 pm
    Shawna Burger on April 27th, 2010 at 2:08 pm
    steph on April 27th, 2010 at 12:36 pm
    Shawna Burger on April 27, 2010 at 12:23 pm
  13. You had me at “Spam”..

  14. Oh hey I never thought of using the can since I have the acrylic maker…which I just used to make an ice cream musubi with brownies…doh!

    Ooh, that sounds awesome, ice cream sandwiched between brownies!

    One of these days I’ll buy an acrylic maker! They’re way safer!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:38 pm
  15. Way to bring it to the forefront! This was, and still is, a favorite of ours growing up in Hawaii.

    Chef–your consideration to put furikake, or shreadded scrambled eggs, or ume in it to change it up fo more fancy kine yeah?

    Do it.

    I think scrabbled eggs would be an awesome addition. Or maybe even giant tamagoyaki, yum!

    steph on April 28th, 2010 at 12:39 pm
  16. What kind of sweet soy do you use? How is it made or is it store bought? I know there’s the ABC Sweet Soy sauce that sold in many Asian grocery stores. Is this what you use? I’ve read of Spam Musubi recipes where people use teriyaki sauce. Is sweet soy better than teriyaki sauce? Thanks.

    The sweet soy sauce I use is store-bought. It’s Lee Kum Kee brand. I haven’t tried spam musubi with teriyaki sauce so I’m not sure which is better. If you only have regular soy on hand, just add some sugar to taste. I’m sure it’ll taste great!

    steph on April 29th, 2010 at 10:40 am
  17. What kind of rice do you use? Sushi rice or ?

    Here I used jasmine rice just because I’m out of sushi rice at the moment. I recommend sushi rice!

    steph on April 29th, 2010 at 10:40 am
  18. Great idea using the can I have a mold the trick to it is don’t add too much rice or you’ll end up with a brick.

    Agreed. Everyone has their preferred rice to spam ratio!

    steph on May 7th, 2010 at 10:46 am
  19. i love musubi…grew up having daikon and cucumber in my musubi. also love it with a spice mayonnaise sauce made of mayo and oriental hot sauce…YUM!!

    Spicy mayo and musubi sound like a match made in heaven!

    steph on May 21st, 2010 at 11:08 am
  20. Just an addition that we use around here (Seattle), sprinkle a little furikake over the rice in the mold before adding the Spam. Ono!!

    Mmm, furikake would be awesome with Spam musubi!

    steph on June 16th, 2010 at 11:53 am
  21. If you have access to these ingredients, the best is half Aloha shoyu (soy sauce from Hawaii), half mirin (sweetened cooking sake). For variety, furukake (bits of nori (seaweed) with sesame seeds and other flavorings) or takuan (pickled radish) or pitted ume (pickled plums) can be added. Ono!

  22. Thank you so much for this recipe! I just got back to my dorm and all I have is rice, spam, and nori (I wish I was joking).

  23. My favorite comfort food would be nekko-meshi…rice in miso shiru with odd bits of other things thrown in. We make our own fish stock from the fish I catch outside of Hilo, Hawaii where we live. The stock is frozen in pint jars and broken out when I’m in an akamiso mood. Really good breakfast is nekko-meshi, scrambled eggs and crispy Spam. What’s not to like?

    And if I don’t use the rice cooker to make rice and have left over koge from making rice in a pot to put in the miso shiru, well…(^-^)

  24. Man I was so exited to make this!! But when I opened my pantry, which is usually filled with canned foods, there was no spam! :( Lovely pictures though, I love your blogs!!

  25. Just ate 2 and I am so full! I think equal parts spam and rice makes it quite good. Next time, a double decker!

  26. In Hawaii we add egg to the musubi. It’s breakfast on the go.
    6 eggs
    3T soy sauce
    2 T brown sugar
    splash of sake

    Mix all and bake in a shallow pan or on stove

  27. Spam Musubi actually freezes very well. Wrap it tightly in saran wrap after it cools and stick it in freezer. B4 you leave for work in the morning grab one or two out of the freezer and by lunch it should be thawed. This, along with some edamame, was a favorite bento for my girls to take to school. I usually only do one layer of rice and a strip (maybe 1/2″ to 1″ wide)of nori around it. It is also good with a tamago (which I think you have a recipe for) layer. As bobby from Hawaii said, it makes a good breakfast and when made the night b4 it is good on the run.
    ALSO…it works with hot dogs too. But Spam is better.

  28. Delish. Used the can for shaping… Genius. Just used lite soy with brown sugar and turned out great!

  29. It’s also good with Spam Lite, which make me feel less guilty about eating 1/2 of a can of fried Spam for a pre-dinner snack.

  30. I grew up making spam musubis with shoyu-sugar sauce, which is equal parts shoyu (soy sauce) to sugar. The best part about shoyu-sugar is that you can adjust the ratio to your taste and it goes well with everything (try shoyu-sugar hot dogs ).

  31. does anyone know what is in spam.

  32. Always knew how to make spam musubi but I noticed in your picture you used the spam can as a mold. GENIUS. LOL definitely trying :)

  33. Spam musubi from 7-11 in Hawaii was the best, we add sriracha hot chili sauce to the spam, delish!!!

    Mommy to 4 keiki on March 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm
  34. Surfing and spam musubi! Even McDonalds in HI has spam, also saimin, but I doubt y’all are worried!! Crispy spam, rice and fried egg is the best breakfast ever. In Guam they like to eat it with garlic fried rice. Spam can as the mold is fucking awesome.

  35. I woke up extremely sick, with a cold/virus. My husband had the great idea of making spam musubi, to satisfy my salt cravings. Looking for some instructions, I happened upon your blog-seems as if the same comfort food craving is (somewhat) universal (we’re chinese-canadian from mainland, parents from HK)!
    Thanks for the tips! We used the can to mould the musubi! Great!

  36. Can you reheat chilled spam musubi or eat it plain cold?

    You can reheat refrigerated Spam Musubi by zapping it in the microwave for about 30 seconds, still tastes good after that. I haven’t tried zapping from frozen state though.

    Wyllie on September 6th, 2012 at 10:50 pm
  37. You forgot possibly the most important ingredient component (for authentic “Ono”)…Norigoma Furikake(in between the layers of sushi rice and Spam). Also, use thick Teriyaki sauce (Kikkoman is good)to glaze the Spam slices. Finally, you MUST sprinkle S&B Black Sesame Salt over it, and serve it at room temperature!

    Broke Da Mout!

  38. Yumm;) and for the spam fries rice I put oyster sauce;) Omg broke da mouth! Xoxo from the Big Island

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