Spam musubi is comfort food in Hawaii. You can pick one up at your local gas station, or make a batch to take to the high school football game. It’s a perfect combination of the sweetness of the katsu sauce, the acrid tang of the rice wine vinegar, the savory meat and the salty/ocean flavor of the nori. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Note, to make spam musubi you’ll need a musubi press. Some people use the spam can itself as a press, but this is more difficult.
1 can Spam
3-3/4 cup sticky rice If you have a rice cooker, make 5 scoops of rice. (5 scoops at 3/4 cup per scoop = 3-3/4 cups of uncooked rice)
4-5 sheets sushi nori (seaweed sheets)
3-5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce, for all you haoles)
furikake — your favorite variety, to taste
a little bowl/ramekin of water
Makes 8-10 musubis
Put 5 scoops (3-3/4 cup) of sticky rice in the rice cooker. Add water and push start. It’ll probably take 45 minutes. Go take a half-hour break. You’ve deserved it!
When the rice is about to “pop,” you can begin preparing the Spam. Remove the Spam loaf from the can and turn it on its side. Depending on how “meaty” you like your musubi, you may decide to make 8 or 10 from the loaf. Cut it in half, then divide those halves into either 4 or 5 equal slices.
In a non-stick pan, brown the Spam slices over med-high heat. They should just begin to turn brown. When they’re just about ready, combine the sugar and shoyu (soy sauce) in a small bowl. Turn off the heat and pour the sugar/shoyu mixture over the sizzling Spam. Work fast, because the sugar is going to carmelize quickly! Flip the slices over a few times to make sure they get good and coated. Put the salty-sweet Spam slices aside and wait for your rice finish cooking!
Once the rice is fully cooked, pour 3-5 tbsp of rice wine vinegar over the rice and mix well.
Take your nori (either 4 or 5 sheets, depending on whether you want to make 8 or 10 musubi) and cut the sheets in half with a pair of scissors. You’ll note that the nori is longer on one side. Cut the longer way; that will make the musubi easier to wrap.
Time to assemble your musubi:
- Place a half-sheet of nori on a cleanish surface.
- Put the musibi press in the middle of the sheet.
- Now scoop enough rice to fill about a third of the press.
- Push down to compact the rice. If you’ve got less than a third filled, add a little bit. It takes practice.
- Shake some furikake on the pressed rice.
- Add a slice of fried, seasoned Spam. Mmmmm!
- Shake some more furikake on top of the Spam.
- Fill up the rest of the press with rice.
- Press down to compact. If you want a thicker musubi, add a little more rice and press again.
- To remove the outside of the press, hold it down with the plunger and lift the outside form.
- Now wrap it up! Bring one side of your nori up and press it against the top of the musubi.
- Dip your finger in water and apply to the edge of the nori (kind of like wetting an envelope).
- Then bring the other side up to complete the wrap.
- Place the finished musubi upside-down on a plate. As the rice cools, the nori will soften and shrink-wrap onto the rice and spam filling.
Finish until you’re out of Spam. Wrap in plastic wrap if you’re taking your musubi “to go.”
Pro tip: Try adding a couple of squirts of Sriracha hot sauce above at the same time you add furikake.