If you've spent any time in Hawaii, no matter which island, then you've come across SPAM. It might have been in the grocery store isles, at the local McDonald's or something you ordered at the local grindz. It is an intriguing food, around since before many of us were born (hopefully not the one that is in your cupboard, though who knows, it might still be good), and it is either revered or hated. I will have to say that of my three children, only the two that were born in Hawaii will eat it, so there must be something in the air here?!?

I thought I would provide you with a few of the more popular ways to enjoy Spam if you're on Maui (or just wish you were.) The first hurdle to get over is to actually buy the Spam, don't let the haters get you down! The second hurdle is to get it out of the can without gagging. Once both of those are done, you are ready for a taste of Hawaii.

The first and probably the most popular is the ever-loved snack, a Spam Musubi. These are available at grocery stores, gas stations and tutu's kitchen. 

 

(These are covered in plastic, they do not have some weird shiny ingredient)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of short grain rice
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 T of oil
  • 1 can of Spam (12 oz), cut into 10 slices
  • 1/4 c of soy sauce
  • 1/2 c of sugar
  • 1/4 c of oyster sauce (optional)
  • 5 sheets of Nori seaweed, each sheet cut lengthwise into 2

You can also add avocados (you know, so they're healthy) or eggs (beaten, and then cooked, flipping once and cut into musubi size portions).

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the rice once or twice, combine with the water in your rice cooker or on the stove and soak for at least 30 minutes. Then cook the rice.
  2. Combine the soy sauce and sugar in a separate bowl, stir until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in pan over medium heat, add the spam and cook until crispy on both sides. Add soy sauce mixture and continue cooking spam, turning occasionally, until the mixture is fully absorbed. 
  4. Lay nori seaweed shiny side down and put musubi press in the middle of the strip (if you don't have a press, it still works great to use your hands to form the rice), fill the press, release the block of rice and place cooked spam on the top of the rice. Bring up one side of the seaweed and tuck it between the rice and the spam, bring the other side up to wrap around the spam and moisten the side with a bit of water to seal.

Add sesame seeds, frukiake or sriracha as you see fit. 

Spam fried rice. A staple here in Hawaii, again you can get it just about anywhere and can add everything but the kitchen sink if you want to...just so long as you don't forget that spam!

 

(You'll notice this is the meat-lovers version, no vegetables, sub bacon!)

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 T of oil (vegetable is preferable, but for you health nuts olive oil is okay, but really, who are we kidding, we're cooking spam)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 oz of Spam, diced
  • 1/2 c of frozen corn
  • 1/2 c of frozen peas
  • 1/2 c of frozen edamame beans
  • 1/2 c of diced or julienned carrots
  • 3 c of cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 c of soy sauce
  • 1/2 T of fish sauce
  • 1/2 t of sesame oil
  • 1/2 t of white pepper
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • Sriracha

Feel free to add any other vegetables as well (julienned yellow peppers are a good addition).

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 T of oil in a skillet on low heat, add the beaten eggs, cook until cooked through, flipping only once. Remove eggs from heat and once cooled dice into small pieces
  2. Heat 1 T of oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and Spam pieces, stirring often, cook until golden brown.
  3. Add selection of vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly until vegetables are tender.
  4. Add rice and toss gently to combine.
  5. Add soy sauce, fish oil, sesame oil, and white pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through.
  6. Stir in green onions and eggs.
  7. Eat immediately with added Sriracha if you need some added zip.

"Hot Hawaiian" Breakfast. Just run into your nearby Hawaiian McDonald's and enjoy this hearty breakfast...or if you want to make it at home...cook some rice, your favorite type of eggs and fry some Spam.

So, no judgment until you've tried at least one of these recipes and for those that are adventurous, try them all (and then maybe make an appointment with your cardiologist). Good luck!