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..SPAM Musubi..

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

SPAM Musubi by kurumicooks Japanese cooking

SPAM ...hmmm... it conjures up all sorts of reactions, doesn't it? In the UK, SPAM or "luncheon meat" as it also used to be called, was a mainstay of every lunchbox. Then, along came Monty Python with their SPAM comedy sketch and it became a bit of a joke to ask for SPAM to eat.

Over on the other side of the world, people think of SPAM in a very different way. In South Korea, people love SPAM and serve it up in lots of different ways - in fact, one of Korea's national dishes - Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) - has to be served with SPAM or it simply doesn't cut the proverbial mustard. The Koreans learned to love their SPAM during the Korean War back in the 1950's when protein rich food was very scarce, but SPAM remains just as popular today in Korea as it was back then. In Hawaii, the subject of this post - SPAM Musubi - is a bit of a thing - in fact, the SPAM Musubi was invented in Hawaii - nobody quite knows who invented it but it is now a ubiquitous feature of many a Hawaiian menu along with many a Hawaiian's favourite breakfast - Fried Rice with Egg & SPAM.

I must admit when I first made SPAM Musubi in my own kitchen, I wondered about the combination of pork and ham (ie SPAM) with nori seaweed. But once I had made and tasted a few SPAM Musubi I was a converted. My family followed soon after and now SPAM Musubi find their way to our table at lunch and supper on a regular basis. If you look around on the web, you'll find other SPAM Musubi recipes but with only a strip of nori rather than a wrap. I advise you to follow the wrapped method - it means you can eat your SPAM Musubi with your fingers - you can't do that if you only use a strip of nori.

I usually add some salad leaves to my SPAM Musubi as well as some mayo. I've tried various leaves, but I think that baby spinach is a good choice. I season the SPAM using teriyaki sauce during the frying stage. You can use shop bought teriyaki sauce if you like, but if you wish, you can also make your own - it's simple, quick and a lot cheaper than buying from the supermarket! I've put a link to my Youtube tutorial for teriyaki sauce at the bottom of the page. You can find my written recipe by clicking Teriyaki Sauce and the Youtube tutorial by clicking Yakitori Sauce or scroll to the bottom of the page.

All in all, these SPAM Musubi are easy to make, filling (very filling, in fact) and as long as you pre-cook your rice, they take no longer than 15 - 20 minutes to serve to your hungry horde.

Platic musubi mould for making SPAM Musubi

Now, you will need a little bit of equipment to start making your SPAM Musubi. While some people claim you can use the SPAM can itself as a mould, I don't advise it simply because I don't want you to cut your fingers any more than I want to cut my own! Instead, you can do as I did and pick up a Musubi mould like the ones in the picture on the left from Amazon or other online stores. They cost about $5 / £5, so they won't break the bank! What you get is a mould, a lid and a dinly little spoon for filling the mould with rice. Once you've got your moulds, simply follow my instructions or take a look at the Youtube tutorial (or both) and you'll be delighting your family with SPAM Musubi in no time at all!

Have I put you in a SPAM frame of mind? If you'd like to try this out just click on SPAM Musubi for the Youtube tutorial or scroll to the bottom of the page. You can find the written recipe just below.

Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.



(makes 6 SPAM Musubi)

1 tin of SPAM (340g)

600g cooked Japanese rice

some spinach or some salad leaves

1 - 1.5 tbsp teriyaki sauce

3 nori sheets

some mayo

a musubi mould


how to:

open your tin of SPAM. give the tin a good squeeze to loosen the SPAM and shake it out onto a cutting board

put the SPAM on its side and cut the block longways into 6 slices about 1 cm / 1/2 inch thick

fold the nori sheets along the longer side. check that the nori is now same width as your musubi mould then, use scissors to cut the nori along the fold, creating 6 nori strips

heat a non-stick frying pan (no oil) and fry the slices of SPAM for about 2 minutes or until nicely browned. turn over again and fry until browned

add 1 - 1.5 tbsp of teriyaki sauce to the SPAM, making sure each slice gets a good coating as the sauce will be your main seasoning

now put 2 heaped tbsp of rice (50g / 2 oz) in your musubi mould and press the rice down firmly using the musubi mould lid

remove the lid and then gently remove the mould, leaving the slice of rice on your board

now, using a large kitchen knife or fish slice, gently pick up the rice and place it across the centre of a strip of nori. next, lay a slice of SPAM onto the rice

now, make your second layer of rice in the same way as you made the first layer

squeeze out some mayo on the SPAM and then top with some baby spinach or other small salad leaves. now, place the second rice layer over the leaves

place 3 or 4 grains of rice onto one edge of the nori. (this will enable you to "stick" the nori edges together.) fold the nori over to wrap the SPAM & rice inside. seal with a little gentle pressure on the rice grains

your first SPAM Musubi is now ready! 5 more to go...


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