Musubi

In our exploration of our new neighborhood, we have found the amazing Hukilau Restaurant. The first time we went with friends and they ordered for the table, so food that I might not have tried came filing in. The first thing I popped into my mouth was Musubi. I thought it was sushi. It was loud in the restaurant, so I leaned in to listen carefully to what I was eating. “Spam Musubi”. Turns out, this is a super popular staple in Hawaii. It is sold EVERYWHERE. There is a wiki page about it!

I came home, and decided to look at Spam in a new light and to maybe give this dish a try at home.
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I tried it once without a rice maker. And then I broke down and invested in one. After a few attempts, I have it perfected now. It is my party trick. That is, if you are brave and you can get past that one four letter word, Spam.
Here is everything you will need.

Spam Musubi Supplies
From left to right: rice cooker (optional), sesame seeds, nori, furikake, rice vinegar (for sushi rice), sushi rice, Spam, and teriyaki sauce.

You can make the musubis in the spam can itself, if you crank the bottom off the can, but I voted to just get the little clear mold. It was SO fun to use tool. Plus, if you are using this plastic gadget, then you can see if your proportions are right as you go.
Sushi tool
First, start your rice, either in the rice cooker, or on the stove top.

Then get the Spam ready. Open the can and slice slice the meat up. I cut the can into 10 slices.
I was really expecting the worst, opening my first can of Spam, but in reality, it was not that bad. Clearly, it is not organic, but the ingredients list is not too bad. There are nitrates in it, as a preservative, but that is not different than 98% of the bacon sold on the shelves. Put the slices in the frying pan and get a little bit of color on them. (Spam is precooked and ready to eat, so there is not a safety issue here.)

When the rice is done, you are ready to assemble.
Working in layers, lay down one sheet of nori. (My nori was already cut, and was exactly the right size for the sushi press, but some nori is full sheet and I think you will need to cut that in half. Do that before you get started, because there are a lot of layers and you want to get “on a roll”.
Place the sushi mold on the nori. Put in a layer of rice. (more than you think, because you will smash it down.) Then a layer of Spam, then a tiny bit of teriaki sauce, a little shake of Furikake,
Nori Komi Furikake
(Furikake is a little “extra”. The ingredients are Sesame seed, salt, sugar and seaweed. If this is not available where you are, just sprinkle a dash of sesame seeds in there, and call it good.)
And a final layer of rice. Then press it all down. Add more rice if needed.
Then push the whole block out of the bottom of the press, onto the nori. Fold the sides up over the block.
Use either rice (if your rice is a little bit sticky) or some water on your finger to seal the nori on the top of the block.
Make a bias cut through the block. And put in on the plate to serve.
Spam Musubi

I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by this Hawaiian favorite. We love it at our house. Aloha!

Breaking News:
As I was writing this post, I found out that SPAM is releasing their teriyaki flavor nationally (in the past this was really only available in Hawaii). I cannot wait to try it in Musubi. They even have a couple different musubi recipes on their You Tube channel. I’m getting a can! So stay tuned, I will report back!
SPAM Teriyaki Image 2014

Disclaimer: I am getting a free can of teriyaki SPAM, but I was not paid to write this post and all opinions in it are my own.

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3 Comments to Musubi
    • DrRuss
    • I grew up with Fried Spam sandwiches. Fried Span with mayo on white bread to be exact. I knew about Spam sushi when I was in Hawaii so this brought back some wonderful memories.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Lisa Paul
    • Having tasted your excellent Spam Musubi, I feel qualified to expound on its deliciousness. I immediately did some research and found that Spam is actually not as horrible as you might think — more meat, less fat and salt than some comparable processed meat products. The trick, as you found, is just a thin sliver of it. The result was just enough salt and fat for savory to compliment the rice and seaweed. And it’s a nice low cost alternative to really expensive sushi grade fish to round out a sushi meal.

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