One of Connie Lee’s go-to ingredients for a quick bite is Spam. She loves to chop some up and throw it in a bowl of ramen, or have it with rice and an egg for breakfast. “It’s like a tasty spiced ham,” she says. Here’s the recipe for another one of her favorite uses of the canned meat product, Spam musubi, which looks like a giant piece of nigiri sushi and is such a classic Hawaiian snack that soccer moms pack it in their post-game coolers.
This is quick to make if you have cooked rice on hand, but the trick is in the assembly. Do it slowly and methodically, and you’ll have yourself a tasty and manageable piece of Spam musubi. Rush it or freestyle it, and you’ll be cursing very loudly. To make the process easier, we suggest either using your empty Spam can lined with plastic wrap as a mold or ordering a specially designed musubi press.
- 1 can of regular or light Spam, cut into 6 to 8 slices
- Two cups cooked white rice
- 4 pieces untoasted sheet nori
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Thinly cut green onions (optional for garnish)
- Toasted sesame seeds (optional for garnish)
- 1 cup thick teriyaki sauce (store bought, or homemade*)
- Add oil to a flat pan and heat over medium high heat.
- Add slices of Spam.
- Fry each side until a dark golden-brown color.
- Remove from pan and dab with paper towels to drain a bit of the fat.
Assembly (one at a time):
- Rinse and dry the Spam can. Line the can with a piece of plastic wrap, making sure you have some hanging over the sides so you can pull everything out when it’s assembled.
- Cut the nori into 1-inch x 8-inch long strips (or 3-inch by 8-inch strips to wrap the entire brick).
- With slightly wet hands, form a rice brick measuring approximately 3 ½ inches long x 1 ¾ inch wide x 1 inch high. Pack rice densely into the lined can.
- Drizzle 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce over the rice in can.
- Place fried Spam slice over rice brick in can.
- Press down firmly into the can with your hands to condense the Spam and rice.
- Pull the plastic wrap out of the can, being careful to retain the brick shape. Place in the refrigerator as is (in plastic wrap) for a few minutes to set the shape. Continue with the rest of the Spam and rice.
- Remove the bricks in the plastic wrap from the refrigerator and carefully place the bricks on the strips of nori.
- Wrap the nori around the rice and Spam like a belt. It will look like a big piece of sushi.
- Refrigerate briefly to set the shape.
*Homemade Teriyaki Sauce
- 8 ounces water
- 3 ounces soy sauce
- 1 nub of peeled ginger (size of a spherical dime)
- 2 cloves of garlic sliced in half
- 3 ounces packed brown sugar
- Add all ingredients into a small pan and whisk until brown sugar dissolves.
- Bring to a light simmer over medium heat.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has the texture of honey (approximately 20 minutes).