Craig’s Kitchen – Spam Musubi

Spam musubi is one of those dishes that once in a while I simply crave.  If you’ve been to our home for our holiday open house or to one of our Bible studies, I’ve probably made it for you.  If you haven’t, its all the more reason to come!  Spam musubi is a great, easy-to-make appetizer for any church potluck, family get-together, holiday gathering, or for friends coming over.  It is definitely a savory treat with a little mix of sweet in the sauce that coats the Spam.  And it has plenty of umami! It only has six ingredients and other than cooking the rice probably takes about 30 minutes to make – tops!

Ingredients needed for good Spam musubi
Ingredients needed for good Spam musubi

The Six Ingredients

  • Nori – toasted seaweed which you can often find in your Asian food section of the supermarket
  • Rice – I use Botan Calrose Rice but any sticky rice will do (not Thai sticky rice which is a whole other thing)
  • Spam – well, it’s in the name.  Usually one 7 oz can is enough but if you’re making it for a party use the 12 oz
  • Furikake – again with the toasted seaweed!  This time it is combined with added ingredients to make the rice even more flavorful such as roasted sesame seeds, salt, and sugar.  There are many different flavors if you go to a Japanese or Asian market, but I go for the simplest kind
  • Soy Sauce – any soy sauce will do, but my favorite is Kikkoman’s Gluten-Free Naturally Flavored Soy Sauce.  Even if you aren’t going gluten-free, I love it because it has a more rich flavor (loaded with umami)
  • Sugar – gotta mix the soy sauce with sugar to make the coating
What it looks like once assembled and cut!
What it looks like once assembled and cut!

The recipe is super easy and you only need one piece of equipment – a Spam musubi press which you can order online through Amazon or find at your local Japanese store.  Make sure it’s non-stick!

  1. Cook the rice – pretty simple.  For the 7oz can I use about 3 cups of rice as indicated on our rice cooker (I believe it’s about 1 1/2 cups if you’re not using a Japanese rice cooker).
  2. About 3o minutes before the rice is done, open up your spam and cut slices about 1/4 wide along the length of the Spam
  3. Mix together equal parts sugar and soy sauce until the sugar is dissolved (about 1/4 cup each – depending on your taste)
  4. Dip the Spam in the soy sauce mix right before cooking it – making sure to coat both sides
  5. Heat an appropriate sized frying pan and place the pieces inside when it gets hot
  6. Pour any additional sauce over the pieces and dredge them through it as you turn them over
  7. When the pieces are coated nicely and have turned a slightly brownish color remove from heat
  8. Place a half sheet of sea weed under the Spam musubi press (it should be the exact size by width)
  9. In your Spam musubi press, place a layer of rice filled slightly less than halfway
  10. Put your Spam in and dust lightly with furikake
  11. Fill the rest of the press with rice and press down to compress
  12. Remove the press and wrap the seaweed around the rest of the pressed rice and Spam
  13. Let sit until not quite so hot and slice – each wrap yields 5 pieces of nice width

Now some people like to simply drop a mound of rice and slap the Spam on top.  But to me there’s something magical about the way the rice sandwiches the Spam and with the furikake in the middle, it makes the flavors more subtle which only enhances the overall flavor of the bite.  Hopefully your friends and family will enjoy this dish as much as mine do!  I would love your feedback and how you might make it differently.

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