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Bento Recipe: Spam musubi

 
   
 

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It's edible. Honest.I'd heard of this as a Hawaiian recipe for some time before I finally made it. Yes, I'm admitting to cooking Spam, and furthermore I liked it enough to post the recipe here for others to try.

What you'll need:

    Sticky rice
    1 can of Spam
    Large sheets of nori (about 6, depending on how you cut the Spam)
    1/4 cup of soy sauce
    1/4 cup of mirin (optional)
    1/4 cup of sugar (optional)

Cook the rice. You'll need a fair amount. I made my usual batch of 1.5 cups dry rice, and I ran out of rice before I ran out of Spam. While that is cooking, cut the Spam horizontally into 1/4" thick slices. I get about 10 from a regular-sized can. Fry these until they're a little crispy. (No need for oil; Spam is greasy enough by itself!) Mix the soy, mirin, and sugar well if you're using all of that, heat it in a pan to boiling, then quickly take it off the fire and put the Spam in it to soak up the flavor. If you're only using soy, skip the mixing and heating business and go right to the marinating.

When the rice is done and cooled enough that you can work it in your hands without burning yourself, wet your hands to keep the rice from sticking to them, then make blocks the size of the Spam slices and an inch thick. (The original recipe called for two inches, but that seems to me like overkill.) Place a slice of Spam on top, then wrap it with a strip of nori; about 1/3 of a sheet the long way works. Put a little bit of water on the underside of the end of the nori strip to make it stick. Re-wet your hands and start with the next rice block.

You can also cut the Spam slabs into thirds, and put them on more normal, sushi-sized rice blocks. I prefer the latter myself, as I find the big brick-sized musubi a little hard to handle. Some people have taken the top and bottom off of the Spam can and used that as a mold for the rice blocks. Sounds like a good trick to me, but I didn't have a way to take the bottom off of my can. No biggie - shaping the rice block is easy if you've got the hang of making onigiri.

If you only want a few musubis at the moment, no worries. Fry up all the Spam, then put the extra into a plastic bag and bung it in the freezer. Next time you want Spam musubi, just defrost a few slices and you're ready to go!

Variations: Try using meatlike items other than Spam. I've made chicken musubi, the chicken cooked in the teriyaki-esque sauce and then cut in half, and it's good stuff.