Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spamalot! A Recipe for Spam Musubi

If you haven't tried or heard of spam musubi, I understand if you are looking at this picture and thinking "what IS that…".  Well, it's spam.  Good old straight from the can spam, fried in soy sauce and mirin, layered with rice and wrapped in edible dried seaweed.  If you are still thinking "really, WHAT IS THAT", try and stay with me!  Because it's delicious.  

My boyfriend is Chinese, and has opened my eyes to many different types of foods over the past 4 years, one of which was spam musubi.  Spam musubi is actually a traditional hawaiian snack, which actually got it's signature square shape from the square cans that spam comes in.  (They would use the spam can to shape the rice into the now classic rectangular shape.)  

A can of spam!

I first had it at a restaurant, was reluctant to try it, but eventually did and haven't looked back since.  As the ingredients are really very simple, I've started making musubi at home, and wanted to share my recipe!  (Just trust me, it's worth a try for those of you who are new to spam or spam musubi in general!)  NOTE:  I am generally following the recipe for Spam Musubi from The Food Network.  It's my old standby.

5 cups cooked sushi rice (short grain rice)
5 sheets nori, cut in half lengthwise (dried seaweed) - you can get this at any asian grocery store
1 12 oz. can spam
6 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp mirin (a sweet rice wine used in japanese cooking - you can also get this at any asian grocery store).
4 tbsp sugar
Furikake, to taste (Furikake is a dry Japanese condiment that consists of spices, sesame seeds and perhaps some dried/ground fish.  It is meant to be sprinkled on top of rice, and comes in many different flavors - you can also find this at an asian grocery store.)

1.  Cut spam into 10 slices.  I actually have a spam slicer (ahem, a luncheon meat slicer) that I got from Amazon, but you can totally go old school and use that thing called a knife.
That is a tower of spam, my friends.
2.  Place the spam slices in a pan and fry them on both sides until they are slightly crispy and browned. Remove and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels.  In the pan, combine the soy sauce, mirin and sugar.  bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat, and then reduce to a simmer.  Add the spam slices and coat them in the mixture - once the mixture has thickened (about 5 or so minutes later), remove them from the pan.

Soak the musubi in the pan until the mixture has thickened.

3. Now comes the fun part - the musubi assembly!  I actually bought a musubi maker for this part, but you can probably just use an empty can of spam that has been opened on both sides - as you'll notice, they are the same shape!  :)

Yes, there is such a thing as a musubi maker.
 Lay a sheet on nori on a clean surface - I just used a cutting board.  Moisten the lower half of the musubi maker, and place on the lower third of the nori.  Fill with rice, and press to pack the rice down snugly.  Remove the musubi maker.  Sprinkle your cute little rectangular rice mound with the furikake, and top with a slice of spam.  (You can keep your musubi maker in a little bowl of water nearby, to keep it from sticking to the rice.)

4.  Starting at the end closest to you, fold the nori over the spam/rice stack, and keep rolling until completely wrapped in the nori.  Slightly dampen the seam with some water so it sticks together and seals.  Repeat this until you have used all of your spam slices!

Wrap the spam/nori mixture in the nori.
You are all done!  You can wrap each musubi in plastic wrap, and they will keep for several days - perfect for a snack on the go.  If you are new to the wonders of musubi, I hope you have mustered up the guts to try one! I will admit that other than this, I am not a fan of spam… but maybe one of these days I can learn to cook with it more.  Are there any foods you love that might be strange to other people?  Please share!  

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