For the past three years, my family and I have been really fortunate to live on the beautiful island of Oahu. Oahu means The Gathering Place, and it’s true to the vibe you get from the island. People feel welcomed here, like you do at your favorite hang out spot, or relatives house, there is something about the energy that really gives you a sense of comfort, like a hug. One of the things I was truly excited about when I learned we were going to be living here was the opportunity to learn about a new culture. I believe it’s best to really immerse yourself in where you are, because you will not only learn something new, but you will learn something about yourself. Hawaii has a lot of interesting things, but the local food has to be one of the most fascinating. For example ,I loved poke right away. It’s basically sashimi, if you’re familiar with sushi, and it’s in a spicy sauce or shoyu sauce, along with various onions. Very tasty. Another food that Hawaiians love is Spam. Spam became popular here after WWII when it was fed to the troops. The local Japanese adopted it and made Musubi with it. Which is just fried spam, rice and nori, and it’s surprisingly super tasty.
So my husband recently left for the next 10 weeks, and one of the things I like to do while he is away is give myself a “to do list”. This usually consist of things that I want to learn, see, or do to keep myself busy since he’s not around. Since we will be leaving at the end of the year, I want to embrace, and learn, as much about the culture here a I can. I want to take it with me so that I can give myself a little bit of the island when I’m missing it. I want my kids to remember their time here, and what it was like. One of the easiest ways to do this, no matter where you live, is through food. I know for me, that any time I make chicken fried steak, queso or kolache’s I instantly feel like I’m back in Texas.
So today I sat out to teach myself how to make Spam Musubi. The first thing on my 10 week challenge/ to do list. I went to the store and found rice, spam, nori and a rice mold that is the perfect size for making musubi. It was a fairly easy process, a little messy, but totally worth it. Now I have 6 snacks or lunches, for the rest of the week. Perhaps you have been to the islands, enjoyed this local grind and are sorely missing it. Perhaps you have only heard of it and are curious what it’s like, well I’m including the recipe so that you too can make this yummy dish at home.
Rice mold or Spam can
Cut Spam into slices.In a bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Let spam slices marinate in mixture. Next, heat up your pan until medium hot, fry the spam until slightly crispy, or more crispy depending on how you like it. Remove and drain on plate lined with paper towels.
Lay a sheet of nori lengthwise on a clean surface. Moisten lower half of musubi maker, and place on lower third of nori. Fill musubi maker with rice and press flat until the rice is 3/4-inch high.Top with slice of Spam. Remove musubi maker and keep in a bowl of warm water to keep it clean and moist.
Starting at the end towards you, fold nori over Spam and rice stack, and keep rolling until completely wrapped in the nori. Slightly dampen the end of the nori to seal it. Repeat with the other Spam slices, making sure to rinse off musubi maker after each use to prevent it from getting too sticky.
Note: You can also use an empty Spam can that has been opened on both sides for the musubi mold, using your hands (or a piece of Spam) to press down on the rice.