I’ve always been intrigued by SPAM musubi. It’s just one of those foods that you associate with the Hawaiian islands, along with the likes of lomi lomi salmon, lau lau, huli huli chicken and kalua pig trailing closely behind. Musubis are so popular that they can be found at every convenience shop on the islands.
Hearing my interest in this local dish, Troy Lazaro was kind enough to make it for me to share with you. Taking some warm rice from the cooker, he cracked open the SPAM, squeezed the sides of the can of SPAM and gave a sturdy tap to the bottom of the can. I watched attentively as the pale pink solid mass plopped onto the cutting board, smothered in savory gelatinous goo. Admitting that he likes his musubi on the meaty side, Troy slices the SPAM into eight pieces, however he advises that if you prefer your musubi less meaty then it should be sliced into ten pieces.
The SPAM musubi is a ridiculously simple creation, composed of three main ingredients, SPAM, rice, and Nori. Basic staples of every Hawaiian kitchen. I can attest that despite its simplicity, this portable ‘on the go’ dish has an undeniably high rating on the scale of tastiness.
I imagine that you may be wondering, what the connection is between musubi and Muir Glen organic tomatoes…from a product perspective there is admittedly no connection.
Because Troy showed such wonderful hospitality in sharing some new dishes with me, I want to reciprocate and share my thanks with all of you. I have something that I am certain will be a unanimous hit…it one of my pantry staples – organic seasoned canned tomatoes. Our friends at Muir Glen are offering five lucky readers their delux Reserve Harvest Kit; these lucky five will be drawn at random this week. To enter see details below. Good Luck! Or as they say in Hawaiian Maika’I pomaika’I.
1 can SPAM
3 cups uncooked sushi rice
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS sugar
musubi-maker (this recipe uses a double musubi-maker)
Note: Before you begin, have all necessary ingredients at the ready as SPAM is at its hottest and crispest once it hits the rice.
Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
In a small bowl mix equal parts soy sauce and sugar as a baseline measurement, then adjust to taste, according to desired preferences on sweet or salty.
Place the slices of SPAM in a pan on medium heat and begin to cook. After 2 minutes, pour the soy sauce–sugar mixture over the SPAM. The liquid will effortlessly soak into the crisping SPAM pores, making it more salty (as if that were even possible) and a tad sweet as the sugar caramelizes. Keep frying the meat until it reaches the desired level of crispness. Once done, transfer the SPAM to a plate and set aside.
Now, work quickly to assemble, otherwise the SPAM will no longer be hot and crisp by the time the musubis are assembled. (Note: If you are using a single musubi maker, cut the Nori strips in half lengthwise, and lay the musubi-maker — everyone has one, right? — on the middle of the Nori.) Use an ice cream scoop to quickly place four generous mounds of rice into the mold. Use the musubi-maker handle to press down on the rice. Press hard to make certain the rice is firm. Lay two slices of SPAM on top, and then add another layer of rice and one final press. Once you’ve given it a firm press, hold the handle down with one hand, and use the other to pull the mold upward, thus releasing the musubi.
Quickly wrap the Nori around the rice (use a few grains of rice or a bit of water to stick the Nori together at ends if necessary). Slice in half and serve. Individual slices can also be made to pass around to those who might initially be a bit hesitant to try this local fare.
There shouldn’t be leftovers, but if so, wrap each musubi individually in plastic wrap, so you may pop them in the microwave when desired.
Note: If feeling truly adventuresome for a completely different taste, li hing mui or furikake can be used on top of the rice before laying down the SPAM and then again before adding the second layer of rice. The li hing mui really ventures into the realms of tangy-sweet, and the furikake adds more crunch and hints of sesame.
MUIR GLEN PROMOTIONAL GIVE-AWAY
To enter simply leave a comment telling me your favorite way to use canned tomatoes or post a link to one of your favorite tomato dishes. The give away will run until the end of the week and I’ll announce the five winners on Monday, October 15th.
Each Deluxe Muir Glen Reserve Harvest Kit includes:
One 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
One 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Diced Tomatoes
One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
A recipe booklet featuring a variety of recipes created by award-winning chefs from around the country made with the 2011 Reserve Tomatoes
Fine print (dot, dot, dot). Retail Value: $10 excluding shipping. Contest available in the US Only (includes Alaska & Hawaii). I did not receive any compensation for this post, the views expressed are my own. Thank you to Muir Glen for providing such a wonderful foodie give-away. I look forward to sharing my Muir Glen recipe with you soon.