Have a lone can of Spam in your pantry? Not sure what to do with it? Here are 5 delicious Spam recipes that I personally recommend to help you make delicious meals!
And for more reading, be sure to read up on “Why Do Hawaiians Love Spam?“
1. Spam Musubi
One does not mention Spam recipes without mentioning the king of them all: the Spam musubi! Spam musubis make a great snack and can be found at almost all convenience stores in Hawaii.
The recipe: The Spam musubi is extremely easy to figure out: it’s just cooked rice and Spam wrapped with dried seaweed (also known as nori). Some people also marinate the SPAM in teriyaki sauce or add a block of scrambled egg under the SPAM slice. Some people also sprinkle furikake (salty mixture of ground & dried fish, seaweed and sesame seeds) on the rice. Some people also use rice vinegar for the rice, which is a traditional sushi technique.
You might also want to pick up a Musubi Maker if you want to make this at home.
2. Spam Fried Rice
My favorite Spam recipe is fried rice. I love my fried rice recipe, which is based on Chinese-style fried rice. All my friends compliment it whenever I cook it for them. Spam and any processed meats (hot dogs, breakfast sausages, etc.) are great when diced up and cooked on a skillet. These meats have a lot of salty flavor and fat, which makes them great for throwing into fried rice for chunks of juicy flavor in every bite.
Personally, I like to use oyster sauce, a bit of salt, and cayenne pepper to season my rice, but you can really do anything with it – it’s really meant to be a flexible dish.
The secret to great fried rice? The secret to fried rice with perfect texture is to use leftover rice. Leaving rice in a refrigerator dries it out and hardens it, making it easier to cook with and to make crisp. Never use fresh, wet rice to cook fried rice.
3. The Hot Hawaiian Breakfast: Spam, eggs, and rice
Spam, eggs, and rice is what I like to call “The Hot Hawaiian Breakfast.” This recipe is just a local interpretation of the sausage, egg, and hash brown breakfast that is popular on the mainland.
Here’s a fun fact: Spam, eggs, and rice is so popular in Hawaii that both McDonalds and Burger King have it on their breakfast menus.
Whenever it’s cold outside, eating this for breakfast is guaranteed to warm up your soul and get you ready for the day. And don’t forget the ketchup!
The recipe: you don’t really need a recipe for this Spam recipe. Just cook rice in a pot and your eggs and spam in a skillet.
4. Budae Jjigae, or “Army Base Stew”
I worked in South Korea for 2 years and ate many great dishes there (most of which are waaaay too spicy for a guy raised in Hawaii). Of all the great Korean food I tried, my favorite was budae jjigae (부대찌개), a stew with a variety of things thrown in.
Budae jjigae was originally made by Koreans after the Korean War. The Koreans did not have much food and ate a lot of what was available from the U.S. military base there, which was mostly low-quality foods like Spam, hot dogs, and instant noodles (wiki). With what they had, the Koreans made a new stew. Although it was a very low-budget food, it actually tasted great and Koreans continued to make it even after Korea had recovered from the war. Today, it is a dish commonly ordered in Korean restaurants.
5. The Spamwich
Because of it’s rectangular-size and because it’s so easy to slice, SPAM can easily be used for a sandwich. You can make whatever type of sandwich you want with SPAM, but I highly recommend that you cook your SPAM first. It is a hassle and not necessary because Spam is already cooked, but Spam is just not the same treat we all know and love when it comes straight from the can.
When cooking Spam, I recommend just frying it in a pan over low to medium heat. Spam naturally has a lot of fat, which will melt and lubricate the pan when it is heated. Ideally, you want your Spam a crimson color, with a crispy outside.
Want more Spam?
I personally only know a handful of recipes that use Spam. However, there are endless with this beautiful, culinary treat. If you want more Spam ideas and recipes, take a look at the Spam cookbook, Hawaii Cooks With Spam by Muriel Miura available on Amazon.com.