Aloha, Mai e `ai! (Hello there, come and eat!)

Apparently, someone out there likes us. I don’t know who you are but mahalo. Because it looks like we advanced to the next round in the Food Buzz Competition – Project Food Blog of Magic and Wonderment. For the next phase – we were to take an ethnic classic dish that we were not familiar with and tackle it. Wow. So violent FoodBuzz! I guess just making it and eating it isn’t enough for you huh? FINE!

Well this shouldn’t be a tough one but naturally it is. We are both of European descent and both cook from our culture regularly so that wasn’t going to fly. Mexican? Nope – I have mad cantina skills. American? Jeff has that market cornered. I said Greek? Jeff said you can make Tzatziki in your sleep. I said Chinese? He hit me over the head with our 10 year old thoroughly seasoned wok. Sushi? African? Lebanese? No No NO! I was overwhelmed and frustrated and mumbling to myself as I stomped and whined my way all through the house. Then it hit me. I ran into the back room where he was working (more like avoiding me because I was getting bitchy…) I said HAWAIIAN!!! He stopped pretending to work and looked up. I said and what do those crazy Hawaiian folk love to eat? He thought for a minute and said SPAM?? I laughed and said YES! And there is nothing quite outside our comfort zone like overly processed meat!

Spam and the can from whence it came...

Hawaii’s fascination with spam goes back to the time of WWII when American soldiers ate it as part of their rations and in turn introduced it to Hawaii. Fresh meat was scarce so the Islanders stocked up on this canned salted meat which required no refrigeration. It has remained exceptionally popular and one of the classic ways the Hawaiian’s eat it is called Spam Musubi (pronounced moo-soo-bee) I think I may have had spam once at a luau themed party I went to many years ago. Jeff has never had it and has made it quite clear to me that this is my baby and only I will be eating it. I told him please even President Obama stopped for a Spam Musubi snack while playing golf at Oahu’s Olomana Golf Links. You like golf!!! He said well when President Obama buys me some Musubi and a new set of Pings I’ll take it under consideration. I guess my you golf too so you must like spam equation wasn’t convincing. Jeff is a tough nut to crack.

Getting the Spam out of the can was probably the most unpleasant experience in all of this. It took some coaxing and stabbing and cussing on my part but as it gracefully slid out of the can making this god awful squishy sound and then hit the plate with a thwack my tummy turned just a little. I wondered just how uncomfortable did FoodBuzz want me to be? Enough is enough already here is a taco… I have never made them before I swear! But I made a Spam commitment to myself and Hawaii and I was going to have Spam Musubi today if it killed me. So I sliced up the slimy Spam and worked up a marinade:

Spam slices in Musubi marinade.

For those of you playing along at home here is the recipe:

1 Can of Spam
Nori sheets, toasted
2 C cooked sushi rice (sprinkled lightly with seasoned rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar)

Marinade:
1/2 C Shoyu
2 T brown sugar
3 cloves garlic minced
2 T sweet Hawaiian onion, minced
2 T grated ginger
1 serrano pepper chopped
1 cayenne pepper, chopped
Splash of sesame seed oil

Tamago omelet if you so desire. I so desired and so experienced massive Tamago failure… (I took the recipe from the book Easy Sushi.)

Tomago disaster

But I salvaged one…

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, toss in the slices o’ Spam, cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours. (I know the suspense is killing me too…)

To make a proper Spam Musubi you need a Musubi press. I happened to have a sushi press that I hoped would do the trick because this is Indiana and ha ha ha they may be outlawed here.

So after about 4 hours remove the Spam from the fridge. Take the Spam slices out of the marinade and fry them up in a pan. I even fried mine up in some bacon grease hoping that would LURE Jeff to the Spam side. He is not biting. Get them nice and crispy then remove to cool.

Lay the nori sheets on a flat surface. And place the frame of the press on top of the nori. Fill the frame 1/2 full of rice.

Sticky rice in sushi press

If you are using the illusive Tamago omelet lay that on top of the rice and then top with the Spam. Now take the press part of the press and press down the whole thing so that you press it into a nicely pressed layer cake of sorts.

Then remove the frame.

Spam Musubi nicely pressed

Remove the press and take the exposed edges of the nori and fold up over the roll, wet edges of the nori to seal. Slice into big bite sized pieces and enjoy!

Spam Musubi

So I had my first taste of Spam Musubi and I have to admit, once the Spam was marinated and fried in bacon grease and pressed into a roll with seasoned rice and tasty tomago it was pretty good. It won’t be a part of our regularly scheduled meals however. I will leave that to the Islanders.

I hope I haven’t completely scared you off my dear readers and if not, please take the time and tell FoodBuzz that you want us to be the next Duo of Food Blog Supremacy!

Cooked up by Jeff & Heather

68 Comments

  1. 58
    November 11

    Good idea. I like a this cooking what simple and good tast.

  2. 57
    October 23

    My aunt made musubi and I love it! We had it much simpler (fried with some bbq sauce) and it’s a pretty delicious way to eat spam. Lots of people are scared of spam, but it can be good! Especially in musubi.

  3. 56
    October 8

    I stumbled on ur blog today and i have to say, I LOVE YOU GUYS. i am a spam lover, and proud of it. musubi is the bizness! thank you for being witty and funny and REAL and loving food the way i do. aloha!

  4. 55
    October 1

    Looks delicious! I need a Spam Musubi now! =) I know how you feel about tamago. I tried making it at home, but without the special pan it just ends up all over the place. Good luck on the next challenge!

    • 55.1
      Jeff & Heather
      October 1

      Oddly. I have that pan. That pan hates me. LOL.

  5. 54
    September 30

    I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but that spam actually looks tasty… from way over here LOL. Great job really stepping outside of your comfort zone! Good luck!

  6. 53
    September 29

    My husband and I have always wanted to try sushi with spam! We’re definitely going to give it the go now. You have our vote, but by the looks of it, you definitely didn’t need it!

    Neil and Jes

    • 53.1
      September 30

      Have been following your antics ever since your fresh, amusing PFB profile caught me eye many weeks ago. Great job on this one too – am smiling with my morning coffee. My vote’s in. Good luck!

  7. 52
    September 29

    Well, this island girl things you did a darn good job! (Although I never cared for Spam and never understood the fascination with it, even today.) I like how you showed your “failure”. We see so many pretty pictures that not many people have the guts to show what didn’t work out. Reading this felt comfortable for me and this post felt genuine. I feel like this was *just* directed towards the Food Buzz editors/ judges or what have they. You guys have my vote.

    • 52.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 29

      Thanks! We like to keep it as real as possible without actually showing the smoke damage on the ceiling. But you should know. In this post and every one we don’t set our focus on just one person or judge (be it as it may), hell we hardly focus at all. We just write what we feel, 99% of the time off the cuff and hope someone out there likes it.

  8. 51
    September 29

    I never thought I’d say this but…that looks delicious! Great job and way to go outside the box!

  9. 50
    September 29

    I know I already commented on this, but every time I scroll by it, it always catches my eye. This one was so well done. Definitely my favourite out of all the Round 2 challenge posts! Seriously, awesome.

    • 50.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 29

      Dan, thanks so much for coming back to leave this GREAT (and thoroughly honest) compliment. If we had this effect on just one person, our job is done.

  10. 49
    September 29

    This looks so so cool! I am a food blogger but also work on the PR team for Hormel and SPAM. If you’re ever interested in playing with any of the other products, please let me know and I will set something up for you. My team loves seeig variations on SPAM musubi and glad to see you enjoyed it!

  11. 48
    September 29

    Awesome job Jeff& Heather! We were in Maui a few months ago and my fiance ate Spam Masubi every morning. We haven’t had it since but he has been bugging me to make it. I love your take on it and am excited to try out this recipe.

    This is my first time on your blog, but I’m excited to come back! You not only got my vote but a new fan. Best of luck :)

    • 48.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 29

      YAY! New fan! *Insert clapping sound* We love new converts readers. Hope to keep you coming back.

  12. 47
    September 29

    I think this is the first time I have ever seen a SPAM recipe on any food blog that I regularly read. Congrats on a very interesting job well done. Who would have thought of Spam sushi?

    If only the Pythons thought to include this among the Spam, Spam,Spam baked beans and Spam.

  13. 46
    September 28

    What you have done with spam is amazing! I was recently in Hawaii and tried the local food, but I didn’t have anything with Spam in it. Your dish looks like something I want to try. I’m going to add it to my list of recipes.

    Good luck with the competition, you’ve got my vote. :)

  14. 45
    September 28

    I’ve had spam sushi before, and while I would never usually eat spam, I have to admit it was pretty good. Good luck – just voted for you! :)

  15. 44
    September 28

    I love that you chose Spam for a classic Hawaiian dish! It’s so creative. I read your entry earlier and voted! Also, thank you for stopping by my blog and seeing my tamale entry! Good luck!

  16. 43
    September 28

    Your far more daring then I! But you did manage to make Spam look delicious! I voted, Stumbled, and commented. Hmmm, anything else I can do? LOL
    Good luck in the contest Heather!

  17. 42
    September 28

    Wow…that looks adorable and delicious. You got my vote. Good luck in this round. Haver a great week.

  18. 41
    September 28

    I love it! It was the movie 50 First Dates that first made me aware of the Hawaiian’s love a Spam! I applaud your ability to make Spam look goods! You’ve got my vote! Best of luck in round 2!

  19. 40
    September 27

    LOVE learning tidbits while I read, eat, cook, read, ogle pics… I just voted you!!! I adore Hawaii;) my sis-in-law is from there;))).

  20. 39
    September 27

    Spam is quite a contested ingredient. :) You are guaranteed to be the only ones who went this route, and for that you get a vote!

  21. 38
    September 27

    This is a great post! I love the concept of Hawaiian food- it is such a combination of cultures. Nicely done- you’ve got my vote!

  22. 37
    September 27

    this looks delicious :) Good luck with project food and you got my vote for this one! Feel free to drop by :) Good luck and best wishes for making to the top !! WOOHOO

    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  23. 36
    September 27

    Wow! We love making spam musubi for bento lunches! We really love to add a little slivered pineapples for a fun alternative.

    Great submission – good luck!

  24. 35
    September 27

    Great post! Spamalicious. I voted for you!

    Good luck! =)

    You can check out my PFB post at :http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/864

  25. 34
    September 27

    Wow – very interesting creation! I don’t think i would ever try spam…but kudos to you for making this!

  26. 33
    September 27

    Spam??????? that would be outside the box of usual recipes lol. Voted and please look at my submission!

  27. 32
    September 27

    I made musubi for our election night party and it was actually very good- you get kudos (and a vote) for using this much maligned meat product!

  28. 31
    September 27

    Great post. I stumbled it :)

  29. 30
    September 27

    Great post! You have my vote.

    I have a can of Spam in my pantry that’s been there forever. I thought I’d make this, too, one day…but was always too scared of the Spam!

    Kelly

    P.S. I made pho for my post.
    http://www.barbaricgulp.com/2010/09/project-food-blog-classics-challenge-2.html

  30. 29
    September 27

    How funny, I loved this post. Soooo unique. You made it look delicious too. Nice pics-Great writing – Very creative!

    Butter
    (from runningonbutter)

  31. 28
    September 27

    Loved this post! Good luck!

  32. 27
    September 27

    I’m so glad someone pulled out the spam. I tried this once–it’s def not as bad as it sounds, but I’m with you-never again.

  33. 26
    September 27

    Very creative!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. 25
    September 27

    I am a sushi fan and i truly like yours, very interesting combination and very unique! lovely!

  35. 24
    Larie
    September 27

    Like someone said, the marinade isn’t always necessary – just fry the spam up! The egg isn’t necessary, either. There are tons of variations though (like using hot dogs instead of spam). Cute musubis!

    • 24.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 29

      I never ever cook or create out of necessity – only by desire, want and even sheer curiosity. Like I said I LOVE Tamago (plus we LOVEEEE adding heat) and thought that well if I can at least get me some of that sweet egg, not all hope would be lost. Just 11 eggs…

  36. 23
    September 27

    This was one of the most interesting recipes I’ve seen so far! Sending a vote your way!

  37. 22
    September 27

    You got my vote with this one. 100% original. It’s nice to see something new for a change. There are only so many ways you can serve up melon and prosciutto afer all. Your creativity is refreshing! Good luck and I hope you move forward.

  38. 21
    September 27

    Ahhhh! I have been wanting to try Spam Musabi for ages!!! So thrilled that you posted this, and I am not only voting for you but I am bookmarking this to try on my own. :)

    • 21.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 29

      I was exceptionally honest in my post. Alone and fresh from the can… wait can anything BE FRESH from the CAN? But I digress, it tasted a little like meat paste. But cooked up in bacon grease…

  39. 20
    September 27

    Good one, keep supporting MN businesses & eat more Spam…heehee

  40. 19
    September 27

    I know I shouldn’t love Spam, but I do. I think it’s one of those things you have a great fondness for if you grew up with it but otherwise, it’s… something best regarded with politeness.

  41. 18
    September 27

    I totally heart SPAM musubi, used to eat it all the time in college. My wife wouldn’t let us use any in our entry though. Great post, and great pictures! Good Luck!

  42. 17
    September 27

    Spam is definitely out of my comfort zone haha. I LOVE this post!! :) You guys have my vote!! I hope you advance!

  43. 16
    September 27

    So clever! Great job guys. You have my vote.

  44. 15
    September 27

    My kids are huge fans of Spam musubi — they eat it 3 days of the week for lunch. I love your little spin on the dish. I may surprise them the next go around with a little omlette in the middle.

    Thanks again for the post!

  45. 14
    September 27

    Very funny! How could I not vote for you guys?

  46. 13
    September 27

    Spam Musubi! I ate that pretty much every day I was in Hawaii. I’m not a Spam fan at all, but I really dig it in that form.

    Good job!

  47. 12
    September 27

    Awesome! You get my vote… Hilarious! I’m scared of spam!

  48. 11
    kaldurak
    September 27

    This looks amazing. I am not a processed meat fan in any way – but that actually looks appealing and like something I would try.

    Great tutorial on making this and, of course, the photo’s are awesome.

    I’ve been following you guys for a while now but this one actually got me to sign in and comment.

    • 11.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 29

      Well I am glad that overly processed meat brought you to the HCSC side… ;-) Welcome!

  49. 10
    September 27

    My dad decided to enter a couple of spam contests when I was a kid. I wish he had made this dish because then I might still consider eating spam :o) Good luck!

  50. 9
    September 27

    Wow–who’d have thought? I had no ideas this was so popular in Hawaii. I’m sure you made it better. ;) Voted for you!

    Oh, did Jeff try any?

    • 9.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 27

      As of the posting and this comment. Negative. He said he never had Spam and would like to keep that streak alive… lol

  51. 8
    September 27

    so interesting! (voted)

  52. 7
    September 27

    Terrific! I just got back from the Big Island and completely agree! At first I was like, Spam?? No Thank You. But now I realize that the spam was made extra tasty through the process you illustrated here so well. You have my support. GREG

  53. 6
    September 27

    Bravo on trying something I would never dare to. :)

  54. 5
    September 27

    The omelet and marinade are completely optional in Musubi. Just saute the spam in a little soy and it’s as authentic as it gets. (I’ve done research!)

    Well done. If I hadn’t already blogged this in the past it would have been my choice, too.

    • 5.1
      Jeff & Heather
      September 27

      Yea I did my research too mostly because the whole thought of this scared me (and scarred me frankly.) I added the tamago because it is one of my favorite tastes and I thought it would help enhance the flavor. It really just pissed me off… ;-)

  55. 4
    September 27

    I love it! Excellent tutorial, great writing!

    A little ashamed to admit it, but I have to eat a Spam musubi every time I am in Hawaii. I also love that we both did Hawaiian for this challenge. Check out http://www.foodshethought.com to see mine!

  56. 3
    September 27

    Wow. Definitely one of my fave posts! I want to make this and the post was charming… bravo!

  57. 2
    September 27

    I actually worked with a woman whose Mom would serve Spam at Easter – with the added cloves!

    Yours looks delicious though! I am voting for you!

  58. 1
    September 26

    Very cleverly written. I LOL-ed several times. Good luck!