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PIECE OF CAKE, PEACE OF MIND

Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time


First off, let me acknowledge that I know this isn’t soup, but we’ll just put that little endeavor on pause for a second.Onward: Spam gets a bad rap. I’m very aware that it is a canned mystery meat, full of voodoo and weirdness, and also that it does’t fit very neatly into my diet, which tries to stay on the healthy, organic side of things. But then again, I ate a donut last night from Kingpin, and I’m almost certain it wasn’t healthy or organic. Point being: there are some things too good to leave out of any diet, spam being one of them. I mean, who can say no to a meat that can take on the shape of its container? I guess this isn’t helping…but let me finish.

It’s a comfort food, for sure. But I guess who it comforts is a bit of a dichotomous scheme. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people, even my FRIENDS (can you believe it?) wrinkle up their nose at the prospect of ingesting a chunk of this salty, pink goodness. But I also couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen those same people finally agree to take a bite of a fresh spam musubi (a sort of “spam sushi”) and instantly change their minds.

Spam musubi is as prevalent in Hawaii as…as…pasta in Italy? Cheese in France? Get it? And musubi isn’t the only way spam is enjoyed. Spam and eggs is one of my favorite breakfasts and spam also serves as a great form of protein in fried rice.

The best way to enjoy a spam musubi is after a long day at the beach (or during your long day at the beach). Something about the salty-sweet, ultra-tasty goodness of meat wrapped in rice wrapped in seaweed goes amazingly well with a sunburn and heat exhaustion.

It’s also really easy to make. All you have to do is make some rice (short grained, sticky rice), I did a half brown, half white blend for this batch, grab your spam, some nori sheets (seaweed), shoyu (soy sauce), sugar, and mirin, if you have it.

Cut the spam into slices (one can should make about 8) and fry them until both sides are slightly golden. Mix about equal parts sugar and shoyu and add a splash of mirin. With the spam still in the pan, pour a bit of the shoyu mixture over each slice, turn them over and do the same on the other side. Keep frying the spam as it soaks up the shoyu mixture.

When you’re ready to assemble, place a sheet of nori under your musubi maker (woops, don’t have one of those?…some people just use the spam can itself as a mold). Put a bit of the warm rice in the musubi maker, and push down to compact the rice. Push down really hard!

Sprinkle a layer of furikake over the rice if you have it, and place the spam on top. Sprinkle another layer of furikake, and add some umeboshi (pickled plums) here if you’re so inclined. Put more rice on top, and compress it again with the mold. The whole time you’re working, by the way, it’s nice to have a bit of water by you because it helps the rice not stick to stuff. Finally, holding the top of the mold firmly, pull the sides of the mold up and over the musubi log. Wrap the whole thing up with the nori and cut in half if you have a double musubi maker like me.

You can pack these babies up in plastic wrap and take them to the beach or class or wherever you want. They’re always good. Even during soup week. Gina agrees.

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