All roads lead to Spam because spelled backwards its “Maps”
Very few moments have the power to change a person in a substantially impactful way. Getting married to the love of your life, having your first child and feeling their tiny fingers grasping your hand, being too aggressive with your jeans zipper on a dark summer night while camping and you’ve had more beers than fingers on your hand, and then you look up and wonder is that a Raccoon or something else staring back at me? Those are all perfect (albeit cliché) examples of moments where you go from who you used to be, to who you became at that time. One such moment for me was when we went to Hawai’i for the first time back in 2007. It’s not so much that I expected to fall in love with the islands and almost everyone I met or everything I ate. It was more that I didn’t really care to go so I went with no expectations. Not that I wasn’t happy to travel somewhere new. It just all felt so touristy to me. I had been living in Mexico not long before that trip and having lived as a local it changes your perspective on travel and tourism. I was more aware of the impact my presence made in the lives of those who live in popular destinations and I didn’t want to be seen as just another tourist from the mainland. Like some wide eyed malahini with the matching aloha print shirts hollering out “Aloha y’all! Where can a feller get some of them poo-poo’s what I seen on that there Travel Channel?!” I see those tourists all the time walking around Waikiki en masse. Looking like a space ship full of brightly colored bobble heads just jumped out all slathered in sun screen SPF 20k to protect their moon tan. Not that I’m hating on the moon tan, I just didn’t want to be lumped into that category is all. Once we landed and I spent a few days quietly observing my surroundings it was an all-out deluge of the senses. Everything I did, ate, and heard was like it was happening for the first time. And in a lot of ways it was. As cool and cultured as I thought I was, I realized I hadn’t scratched the surface and before I knew it I was yelling out “Aloha y’all! What’s up on that poi? Say what? Get up and dance at a luau in front of a bunch of strangers? Well coco my nuts and dance me a hooo-la!! ” Haha, that actually did happen, not the “coco my nuts” part, but the part where I was called up to dance a hula at a luau. I took 2nd out of 3 contestants so I like to think I did fairly well. Plus the breeze through that grass skirt is worth the pause on personal dignity all by itself! I think I have a picture somewhere maybe I will find it someday…and burn it! So getting back to why I wrote this post….I fell in love with the food when I was there and I vowed to come home and make it. One of my favorites is an all-time greatest hits of Hawaiian culinary offerings. A Japanese inspired take on a pseudo meat popularized during WW2 and adopted in the islands as a mainstay. I’m talking about Spam Musubi!!! It’s so dang easy, and so Crackishly addicting. OOOOHHH!! HEEYY!! I think I’ll start using that…like if something is so delicious and addicting like Crack, I’ll call it “Crack-alicious!” Here let’s try it in a sentence….”Damn dude, that cookie was Crackalicious” Or like “Yo, let’s go check out that Pho spot, my boy said its crackalicious.” Ok so I’ll see if it sticks….anyway like I was saying…bring Spam Musubi to a party and watch people be like “OOOHHH!! Musubi!” Like all of a sudden they speak Japanese. Ok so without further delay, let’s make some crackalicious Musubi….YAY!
Love at First Bite, and the Second
- 1 can Spam
- 5 cups steamed rice
- 1 pack Nori
- ½ cup Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 1.5 tsp Sesame Oil
Making a lot of Musubi is an exercise in working the assembly line. So it will help to have everything ready to go. You will want to start by steaming the rice. While that steams you can get a small bowl and mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar together. When that is done, you can get the nori, and using scissors cut them in half. Then you can slice the spam into semi-thin sections. I bought a Spam slicer, makes life easier but you can just as easily cut it yourself with a knife. On a skillet or frying pan at med-high heat, cook the Spam for about 3 minutes on each side. If you like your Spam crispy (like I do) then go ahead and cook a bit longer. Before you first turn the Spam over, pour a little soy sauce on top. This just helps with the flavor. Once cooked, set the Spam aside and get to your assembly line. The order goes, rice, spoonful of soy sauce drizzled on the rice, furikake, spam, then roll and wrap in saran wrap so it stays warm and easy to transport. Because I am somewhat lazy, I bought a little rice press that helps keep the shape of the rice but the reality is, you can just plop a ball of rice on the nori and shape it into a semi square. It all gets rolled up anyway so if it looks like a little green burrito, that’s ok amigo. I didn’t always have these cool gizmos and gadgets and I did it the burrito way. The only thing you should do is be sure to place the shiny side of the nori facing down and put the rice and everything else on the rough side.
There you have it boys and girls! The perfect snack for snowboarding, picnics, beach, or do like I did, make a bunch and pass them out at your kid’s soccer game. Everyone loves Spam Musubi and if they don’t, that just means they haven’t tried it yet! The cool thing about Musubi is you can do all kinds of variations. How about Portuguese Sausage? Seasoned Egg?? Fried Tofu??? Ummm…Chicken Katsu???? See what I mean…you can do all kinds of neat things. If you try this at home, take your time and have fun. Until next time, be cool.
Assembly prep has begun…
Maggi, seasoning of kings!
Keep that line moving!
Furikake is fun to say because it sounds dirty…
Want that gift wrapped?
You know it!
Pret a manger