Barter-Worthy Spam Musubi
The spam is grilled until crispy, perfectly caramelized with soy sauce and sugar, and wrapped with sushi rice. Made ahead of time, these Spam musubi are perfect for your lunchbox, appetizer platter, or potluck. They are also a fantastic game-day snack. This recipe uses just the right amount of seasoning to create a balanced flavor that’s addictively tasty.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 8 musubi
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 can (12 oz. / 340 g) Spam , sliced into 8 pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups cooked sushi rice (or regular cooked white rice (*Footnote))
- 3 sheets roasted seaweed nori, cut into 8 strips about 2” (5 cm) wide and 9” (23 cm) long
Start making steamed rice (or sushi rice) if you don’t have any on hand.
Heat a 12-inch (30cm) nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the Spam slices and cook until browned and crisp on the bottom side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is also browned and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk together the water and soy sauce in a small bowl. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the Spam slices, then add the soy sauce mixture. Swirl to evenly distribute, then let the Spam simmer until the liquid is nearly absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip once in between, so the sugar will melt completely and camalize well. Transfer the Spam slices to a plate to cool.
To make the sushi: Place one slice of Spam perpendicular to the nori strip on the bottom of the strip (forming a cross shape). Wet the palms and fingers of both hands, measure 1/2 cup of rice, and transfer the rice to your palm. Use both hands to firmly press the rice into a ball. Then hold the rice ball with your left hand, with your thumb and the other four fingers to secure both sides, use your right hand to gently press the rice ball into a rectangular shape about the size of the Spam slice. Place the rice on top of the Spam. Roll up the Spam and rice to let the nori sheet wrap around it. Seal the end with a bit of water and place the musubi seam-side-down while you work on the rest. Repeat with the remaining nori strips, Spam slices, and rice. Remember to rinse your hands every time, to minimize rice sticking to your hands.
Enjoy the spam musubi immediately at room temperature. You can store them in an airtight container or wrap them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge. To serve refrigerated musubi, warm them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, to get the best texture.
A couple notes on the rice:
When making sushi rice, always use short grain rice. Medium and long grain rice are less starchy and don’t hold together well when pressed into sushi
The original recipe uses regular steamed rice, and so do most Hawaiian Spam musubi recipes.
However, I personally prefer making sushi rice, which contains rice vinegar and sugar. The acid and mild sweetness of the sushi rice complement the salty Spam and create more depth of flavor.
The original recipe calls for 3 to 4 cups of rice, depending on how much rice you use per musubi. I found my personal favorite ratio is: slice the Spam into 8 slices, and use 1/2 cup of rice per musubi. In my case, I used 4 cups cooked sushi rice, which was generated from 2 rice-cooker cups (180ml per cup) of raw short grain rice.
Serving: 8g | Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.6g | Protein: 6.9g | Fat: 8.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 368mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 3.1g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2.2mg