Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spam Musubi

Spam Musubi is one of the gifts of Hawaii. I personally love it even though Spam often gets a bad rap for being salty and fatty. But It's really just chopped canned ham! And you can now buy the low fat/low sodium version. I think my love of Spam comes from my childhood when my Father would bring  it home from the PX (the military exchange store) and my Mom used it to make Fried Rice with it. I still like Spam in my fried rice. Many years later,  Spam Musubi was one of the foods I tasted on my first trip to Hawaii and it became a dish that I made at home often. These days, I often buy it at the SeaTac Airport Waji's on my way somewhere as it travels well. I just returned from a trip and found myself craving it so I made it at home once again today. It is just so satisfying! All you have to do is make some Sushi Rice and then slice the Spam and pan fry it until is browned. Then you add some Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine) and some Tamari to give it some Asian flavor. Then, you place it on top of the Rice (shaped like the Spam pieces) and wrap Nori Seaweed around it. You can buy a Spam Musubi press, but I like to make them by hand.  Believe me, Spam Musubi is delicious!

Spam Musubi

1 12 oz can of Spam Light
1 Tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoon Mirin or Chinese Shaoshing Rice Wine
2 Tablespoon Tamari
1 cup Japanese Sushi Rice or Japanese Medium Grain Rice
about 1 1/2 cups water
2 sheets of Nori Seaweed cut into 4 pieces each lengthwise
Optional:  Furikake (Seaweed Sprinkle)

Wash the rice in a colander until the water runs clear. Place in a small pot and add enough water to cover the rice by one knuckle of your index finger. Heat on the stove until the water begins to boil. Wait until the water lowers nearly to the level of the Rice, reduce heat and cover. Let cook for 20 minutes and remove from heat.

Remove the Spam from the can. Slice into 8 pieces. Put oil in the frying pan and heat. Place the Spam pieces in the pan and cook until browned on one side. Turn over and brown the other side. Then add in the Mirin and the Tamari. Turn the Spam at least once. Let the liquid evaporate. Remove the pan from the stove.

For assembly, take 1/4 cup of cooked rice and fashion into the shape of the Spam piece with the paddle or your fingers, pressing as tightly as you can. Sprinkle with Furikake if desired. Lay one Spam piece on top. Continue until all the Rice and Spam are used. Then, take the Seaweed and wrap each Musubi with the cut ends on the bottom. Cut off extra Nori if necessary.

Five Element Analysis

As a variation of salted Pork, Spam belongs to the Water Element and the Tamari and Seaweed add just a bit more. The Sushi Rice contributes the Metal Element. The Mirin brings in a tiny bit of the Fire Element, but for balance it would be good to serve this with a Vegetable Salad to bring in the Fire and Wood Elements.

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