Spam Musubi


We’ve been home from our Maui vacation for five days now and I’m wondering why the towel I threw on the bathroom floor yesterday is still there and my plate of half eaten chicken salad from last night’s dinner is still on the table.

I called housekeeping and guess who answered.  Me.

In contrast to last year’s vacation where we sailed, ziplined and hiked magnificent  trails, our Maui trip this year was decidedly more chill.  We swam or snorkeled every day–even managed to swim with some exotic fish and sea turtles at Makena and Ulua Beach–and sampled a lot of great island food.  So I realized that the only way to extend our island vacation was to duplicate some of this amazing food.


Left to right:

Roasted Bone Marrow – Sweetwater Tavern, Kihei
Black Polynesian Pearl – Mama’s Fish House, Paia
Loco Moco – Kihei Cafe, Cafe
Pina Colada Cake – Tommy Bahama, Wailea
Garlic Shrimp and Mochiko Chicken – Tin Roof Maui, Kahului
Banana Bread – Mile Marker #17, Road to Hana

But I just got back from vacation, and most of the dishes above are beyond my culinary expertise and patience (Black Polynesian Pearl) so I decided to recreate this instead:


This beautiful structure is the spicy Spam Musubi from the Sugar Beach Bake Shop in Kihei.  Notice the jalapeños on top, they bring a nice texture and lots of heat.  It’s right next door to the best shave ice place on the island, Ululani’s.


Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
Rice wine
8 slices of Spam
8 pieces of nori, 2.5″x6″
Furikake, optional

Mix all the ingredients except Spam, furikake and nori.  There are no measurements because the balance of sweet/salty flavors is really up to you so make adjustments as necessary. Marinate the Spam in your sauce mixture for about 5 minutes, just enough to coat the Spam slices.  Then pan fry the Spam over medium heat and pour sauce into the pan.  Watch closely as the sweet sauce makes it easy to burn the Spam slices.  Finally, remove the pan from heat and begin to assemble your musubi.

See below:

IMG_1213The bottom layer is 2 oz of white or brown rice sprinkled with furikake, middle is Spam, top layer is rice sprinkled with furikake.  Press your mold hard with every layer and finally, fold seaweed over your musubi.


Some tips when you make Spam Musubi:

  • Get yourself these Spam gadgets: Spam slicer which cuts even slices with one move and the Spam mold, self explanatory.  You can buy them at Takahashi Market and/or Chanco
  • Without these gadgets, a knife and a hollowed out Span can will do.
  • Press hard, like put your body weight on it hard, on the mold when you’re pressing on the rice.   What you want is a tightly packed, dense Spam/rice brick.  If it’s loosely packed, your musubi will fall apart.
  • Try not to fixate on the fact that you’re eating Spam.


**Though my Musubis tasted like the real thing, I did not pack them as tightly as I would’ve liked and they consequently fell apart.  They were still delish!  Remember to press hard on your mold.


Joule Love It, part 2


I just had to stop by and once again profess my love and allegiance to my sous vide, Joule.  Tonight, I cooked chicken breasts.  Actually, last night, I threw them in a bag with some salt, pepper and a couple of lemon slices, sous vide them for about an hour and refrigerated the breasts over night.  Tonight I browned said breasts in a cast iron skillet, about 6 minutes per side, squeezed some lemon juice and olive oil on them and here I am post dinner–blogging with a belly full of salad made of chicken, pine nuts and avocados and some goat milk feta cheese we procured from our recent visit to Maui’s Surfing Goat Dairy.

I was so excited that after years of overcooked dry chicken breasts–so much so that I now only cook thighs–I had to come here and share my excitement.  Over moist, juicy chicken breasts.

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Last night, we sous vide some pork chops and again, my Joule did not disappoint.  We had just returned from vacation and there was nothing in the freezer I was interested in except for some pork chops I’d frozen weeks ago and seasoned with salt, pepper, rosemary.  Into the Joule they went and the result was a perfectly moist, cooked pork chop.  Again, so much excitement after years of dry, inedible pork chops–I gotta go lie down.


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