Okay, so I showed you how to make musubi. Now let's make a Hawaii favorite...spam musubi.
While mainlanders don't think too highly of spam, growing up in Hawaii, spam is a normal part of our diet. I'm not too sure when spam came to Hawaii, but I think it either came during the sugar cane days or after the war and also had to do with people not having much money at the time, eating spam was a great way to feed your family without spending too much money.
In Hawaii, you can find spam at most restaurants served up alongside breakfast items like pancakes and eggs. We put it in our fried rice or in saimin. Even in our corn chowder. You can even find it in bento (boxed meals). My mom used to put mustard and guava jelly onto the whole thing and baked it, it tasted just like the ham at Thanksgiving.
One thing about living away from the islands is that you sometimes have to buy imports in order to satisfy cravings of home. Like this 1/2 can of spam, it was a VERY pretty penny at the gourmet supermarket. I won't tell you the price but people in Hawaii could probably buy 4 regular sized cans on sale for the amount I bought this one for.
Anyway...after taking the spam out of the can (which by the way, does take some finagling), slice it to the desired thickness. I usually try to make an even number of slices and try to make them about the same thickness. Put the spam into a frying pan and fry. (The oil from the spam will come out so there is usually no need to put oil into the pan to fry.)
After the spam starts to brown, I then put 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of shoyu (soy sauce). Then I let it caramelize and then take it out. You can adjust the ratio according to your liking. Some people like it really sweet while others prefer it on the more salty side. If you don't have shoyu and/or can't have sugar, just fry the spam, it helps to take the "raw"-ness away.
I then make a thin egg crepe. Put 1 teaspoon each of mirin (sweet rice wine) and shoyu (soy sauce) with one egg and scramble. Then pour it into a frying pan and cook, when one side is cooked, flip it over. This one got a burnt because I couldn't flip it fast enough. (You can cook the egg crepe without the mirin and shoyu, if you don't put mirin and shoyu, I would suggest putting pepper and salt, it will give the egg flavor and it will also give you more time to flip it.) Cut the egg to fit into the mold, it doesn't have to be perfectly rectangle, but you don't want it too wide. For the one egg I made 4 small rectangles for 4 musubi. I think the size of your pan will determine the size of your egg crepe.
Now it is time to assemble.
The version of spam musubi that I make is an oshizushi type, which means that it is a pressed sushi type. Pressed sushi is where you put your sushi rice into a mold and press it out. In our family, we used to make oshizushi at New Years in shapes of fans and flowers and decorate it with colored shrimp flakes. (I don't see oshizushi in Japan these days.)
Put your nori (sheet of laver seaweed) onto a cutting board or something flat. Get a bowl and put some water in it. If you want to salt the water that is fine, but I don't. Wet your spam musubi maker in the bowl and put it onto the center of the nori. (If you don't have a spam musubi maker, you can cut the can to hollow it and use the can as your mold, but be careful not to cut yourself on the can while making the mold or pressing out the musubi!)
Put some rice into the mold, this will be the bottom of your spam musubi. Make sure your rice is sticky, not the minute rice or instant rice. Then put your spam and egg. You can also put some furikake (dried seasonings for rice) and chopped takuan (pickled white radish). My friend also puts thinly sliced kamaboko (steamed fish paste). The combinations are endless! Then put some more rice on top, try not to go past the top of the mold.
Wet the press (cover) and put it on top of the mold. and gently push down on the musubi. You should be able to feel everything packing down and getting firm. Now while holding down the cover, slide the mold up and off the musubi.
Gently remove the cover from the top of the musubi.
Fold up the "lower" side of your nori and then with a wet finger, wet the edge that you just folded up. Take the "upper" side of the nori and fold down onto the wet edge....finished!
If you want to take these guys along with you on a picnic, work on top of a piece of saran and wrap each one as you make them.
Me, I like to eat them right after making them, while everything is still warm.
I've also had boneless teriyaki chicken or hot dog sandwiched between rice, so if you're not into spam, that may be the way to go. Check out Rick's way to make spam musubi too, sounds good.
Hope you have a good weekend!