Thursday, January 3, 2019

SPAM Musubi #CooktheBooks

A popular dish in Hawaii, SPAM Musubi is packed and eaten as a sandwich in lunches.  I cut mine into pieces for a party, reminiscent of sushi.

This recipe was inspired by our Cook the Books Club selection this month.......
Cook the Books is one of my favorite blogging clubs.  Every two months one of the leaders chooses a book for the rest of us to read.  We read, we blog a recipe inspired by what we read and we post it along with our thoughts on the book.  At the end of each period, the host has a round up with a collection of all the recipes and posts inspired.

Current Selection

This periods selection is Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman.  This novel was chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.  You can join in the fun.  Learn how on the participation page and then go to Deb's invitation post and let her know you are joining in.

This is a very touching and true to life novel of how people's fear, bias, and racism, affect how they treat others, especially during wartime.  It is set during WWII following the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It takes place on a Hawaiian Island that is predominantly inhabited by Japanese Americans.

I follows the life on Violet and her daughter, Ella, as well as the close friends and neighbors who are helping them deal with the disappearance of Herman, Violet's husband and Ella's father, who was also the principal of the American school on the Island of Honoka'a.

This is absolutely my genre of preference when reading books and needless to say I loved it!!

There was ton's of food in this book.  Violet and her friends often broke bread together and they entertained the soldiers and prepared dinners and snacks.  There were picnic lunches, there were meals to offer comfort during times of stress and there were tons of pies that Violet and her friends sold to the soldiers from a stand outside of their barracks.

The first dinner that Violet and her friend, Jean, served to some of the soldiers took a lot of planning and Violet realized afterwards that the soldiers wouldn't have minded if they had been served SPAM as long as they were having a home cooked meal and some socializing.

SPAM is very popular in Hawaii.  I remember having fried SPAM sandwiches on white bread with ketchup as a kid.  In Hawaii, they also make SPAM sandwiches but they call them Musubi and they look like big pieces of Sushi.

These sandwiches are so popular that they have even made a press for them.  I don't have a Musubi press but I found a youtube video that showed how to use the SPAM can instead.  Pure Genius.  

You simply line the can with plastic wrap and then add in some cooked sushi rice, pan fried and glazed SPAM comes next and tamps down the rice.  This is followed by more sushi rice and the plastic wrap is used to press that down making the filling for the sandwich.

Musubi is one of those recipes that have a million different recipes that are all pretty much the same.  Kind of like Chicken Noodle Soup or Apple Pie.  I read through several recipes and then made my own.  

We were in Arizona over New Years Eve, staying with our friends Rob and Linda, along with Marissa, Jessica, Julien and Melody.  They invited two more couples to help ring in the New Year.  I made up some appetizers including these Musubi that I cut into bite size pieces.  It was a wonderful celebration even though I only made it to 11 PM before I pooped the party.

I am also sharing this over at Foodies Read.  Stop by and see what the others are being inspired to make from the books they read.  Be on the lookout for the Cook the Books roundup at the end of the month.

#appetizers, #Hawaiian, #spam, #sandwiches, #Musubi, #islandlife
appetizers, lunch, sandwiches,
Yield: 32 appetizers or 8 full size piecesPin it

SPAM Musubi

A popular dish in Hawaii, SPAM Musubi is packed and eaten as a sandwich in lunches. I cut mine into pieces for a party, reminiscent of sushi.


1 can SPAM (Spiced Ham)
3 c. sushi rice, cooked per package directions
1 T. rice wine vinegar or more to taste
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. soy sauce
4 sheets roasted seaweed, cut in half


Slice the SPAM into 8 pieces.  Place in a skillet over med high heat and cook for a minute or two on each side until lightly browned.

Whisk together the brown sugar and soy sauce. Pour over the SPAM and cook, turning occasionally until glaze thickens and coats the SPAM slices.  Remove from heat.

Season the cooked sushi rice with the rice wine vinegar.

Line the SPAM can with plastic wrap.  Place a couple of Tablespoons of rice into the bottom of the can.  Place a slice of the Spam on top and press down to mold the bottom layer of rice.  Add a couple of Tablespoons of rice on top of the SPAM.  Using the plastic wrap press down to mold the rice onto the SPAM.

Pull the rice and SPAM out of the can with the plastic wrap.  Unwrap and lay onto a half sheet of roasted seaweed.  Wrap the seaweed around the rice and SPAM using a bit of rice to seal the seaweed together at the end.  Cut each Musubi into 4 pieces and place on a platter.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Serve with additional vinegar and soy sauce for dipping.

Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. My boys love SPAM musubi. I know they would enjoy your version.

  2. Bob and I were just talking about Spam Musubi the other day, as he mentioned how many tons of it the convenience stores sell every day. A total favorite here! I like your party appetizer version. I have the book on my stack, and am looking forward to reading it.

  3. I love Spam Musubi! I nearly bought one of those presses last time I was in Hawaii. Yours look very tasty.

  4. I'm so happy you liked the book! it's totally my genre too. ;-) Your SPAM musubi are perfect and are a great pick for the book.
    Mahalo for joining in!

  5. I first had spam musubi in elementary school, when I was still hesitant to try sushi. It really helped push me towards the sushi way!

    1. Well, I still much prefer Sushi but this was a fun dish to make.

  6. Spam was a treat for us and we used to beg mom to buy it. (She rarely did.) I love this idea and may make these the next time we need an unusual appetizer.

  7. I have to say I've never gotten up the courage to try SPAM but will take your word for its deliciousness...

    If I might ask a favor - I'm collecting followers on IG and if you're on it could you follow me? @brancica great photos posted there. TIA cathy

    1. It is just spiced ham Cathy, let me know if you get brave and try it.

  8. I believe every country has a favorite canned food whose ingredients you don't want to know, because you just want to enjoy it without thinking about it too much. SPAM is that for Hawaii. The next time I visit the islands I will look for the press you mention. Nice job with the recipe!


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.