2 cups sushi rice
1 x 340g can Spam
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
furikake seasoning
nori sheets
pickled daikon to serve

Spam is Hawaii’s not-so-dirty little secret. Salty and high fat, the combination of pork and ham is beloved throughout Hawaii and especially as a snack wrapped with rice and nori. Hawaii is the largest consumer of Spam in the US and even has a festival, ‘Spam Jam’, in its honour. So why do they love it so much? According to food historian Rachel Laudan, during WWII the American government viewed the Hawaiian deep-sea fishing industry as a national security threat because most boats were owned by Hawaiians of Japanese descent.
The war meant there was a major military presence on the islands and Spam was freely available. Deprived of their mainstay food source, Spam became a necessity, and a great love developed. In the 1980s, depending on who you believe, it was either Mitsuko Kaneshiro or Barbara Funamura who thought to combine Spam into a musubi. In both cases it was to provide a snack for children which then morphed into selling to customers. You can buy musubi moulds but I used the can as a mould. Alternatively slice the cooked pieces and wrap into sushi rolls.


1.Rinse the rice until the water is clear and cook with 2 cups water by the absorption method or in a rice cooker.
2.Remove the Spam from the can and slice into 6 pieces.
3.Remove the bottom of the Spam tin, wash and clean it and keep to use as the mould (the mini tin size is better for this, but as you are using the large tin here just fill to half way). Wrap duct tape around the sharp edges.
4.Heat a frying pan, add the Spam and cook until crisp, around 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook the other side.
5.Add the soy sauce and mirin and continue to cook for a minute, then flip again.
6.Spray the tin with oil, spoon in some of the rice and press down very firmly to 1cm thickness.
7.Sprinkle with furikake, add a spam slice, top with more rice, press again then carefully slide out from the tin.
8.Cut the nori sheets in thirds and use to wrap the rice.
9.Eat immediately while still warm.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Ellen J Hemmings

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