Years ago my Auntie gave me a Hello Kitty Spam Musubi kit. And when I say years ago, I mean when I pulled it out of the back of the pantry to use it for the first time the Spam was expired. I repeat, the Spam was expired which I didn't even know was possible!
I decided to buy some new ingredients and make it for M since she's been on a little Hello Kitty kick (which makes me so happy), but it was the first time I've ever made it. I combined the recipe on the kit box, parts of my Grandma's sushi recipe, and a few recipes online to get the recipe I used below. It turned out so 'ono!
With all things multicultural, I don't know if this is a Japanese or a Hawaiian recipe or a mixture of both. If you know its origin, we'd love to know!
And if you try out the recipe below, let us know your thoughts! Every family makes a few tweaks to fit personal taste preferences, so feel free to play around with it.
2 cups uncooked short-grain Japanese rice
2 cups water
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (12-ounce) container of Spam
5 sheets of roasted sushi nori
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Spam Musubi mold (if you don't have a mold, you can use the Spam tin)
Cook rice in 2 cups of water.
Add rice vinegar to rice and cool. (My grandma would put the rice in a large metal bowl on the floor under a ceiling fan.)
In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Slice Spam making sure that the length will fit in your Spam Musubi mold. Put sliced Spam into soy sauce/sugar mixture and marinate for at least 5 minutes.
Pour oil into a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook each marinated slice of Spam for 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Remove Spam from heat and if desired, glaze each side of Spam with remaining marinade for stronger flavor.
Line your Spam Musubi mold with plastic wrap so the rice doesn't stick to its sides. Add nori, then Spam, and then rice. Press down with the top of the mold to compact the rice. Add and compress more rice until rice is about 3/4 -1 inch thick.
Carefully pull the plastic wrap out of the mold and fold the ends of the nori over each other. Seal with a little bit of water. (The seam will be the bottom of your Spam Musubi.)
Repeat the process until you run out of ingredients.
You can add furikake, sesame seeds, or other flavors if you choose. If you have extra rice, you can even use small cookie cutters to create heads for Spam Musubi creatures*.
Eat up! If you're packing this for lunch, you can wrap the Spam Musubi in plastic wrap to help prevent the rice from getting hard.
* For our Hello Kitty face, we used nori for her eyes and whiskers, a corn kernel for her nose, and paper for her bow (although we've seen people use red fruit rollups).