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Spam Musubi

Tired of gas costs slicing into your food budget? Need a way to cut costs? A can of Spam on sale is about $1.88 now, it’s obvious Spam musubis are one of the many solutions to the economy knifing its way through your funds.

What? You don’t know how to make one?

This is a crying shame and I cannot allow this to go on.

I realize there are like 50 billion spam musubi tutorials out there, but I don’t have one, so I felt the need to make one. Especially since I had to make some for yesterday’s potluck. Unfortunately, my crap camera is still not focusing, so the pictures came out horrible. One day I’ll replace them all with better photos. 🙁

You will need:

3 cups short grain rice
1 can Spam
5 full sheets of nori
1 jar of furikake (I recommend Nori Komi)
musubi mold
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
rice paddle or spoon

Now when I say 3 cups rice, I don’t mean literally three cups of cooked rice. I mean you put three cups of uncooked rice into your ricepot, fill the water up to the 3 cup line, and that’s your “3 cups rice”. I don’t know how many ACTUAL cups that comes out to, though. Maybe 6?

I’m writing this assuming that you’ve done some planning and bought yourself a spam musubi mold. They sell them on Amazon and at several other stores online. I couldn’t find one that was non-stick plastic like the one I have, so I don’t have one to link. I can’t even remember where I bought my own! If you’re reading this with your spam all sliced and ready to go, then I’m not sure what I can do for you.

To start, we have my awesomely yucky Photo #1. A full sheet of nori can be cut into two pieces. Measure it with your mold and make sure it’s the same length. My nori sheets tend to have a slight bit of extra nori, so I end up with little 2 cm strips that I feed to the munchkins. I have ready here my cutting board, the nori, the mold, my baby rice paddle (I like these better because they fit right into the mold), my jar of furikake, and a really sexy knife.

Spam by itself fried is pretty good, but I require some sato-shoyu sauce simmering first. Usually this sauce calls for mirin, but I’m cheap, so I just use water. Pour 1/2 cup soy sauce (Aloha is good!), 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water into a small pot and heat on medium/low.

After a bit of practice, I’m now able to eyeball cutting 10 slices of spam. You might end up with some fat slices and some thin slices at first, but you’ll get the hang of it eventually. Add the spam to the sauce and then go cook your rice. The spam should be about ready when your rice is. Make sure you turn them so the whole slice gets sauced up. If it starts to bubble, reduce the setting to low.

Have all your nori sheets cut and ready to go. When I was a wee little level 1 noob Spam Musubier, I used to cut a couple, then go cut some more, then more. It’s so logical to cut them all at once, so I really have no idea what my problem was, seriously.

I appear to have skipped a step during my photographing and for that I apologize. You basically put a little bit of rice in the mold and pad it down nicely then sprinkle furikake on it. Fill the mold to just under halfway.

Add a slice of spam, making sure to let the extra sauce drip off otherwise you’ll end up with a lot of saucy rice that just falls out of the musubi. Sprinkle more furikake onto the spam.

Top the spam with more rice, lightly filling the mold up to the top. Don’t pack the rice in, just gently pad it on. There is such a thing as way too much rice in a musubi. You need the perfect ratio of rice and spam. This is part of the reason why I prefer this type of spam musubi to the usual ones you see with the spam on top the rice with a nori belt. Those are terribly annoying to eat because people usually put waaaay too much rice and you just feel like you’re eating a hunk of rice and run out of spam. Plus they require (ugh) saran wrap to keep it all together. I don’t recommend that style of musubi unless you’re eating the ones at Y’s Lunch Shop in Hilo. They use a magic wand to make theirs, though. Since those are not easily obtainable, this is your next best option. With the spam in the middle of the rice, you have nice even spam and rice distribution. In my opinion, this is vital to your spam musubi consuming experience.

Take the mold top and place it in, then smash down the rice. Do this gently! There is no need to add all your body weight to this step or anything, we don’t want to kill the poor thing. Hold down the top and slide the mold up and off the musubi.

You should be left with a nice ice-cream-sandwich-looking musubi sitting on top the edge of the nori strip. Bring the nori over and tightly wrap it around to the other side. Wet your fingers with water (PLEASE do not use spit, gah) and swipe your fingers over the place where the nori end will go. Pat the end down onto the wet spot and swipe over the top with wet fingers again to ensure it seals up nicely. Place your finished musubi on a plate and finish up the other 9.

Once you’ve done them all you can wrap them up in wax paper to go or you can cut them in half like I prefer to do. If you’re going to cut them I highly recommend you let them steam for a little while. Your rice should have been hot and they need to moisturize the nori so that it’s nice and soft. After that, take a nice, sharp knife and cut them in half. Waiting for the nori to get soft also makes for better eating because the nori will just tear when you bite into it rather than making you rip it apart with your teeth, thus causing rice to ooze out everywhere. Or in the case of kids, this will cause rice drizzles all over your carpet. Not fun at all.

Cut musubis are much easier to pack in a jubako bento box, though this particular size doesn’t fit 10 so I let the little beggars have one yesterday morning before packing it up for our monthly potluck. Now, don’t those look a lot better than those saran wrapped horrors you see sweating in 7-Elevens and supermarkets? I can’t stand that because to me, the taste of the plastic wrap gets into the musubi. Oh, the horror!

Surely by now you are all thinking, “What the heck is she bolding all those words for?!”

Last month or so, I was contacted by someone at New West Knifeworks. They wanted me to try out a couple of their knives in exchange for a review. Who can say no to something like that? Anyway, I’ve been using the two knives for my bentos for the last month now, having a grand ole time cutting everything without needing to swear and bust out my sharpener. I’ve cut everything from bell peppers (these normally put up a real stink for me when chopping) to sweet potatoes to meat to eggplant. The petty has given me no problems with any of it. And did I mention it’s sexy?

One of the biggest problems I have when it comes to cutting musubi is the knife. The rice sticks to it like crazy and I normally have to wet the knife after every single musubi I cut. This drives me oh-my-freakin’ gawd insane. However, the Petty knife pictured in Photo #1has passed Pikko’s Ultimate Musubi Halving Test by letting me slice my way through 10 musubis straight with no washing needed.

So while you may think of commercials cutting cans or whizzing through tomatoes, cutting through the spam musubi has ended up being the foremost factor in my glowing review of the New West Knifeworks Phoenix Petty Knife.

The best part of all of this is that New West Knifeworks is sponsoring a giveaway on Adventures in Bentomaking!! Woohoo! If you would like to own a brand new Petty knife, all you need to do is click the knife picture above to visit their site, check out all their knives, then come back here and post a comment to this blog posting detailing which of their knives you like the best. Feel free to comment on the handles and any other things you see and like.

From these comments I will have a drawing. The first winner will receive a Phoenix Petty Knife and the second winner will receive a Fusionwood Mini Paring Knife, which coincidentally is really great for medium detail work on special bentos. The blade is a little thick, so I think I still need my X-Acto knife for the very fine details. That little guy is really good for peeling the skin off of baked sweet potatoes, though!

A couple of rules:

You’ll need to leave your name and last initial so that I can tell you from everyone else. ONE entry per person.

Be sure to tell your friends!