Spam musubi

I’ve been thinking of making this for Boyz Lunch for a couple of months, and today was the day. After guidance from my Pacific Rim Family earlier when I made musubi with tofu, I finally had all the ingredients to make the traditional Hawaiian treat: sushi rice, wrappers, and Spam. Spam has a sorry reputation in the US, but elsewhere in the world it’s considered a perfectly fine meat-food, like pressed turkey and beef jerky are here. I’ve never had a bite of Spam in my whole life, until today, and sadly it’s likely to be my last indulgence: Not because it wasn’t tasty, it was delicious; but because I’m fundamentally a vegetarian these days. Only as I sliced it did I have qualms, but from then on it was just ‘food.’

Once I browned it in the pan and then caramelized homemade teriyaki sauce on it, it looked and smelled quite appetizing. I had pre-torn the seaweed along perforated lines, and laid it shiny side down as instructed in this recipe, then used the musubi mold to shape and press the cooled rice. A heavy dash of Furikake seasoning over the rice, then topped with the sweet and sticky Spam, and rolled into a tidy package.

The nori sheets torn to size for the musubi mold result in a one-inch wide extra strip of seaweed, and guess who thoroughly enjoyed eating that?

The plate was completed with a toasted slice of broccoli forest bread, and a salad of roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes with a little onion, and fresh yellow pear tomatoes in a romaine leaf. Nothing on the plate necessarily went together, but the Boyz were happy with it all. The unequivocal star of the meal, though, was the Spam musubi. Once again, for the fiftieth time, lunch rated in the Top Five. For dessert, the last of the date bark disappeared.

I went to toss paper napkins in the outside trash bag and spied this gorgeous unknown insect. I posted the image on iNaturalist and got an ID within two hours: a tree cricket! I never did hear tell of such a thing! I shared the photo with a few friends before the ID, and so shared the result. Ellie found this wonderful video of a tree cricket chorus, showing their transparent wings in action. Mary recalled an episode of Big Bang Theory (S3E2) featuring a heated wager over the difference between tree crickets and field crickets. I’m grateful to know what’s been making the magical racket outside these recent nights. I thought they were just regular old black crickets, but am enchanted with the bronze head and shiny green body of this tree cricket, subfamily Oecanthinae, genus unknown.

Speaking of musical interludes, we’ve been enjoying instrumental jazz during lunch, largely Miles Davis, but today I found a jazz clarinet album on Tidal that had us all feeling dreamy. We spent several interludes in companionable silence, eyes closed, leaning back listening to music, sun warming through the umbrella, cool breeze… It felt like summer in a way nothing has felt like soft relaxed summer in a long time. Then Philip noticed that Wren was dancing with her ears to the music…

7 thoughts on “Spam musubi

  1. Rita, you are doing your part to rehabilitate the reputation of Spam. Did you know that Austin regularly hosts a Spamarama (not annually because, well, it’s Spam)? Before I became a mostly pescatarian I used to enjoy a Pennsylvania comestible called Scrapple (use your imagination) which was probably similar to Spam in some ways, worse than Spam in others. But how delicious it was with eggs for breakfast, sliced, dredged in flour, fried, and served with ketchup 😘

  2. This post ticked so many boxes for me today. I am listening to an audio book called Micro set in Hawaii which mentions how SPAM became a favourite food there. I love and study insects so the tree cricket discovery was enjoyed. And then there your love of food preparation and excellent photography of the results. I am very grateful for your daily blog.

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