I suddenly found myself making vegan SPAM on Sunday. Trust me, I was as surprised as anyone. But then I had to figure out what to do with it. The only dish I have ever heard of that uses Spam is Spam musubi, that bizarre Japanese/Hawaiian hybrid of weirdness. So I did what any normal person would do: I visited the Spam website (Warning! Clicking on that link with your speakers on is…interesting.) There I found many, many Spam recipes, including one for, yes, Spam musubi. So, that, my friends, is exactly how I used up the first of what turned out to be more vegan Spam than I can handle. I was going to come up with my own recipe, but then I decided it would be funny to use the official SPAM recipe, which other than the SPAM itself, is vegan.
Vegan Spam Musubi
3 cups prepared sushi rice
1/3 – 1/2 recipe vegan Spam
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
olive oil for frying
1 -2 sheets sushi nori
Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger together in a small, shallow pan.
Cut four slices of vegan Spam (for a total of eight pieces of musubi). I found a serrated knife worked best.
Cut each slice in half, then cut off outermost part of the arc of each (save the small arc-shaped piece for another use):
Place the eight pieces of vegan Spam into the marinade and marinate for half an hour, turning over after 15 minutes.
Meanwhile cut the nori into 8 strips 1/2 to 1″ wide. My nori is perforated for 1″ strips.
When the rice is done, let it cool enough to handle.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat, add some olive oil and bring up to temperature. The Spam seemed to want to stick to my cast iron pot, which is well-seasoned and usually very stick-resistant, so I had to use a bit more oil than usual. (I still didn’t use the 2 tablespoons the SPAM website called for.) Brown the vegan Spam on both sides.
When the rice has cooled a bit, wet both of your hands and grab a handful, smooshing it into a log-ish shape about the length and width of your Spam pieces. (Don’t try to do this with dry hands.)
Place a piece of fried vegan Spam atop each rice log.
Wrap a strip of nori around each Spam/rice pile, moistening the nori slightly at the end to seal it.
Repeat for each piece of vegan Spam.
I steamed some broccoli and carrots, then tossed them in some of the leftover marinade. The SPAM site also suggests dipping the Spam musubi in the leftover marinade. I prepared some wasabi and soy sauce for dipping because Mark loves wasabi.
When the vegan Spam was frying, Mark announced it smelled like real SPAM. “I have no idea what SPAM smells like,” I responded, “but I’m guessing it does not smell good.” Then he picked a piece out of the frying pan and said it tasted like real Spam, to which I responded, “I have no idea what SPAM tastes like, but I’m guessing it’s not good either.”
Despite – or maybe due to – the fact that I doubt very much vegan Spam tastes (or smells) like real SPAM, this turned out well! Mark really liked it, and despite the fact that he’s a complete rice fiend, when I couldn’t eat my fourth musubi and asked him if he wanted it, he only wanted the Spam from it. He also said he may make a Spam sandwich for lunch tomorrow. This was definitely a fun experiment!
And I have so much more Spam left to work with! Prepare yourselves for a very spammy week.