Vegan SPAM

Why, it’s Mr Cluckers! What is he doing?!

He seems to be at the theatre. How droll! What might Mr Cluckers be seeing this evening?

It’s Spamalot! Mr Cluckers, Smark, and I took it in on the West End last year and until today it was the closest I ever got to anything related to SPAM™ in any way. As I mentioned other day, I was inspired by the dried bean section of Simply Heavenly! to start incorporating more dried beans into my diet, and to that end, I bookmarked several of the recipes in that book. I can imagine the result of most recipes I read very well, so well that I usually trust myself to make adjustments to it the first time around instead of abiding by the rule of “make it exactly as written the first time, experiment the next”, however, I found myself flummoxed by the recipe for “Soyteena”. Ground-up dry soybeans, tomato juice, peanut butter, cornmeal…what? But adventure is my middle name, so I decided I was going to try it out. Halfway through the steaming process it dawned on me: I was making vegan SPAM! And now by following these easy instructions, you can too!

Soyteena (Vegan SPAM)

1 cup dried soybeans
2 cups water
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup cornmeal

Chop the celery …

… and onion.

Place the soybean in a blender and pulse several times until they are pulverized to a powder. Add all other ingredients except the cornmeal.

Blend until smooth.

Place in a bowl and stir in cornmeal until completely mixed.

Oil two cans (the size 14.5 ounces of tomatoes come in; normal can size). Put half of the mixture into each.

Cover each can with foil and secure with a rubber band.

Place the cans into a Dutch oven or large pot and fill with water so they are 1/3 of the way submerged.

Bring the water to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer, steaming the SPAM for two hours (or longer). Remove cans from pot and allow to cool, then remove SPAM from cans. If you have an IQ as high as mine, it may take you only half an hour to realize that the easiest way to do this is to remove the bottom of the can and push the SPAM through.

Behold your can-shaped, slightly frightening vegan SPAM.

Tune in later for the first in my series What the Heck One Can Do With Vegan Spam!

My mom sent me a package of fun via my aunt by way of my grandmother’s house this weekend. Most of the fun was for the cats unless you consider mustard pots fun, which I do. My aunt’s cat Stormy donated some of her extra toys to my cats (which makes my cats sound like unfortunate needy cats, which I’m sure you can tell is definitely the case), and my mom made them some catnip toys. Brachtune was playing with one while I was making dinner. Brachtune is extraordinarily cute when she plays, but I can never catch her on camera because whenever she sees me so much as look in her direction, she drops everything she’s doing and literally RUNS to me. So this is the best I could get; trust me, she had JUST been batting that blue thing around like crazy:

Of course, once I start taking pictures, Tigger becomes alerted to the fact that Bracthtune is playing, so he has to put an end to that.

It’s hard to get action shots of my cats playing, but it proved strangely easy to get them of my grandmother’s cat on Saturday! Here’s Muffin:

33 Comments »

  1. Melissa Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

    Muffin is darling! I have a question about an older post – Soon Tubu JJigae. I finally found a Korean market near me and am going to make it soon w/some of my homemade tofu. Yum, can’t wait. I’m curious about the sesame oil though. Do you use toasted sesame oil or plain sesame oil? Do you think it would make much of a difference to use toasted versus plain? Thanks much! Still reading and loving your blog. You’ve inspired me to venture into making my own tempeh- as soon as I get a yogurt maker for temp control!

  2. renae Said,

    November 11, 2008 @ 7:18 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    I used plain sesame oil, but I don’t think it would make a big difference if you used toasted instead – maybe you’d just want to use a little less since toasted has a stronger flavor.

    Good luck with the tempeh – it’s not one of the easier things to make, in my opinion! I hope you aren’t buying a yogurt maker just for making the tempeh. It’s the best thing I found for incubating it, but it’s not very precise because yogurt is kept at a higher temperature than tempeh, so you’ll still have to play around with it to get it just right. Definitely use a thermometer! Let me know how it goes – I’m still perfecting my technique, but my success rate is much higher than it was when I started!

  3. Lucy Said,

    November 15, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    I’m going to make the “spam” soon but I need to find some dried soybeans? Where on earth did you find the perforated nori sheets? The Korean market? You can speed up to preparation of the musubi by molding the rice into an ice cube tray also. Thank you for the tutorial. Your cats are adorable!!

  4. renae Said,

    November 20, 2008 @ 12:12 am

    Hi Lucy,

    Yes I got the perforated nori at a Korean market. I didn’t even realize they were perforated until I got them home and opened the package, but it’s very convenient because I don’t cut very straight! Thanks for the tip regarding the ice cube try; I never thought of that!

  5. Virginia Said,

    November 25, 2008 @ 10:13 am

    I MUST try this. I ate a lot of SPAM growing up, unfortunately. It would be neat to kind of relive that but in a much healthier way!

  6. Jared Said,

    May 26, 2009 @ 3:21 am

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to just use tempeh since you could season it to taste spamish?

  7. renae Said,

    May 27, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    Jared, I think this recipe is aimed more at mimicking the texture of Spam, which tempeh wouldn’t be as good at doing. That said, I have never had Spam and am not too sure what the texture actually is! Nor do I even know what it tastes like, to be honest. I do know that you buy Spam in a can and this recipe is MADE in a can.

  8. Cheryl Said,

    August 7, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

    This sounds great… I haven’t had meat/SPAM in awhile and am intrigued by this recipe! But I’m allergic to peanut butter. I wonder what could be used as a substitute or if it could be omitted all together? Has anyone tried this?

  9. travis Said,

    September 17, 2009 @ 10:32 pm

    I tried the recipe today. Just a warning to other folks out there: Unless I really messed up the quantity of water, my recipe turned out way too soupy. Was 2 cups water supposed to be 1/2 cup? In any case, just to be safe, you may want to wait on adding the majority of the water until towards the end.

    I did do some modifications though: Instead of grinding up dry soybeans, I used a cup of chickpea flour instead. And, instead of boiling them for 2 hours, I pressure cooked them for 15 minutes. After much adjusting trying to get the consistency what I thought was “normal” (based on the pictures) my finished product wasn’t too horrible. Kinda tasted like falafel (chick pea flour + peanut butter instead of sesame paste). Would I make it again? I don’t think so. But, you be the judge. maybe i really messed something up. pan frying it will probably help. don’t double the quantity until you’re sure you’ll like it.

    thanks for sharing the recipe though.

  10. Cigars Said,

    November 22, 2009 @ 10:08 pm

    Good call on not doubling until you are sure you like it. I didn’t prefer this, like I probably wouldn’t make it again, however it was what it was. It was bearable.. I think. I am not a huge fan of spam to begin with, and this was hard to swallow!

  11. JonK Said,

    April 30, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    OMG! I converted to a mostly vegetarian diet about a year and half ago and, believe it or not, one of the few things I crave sometimes is SPAM. I know it sounds gross but I grew up in Hawaii so I pretty much ate it all the time. I definitely need to try this and also the SPAM musubi recipe in the “What to do with vegan SPAM” post. This site is awesome! I look forward to trying a lot of the other recipes as well.

  12. renae Said,

    April 30, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    Hi Jon, thanks for your comment! I have my doubts this recipe really tastes like SPAM (which I’ve never had), so I hope you don’t get your hopes up too high! Hopefully you can make it work in some of your favorite SPAM recipes though.

  13. andy Said,

    March 30, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

    Sounds fun but something to think on… nowadays they line cans with a thin layer of plastic called polycarbonate which will give off Bisphenol-A which works as a hormone disrupter in people. Takes the fun out of things but you may want to go to glass.
    http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/070808/8bisphenola.htm
    http://www.rodale.com/bpa-exposure
    http://zrecs.blogspot.com/2008/04/avoid-polycarbonate-and-bpa-lined-cans.html

  14. Audrey Said,

    April 13, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

    Yeah it used to be a strip of mercury on the inside I think I read about and now yes the plastic. I am going to use the Pampered Chef Valtrompia bread and cookie molds and see how they turn out and for seitan. I am going to weight and measure to find out the equal for the dry soy bean, maybe try soy flour sometime.

  15. Mark Said,

    July 13, 2011 @ 1:12 am

    I followed the recipe exactly and it filled up (4) 14oz cans…

  16. M.K. Luifa Said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 12:17 am

    Ditto on what JonK said. As a veg mestee-filipina what I often miss more than anything else (other than white castles) is pan-fried spam and pineapple (used to eat that with eggs, but lately eggs have squicked me). My husband and I have been looking for a veggie spam recipe for years, thanks so much!

  17. Jessica Michael Said,

    September 30, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

    I am so going to make this!! I was just talking to Ashley and we were discussing the fact that I can’t make my husband’s Arabic meal anymore now that I’m a vegetarian but you have saved me! :)

  18. Tammy Said,

    October 7, 2011 @ 9:37 am

    This is such a fabulous recipe. I’d like to repost it and include a couple of your photos with a link to you, of course. Would that be okay?

  19. renae Said,

    October 7, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    Hi Tammy, sure you can repost it. Please just mention that the recipe is originally from Simply Heavenly. Thanks!

  20. Sal Said,

    November 5, 2011 @ 3:56 am

    Just like Travis said, unless I was completely off, my recipe was VERY runny. Because I saw Travis’ comment, I actually only added 1 cup of water. It’s still very runny. I ended up adding more soybeans, peanut butter, nutritional yeast and cornmeal .. a lot of them. It’s thicker but still runny, won’t hold shape as pictured here and I’m just a bit at loss.
    I used creamy peanut butter, could that be why?

  21. Sal Said,

    November 5, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    A little update after I steamed the mixture. Once again, I’m agreeing with Travis: After much adjusting trying to get the consistency what I thought was “normal” (based on the pictures) my finished product wasn’t too horrible.

    Unfortunately, we *do* like the real spam, we just don’t really eat them since they’re not the healthiest food out there. This recipe does not have the consistency that spam has. It has more of a falafel consistency — just like Travis’ result although I did not use chick pea flour — as opposed to having a little chewiness.

    There’s a vegan Vietnamese restaurant by our house (http://www.vinhloitofu.com/) and unless someone tells you, you wouldn’t know that their spam is vegan. I guess I’ll keep on researching & trying recipes until I can mimic their spam.

    Thanks for posting this recipe, though. Although I like it just fine, the SO is very much weirded out by the non-spam texture and refused to eat it.

  22. Tammy Said,

    February 5, 2012 @ 12:04 am

    Hi-
    I love this post and would like to put parts of it on my blog with full credit and links to you. Would that be okay?

  23. Allen Sentinery Said,

    March 20, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

    This d.i.y. site is absolutely amazing! Who would have known that it was so easy to make Vegan lunch meat?

  24. Kate Said,

    May 29, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    Sweet! I have a lot of people who LOVE spam, and I really wanted to introduce them to a healthier alternative! I will have to try this and see how it goes :) (Of course, I DON’T care for Spam, so I’ll have to find some people to taste test it for me to see if it’s close enough…) Will other dried beans work, do you know? I may have to experiment!

  25. renae Said,

    May 29, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    Hi Kate, I’ve never tried any other beans, but for consistency’s sake I think you could use pretty much any bean. As for the taste, I’ve never had Spam, but I can pretty much guarantee you this doesn’t taste that much like it. I think it’s more a texture thing. Experimentation if probably definitely in order!

  26. Kelsie Said,

    August 18, 2012 @ 11:48 pm

    Grrr.. I’m experiencing difficulties with this recipe! Not only did I run into half a million speed-bumps before I even started (dirty food processor, no pre-opened cans, food processor loudly mixed up the soybeans and didn’t turn them into a powder, dirty blender, etc.), I’m still having issues with it!
    As I type, the spam is in it’s cans in a pot with water, I did everything just as the recipe states, but mine seems thinner than yours was, and lighter. It also took up 2 and a half cans. I’ve been simmering them for about 3 hours now and they’re still soft :/ Do you have any suggestions? I just want to make a vegan omelet with spam and cheezy sauce like my dad used to make. Omnomnom. Have you tried baking the spam? Can it be baked in the can, you think?

  27. renae Said,

    August 20, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    Hi Kelsie, I haven’t actually made this recipe since I wrote this post years ago so I’m afraid I don’t have any suggestions. I do, however, get an awful lot of comments on this post and I’m beginning to think I should revisit and update it.

  28. Vegetarian Spam and musubi | V 8 Mile Said,

    January 18, 2013 @ 12:19 am

    [...] copyright issues, probably. And after see that someone had made a vegan recipe for Spam, I decided to try my [...]

  29. SS Said,

    June 16, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

    I saw comments that the recipe was runny, so we used 1 cup of water instead of 2. Just that change and we created 3 cans of vegan spam. Boiled for 20 minutes on high, then went to simmering low for 1hr and 45 minutes. Texture is good. We will be trying the taste tomorrow morning.

  30. Gabi Said,

    June 24, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

    Soooo, if you’ve never tried SPAM and don’t know what the texture or flavor of spam is, then why is this vegan SPAM? Just because it’s made in a can?

    Wouldn’t vegan SPAM be something trying to imitate the flavor of SPAM? I’m not vegan, but would be willing to try this being that my cousin is… but I dont like the idea of being mislead. It seems that your post gets a lot of past SPAM lovers (who are now looking for a healthier option) because you use SPAM in the title. But if you have no clue of the flavoring of SPAM, how can you claim this to be a vegan option of it.

    I give you props on the idea, but am disappointed. Making something in a can does not make it a SPAM substitue. Just saying.

  31. VRDRBR Said,

    July 22, 2013 @ 3:15 am

    I’m from Hawaii and miss Spam so I’m glad I found this recipe. I hope it tastes at least somewhat like spam because I really miss spam musubi!

  32. ccr Said,

    June 18, 2014 @ 10:42 am

    Just discovered your site–fantastically wonderful!–after a friend said something about there being no such thing as vegan spam (so I googled). Looking forward to discovering more (wildlife, animal shelter, food, scenery). I was vegetarian for a while and did not have cravings during that time but never made it to vegan. The recipes look good to try. Thanks so much for blogging!

  33. Audrey Said,

    October 24, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

    Their is a vegan version of “Scrapple” in the “Country Scrapple Cookbook” by William Woys Weaver on page 104 #17, titled “Vegetarian Mushroom-Wild Rice Scrapple” which is similar to “Philadelphia -style scrapple (liver mush) and apparently quite popular. It uses buckwheat flour, yellow cornmeal, wild rice, black beans with the mushrooms and spices. I plan to give both a try soon and will give a post, but I don’t expect it to really taste like spam (and I know spam) but it will be a healthy alternative I am sure! Email me if you want the recipe at; Onexpresso@yahoo.com. This cookbook you could adjust to being vegan. Using the “simply heavenly” and ” How to make all the Meat You Eat Out of Wheat” by Nina & Michael Shandler, (For meat flavor-spice) recipes! Cooking Entrees with the Micheff Sisters and Cooking with Seitan by Barbara Jacobs also is excellant for meat substitutes for Seitan

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