back to article Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chopstick-collapsing Spam musubi

Those of you of delicate culinary sensibilities would do well to look away now as we present for your wobbly dining pleasure the highly improbable Hawaiian-Japanese canned pork fusion cuisine that is Spam musubi. This Pacific island classic was apparently concocted up by Hawaii's Japanese population after they were introduced …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spam in Japan

    Spam became common place in Japan after WWII, it was about the only meat that the locals could get hold of on the black market after the Americans moved in.

    It's still quite widely sold in supermarkets (especially in Okinawa), and the serving suggestion illustrated on the can is this exact dish! I had a remarkably tasty spam salad in Okinawa a few years ago.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Ian Michael Gumby

      Where's HELLO KITTY? Re: Spam in Japan

      Seriously... this type of food has been covered.

      There was an article on the Hello Kitty franchise and how kits to make spam sushi in the shape of a hello kitty character were flying off the shelf.

  2. Efros

    Spam in Scotland

    Spam was almost universally hated in Scotland when I was a teenager, largely due to the prevalence of Spam fritters on school meal menus. Take a 1/4 inch slice of spam dip in batter and fry in oil that isn't quite hot enough, just to ensure that the batter is saturated in oil and has the calorific value of your average 3 course meal. All accompanied with similarly made tattie fritters and beans. This was in the 70s so long before the current enforced healthy options.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: Spam in Scotland

      It was the same elsewhere in the UK and your mention of spam fritters has left me having unpleasant flashbacks.

      Ahh well, it could have been worse. At least you did not mention tapioca another disgusting 70s dish much beloved by school cooks.

      1. Efros

        Re: School Tapioca

        Semolina was more prevalent in Scotland and not as noisome as tapioca, we did however have the macaroni cheese that was baked into submission. Served as an intractable 4" cube of pasta and cheese with a shriveled wafer of tomato on top of each cube, nasty rumours abounded concerning its use as the building material for the new gym, these were never proven but it would have explained the curious smell in there.

      2. Sammy Smalls

        Re: Spam in Scotland

        I used to look forward to Spam fritter Tuesday. Made a change from sausage beans and chips. Happy days.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spam in Scotland

          I loved school dinners and in my old school woe betide anybody who didn't(*). Spam fritters, tapioca, semolina, stodgy puddings and even stodgier custard, fantastic memories.

          (*)The rule was you could only get seconds if the entire table had clean plates. It would have been too easy to finish off someone elses plate (unless it was mucky Harrison's nobody would go anywhere near anything he'd touched) and kids being kids it was a choice of eating up or a possible beating during afternoon playtime. And don't go on a about bullying because what went around came around and everybody got their fair share.

    2. Suburban Inmate

      Re: Spam in Scotland

      I was rarely subjected to the generally tolerable unfrittered spam in my (re)educashun camp, but curried still-piss-soaked kidneys could be detected from the other end of the fairly sizeable school building.

      Personally, I don't trust spam because it remains pink when cooked.

    3. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Spam in Scotland

      Spam fritters were bad enough - but our local chippie in Guardbridge (near St Andrews) back in the Seventies used to deep fry meat pies (no batter). They'd cut them in two and pour out some of the fat before serving, so they weren't entirely unhealthy!

    4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Spam in Scotland

      Ooh 'eck! School dinner memories. Crikey DM!

      My school never served Spam, so far as I can remember. But I am now having horrible flashbacks to the ravioli. Huge catering sized tins of the stuff. It was in a sauce, that managed to be bright, radioactive orange, and watery at the same time. Heaven knows how they managed that feat. And inside the soggy, ersatz tomato coated pillows of pasta was this sort of greyish mush, with the consistency of belly-button fluff, that I presume was mince. Shudders!

      The less said about the pink blancmange the better!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spam in Scotland

        Pink blancmange with hundreds and thousands. Honestly, you've made me drool.

        1. Efros

          Re: Spam in Scotland

          I actually know how to make that stuff, source: my Gran was a school dinner lady. You make strawberry jelly using half the volume of water, the extra volume is made up with warm evaporated milk, while it is still relatively hot you beat the bejesus out of it with an electric whisk. Stick it in the fridge and after the requisite time pink blancmange.

  3. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    I quite like Spam these days

    Though, given its general healthiness level seems on par with eating a salt kebab, I don't have it that often.

    When the urge takes me, sliced and seared spam (as per article) with round sautéed chips and a good dollop of mustard suits me fine, no need for Shusi-ising anything.

    I quite like Spam fritters but couldn't make or fry batter to save my life. None of the chippies near me do them, and supermarket's two fritters for £3 is a price I am not prepared to pay. So I "just make and do", "keep calm and carry on", which seems quite appropriate in Blighty during the 100 year anniversaries.

    1. Phuq Witt
      Thumb Up

      Re: I quite like Spam these days

      Me too. My standard no-brain-required sandwich, when hunger, drunkeness and/or laziness prevail is spam, cheese, cream cheese & extra hot chilli sauce on German rye bread.

      Although I've only introduced Spam into the equation in fairly recent years, after Plumrose Luncheon Meat [in a similarly sized and shaped, albeit green, tin] disappeared from the market.

      BTW –Spam fritters was one of my favourite school dinners

      1. ADJB

        Re: I quite like Spam these days

        "Although I've only introduced Spam into the equation in fairly recent years, after Plumrose Luncheon Meat [in a similarly sized and shaped, albeit green, tin] disappeared from the market."

        I was using Plumrose Luncheon meat this morning and had a few nice Barbel, Chub and a couple of Eels using it. If you really want to actually eat the stuff then my normal stockist is Home Bargains where it goes for 99p a tin. There are without a doubt other stockists who don't care enough about their brand to stock the stuff.

        1. Phuq Witt
          Thumb Up

          Spam vs Plumrose Luncheon Meat

          "..I was using Plumrose Luncheon meat this morning.."

          Glad to hear it still exists. I haven't seen it for years, either in any of the big supermarkets or numerous corner shops.

          I remember it having a more er... "futuristic" texture than Spam. Somewhat like meat crossed with plastic, and also remember, when I could no longer get it and switched to Spam as a substitute, that I found Spam really salty by comparison.

    2. VeganVegan

      Re: I quite like Spam these days

      I do like spam and canned corned beef, despite my handle. Fried, with eggs, or in a sandwich. I will even admit eating them cold, right from the can.

      However, what turns me off both is the amount of salt they put in them. Corned beef I can sort of understand, given that the 'corned' part refers to the corn-sized salt granules used to make corned beef. But spam? I never understood why they needed to put in so much salt.

      1. Diogenes

        Re: I quite like Spam these days

        Amen, although the low salt version tastes like cardboard.

        Nephew just came back from a stint on exchange Hawaii, and was telling me about the Waikiki Spam Jam. If only school holidays & cruise ships & festival coincided - sigh.

        I was most unusual amongst my peers in that I would swap anything, except chocolate, to get the canned spam & eggs from the ration packs supplied to the Australian Army in the early '80s - mostly they were happy to swap a cereal block (imagine a small box of wheatbix compressed down into the size of one 'bix - we used to joke science had split the atom, but could not split the cereal block).

        1. VeganVegan

          Re: I quite like Spam these days

          Yes, I was driven to try the low salt version as well. I agree that it tastes like cardboard, my only addition is that it tasted like greasy cardboard.

          Whoever can come up with a non-salty version that also tastes good has a gold mine on their hands.

      2. Esme

        Re: I quite like Spam these days

        I'll happily chunk either and eat it with rice - using chopsticks. Fab. I usually melt a slice of plastic cheese into the rice and/or a bit of butter to add a bit of flavour. I eat a lot less meat than average for the UK, but a disproportianate amount of what I do eat is either spam or corned beef.

  4. Captain Hogwash

    prepped in advance

    So you're saying they're good cold? That sounds ideal.

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  6. horsham_sparky

    Spam spam spam spam egg

    and spam.. except can I have mine without egg please? :-)

    I wonder if that would work with Bacon.. anything can be improved with the addition of bacon!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Little Mouse

        Re: Spam spam spam spam egg

        Rule 2.5

        If the article is about new biological or technological discoveries, use the old "I for one welcome..." chestnut.

        Despite having spent a few years on the endangered list, it now appears to be making a kind of knowing, retro, comeback.

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Re: Spam spam spam spam egg

      I wonder if that would work with Bacon...

      You asked for it, so I'm going to let you have it.

      Number Three Daughter has been after me to make this since I mentioned I was writing El Reg with the suggestion for adding it to the PPNNF series; I guess it's on for tomorrow night. I swear it's the first time I have ever passed along Spam of any sort through email, though.

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge


    It's a dark and dirty job, but I guess someone has to do it...


  8. chivo243 Silver badge


    not in this lifetime. I refused to eat spam as a child, I surely will not eat it as an inebriated adult. I think there is a plate of cold spam somewhere that I refused to eat...

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Swap the spam for corned beef

    and use the vinegar from pickled beetroot for the sushi. Add Branstons by the bucket load.

    No need to cook so you only suffer serious knife wounds and not those lingering burns that stick to the sheets and ruin your sleep.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Swap the spam for corned beef

      Should point out - always have some pre-cooked rice around for emergencies - if you are lucky it will have some bacillus cereus ( as opposed to frivolous) which can really make overeating and drinking part of an effective calorie controlled diet.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Swap the spam for corned beef

      Then replace the sushi with a packet of Savoury Rice. No need to bother with getting it to stick together; just put in a bowl and throw corned beef on top. If you're hungry, you're hungry.

  10. Martin Budden Bronze badge


    "Prepped in advance" seems at odds with the "post-pub" brief.

    And if you don't prep it in advance you have to wait half an hour for the uncooked rice to soak and another half an hour for the cooked rice to cool, by which time you've passed out in front of the telly.

  11. MrDamage

    Hot n Spicy SPAM

    Might be a nice alternative to the normal for this recipe. The spice might be sufficient to take the edge off of all that sugar.

  12. John L

    Yes, but ...

    Your recipe looks tasty, but it's not authentic. The authentic Hawaiian technique is to stumble into the closest ABC store (a local chain of convenience stores) and grab a few from the cooler.

    Sadly, we realize this option is not available in Spain, since the closest ABC is in Guam, but keep in in mind during those journalistic research junkets.

  13. YP

    I tend to use a mix of Teriyaki sauce and soy to coat the spam with after the initial frying. It's best to reduce to make it quite thick before coating the spam.

    As for serving cold, definitely (and this is how you usually get it anyway).

  14. Alister Silver badge

    Reg Units

    Please El Reg, can you quantify a "smidge"?

    Is this greater or lesser than a "pinch" and does it equate to the engineering term "gnat's".

    How many MicroJubs in a smidge?

    1. Martin Budden Bronze badge

      Re: Reg Units

      A smidge is 1/3 of a dab, which is less than a Dabbs in some ways and more in other ways ;-)

  15. Sporkinum

    Straight from the mothership

    Tour Chicago

  16. earl grey Silver badge

    You're lucky

    At least it's not the old style tin that required a small key (usually attached to the bottom of the tin) with which you peeled off a slim ribbon of steel and usually a piece of your own flesh if not careful.

    Once popular with coffee, sardines (longer key) and similar products... yeah, i'm old.

    Lass looks to be wearing yellow bug repellant bracelet...??

    1. Helldesk Dogsbody

      Re: You're lucky

      You still get them on tins of corned beef from a few brands. I immediately discard the key as what little blood I have left (mostly caffeine and alcohol nowadays) needs to stay inside of me, not spread all over the kitchen.

  17. BigFire

    available of pork in tropic environment

    When you want to eat pork in tropic region, and refrigeration isn't widely available, spam is almost a godsend. With spam being canned, you can keep the 'meat' around unrefrigerated, so it's population in tropic island with large Japanese population is quit understandable.

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