SPAM - Detail - ©

Now For Something Completely Different: SPAM Musubi!

It’s the officially unofficial but unofficial universal snack food of Hawaii. And the fact that one of the most-beloved versions is made fresh daily by 7-Eleven stores tells you just how grassroots it is! It’s not just musubi, but SPAM musubi!

Spam Musubi - © cookpad.comSPAM musubi: With a layer of fried beaten egg, as some
folks prefer it. Bet you can’t eat just one!

First of all… What’s Musubi?

It’s a simple snack food made from layers of rice, meat and a tamarind sauce in a seaweed wrap. Sounds like sushi. Some might class it as such. Like its classier cousin, the style comes from Japan. But it’s a species all its own. And Everybody in Hawaii loves it. – Provided it’s made with SPAM!

We’ve explored the odd but quaint love affair between Hawaiians and SPAM in previous posts. So faithful readers will be aware that Hawaiians will eat SPAM in almost anything.

Before we get into some of the more intricate aspects of musubi, have at look at this Instagram video showing how they make it at 7-Elevent in Hawaii fresh every day.

Some important tips…

You should have no trouble at all making your own SPAM musubi. Just remember to:

  • Grill the SPAM until golden and crispy on the outside, but hot and still firm – not tough or dry – on the inside.
  • The rice should be fully cooked sushi (sticky) rice WITHOUT the vinegar dressing.
  • You can cut your musubi freehand, just cutting the compressed rice sheet with a warm, wet knife. Or you can use a musubi mould. The one preferred by home musubi makers in Hawaii is made from the top half of a SPAM can which you use like a cookie cuter to produce uniform rice blocks the exact same shape as SPAM slices.
  • Make sure you moisten your Nori Seaweed sheets sufficiently to ensure they will fold/roll without cracking or breaking.
  • Make sure you marinate your SPAM at least 15 minutes before assembling your musubi. Try longer marinations and see how the time effects your enjoyment.

Here is a simple musubi procedural, including a 5-star recipe for musubi sauce/marinade using common Asian cuisine ingredients you may already have in the house.

Serve warm or cold

It’ll warm nicely in the microwave. Just don’t go overboard with the time!

Musubi will store for a few days in the fridge, no problem.

Grab it and go for a cold treat; heat for a quick lunch or after school snack; some folks call SPAM musubi the Hawaiian hot dog!


I don’t recommend you eat SPAM every day, for lunch or any other meal. But once a week or twice a month; go ahead, and indulge yourself.

~ Maggie J.