In my last post, I admitted that I like SPAM. I’ve since received emails from chef and food writer friends of mine that have read like this:
“Honey, are you depressed?”
“Food Blogga likes Spam? No way!”
OK, folks, this SPAM antipathy has got to end. It’s good. It’s pork. How could it not be good? Especially when you eat it like I did in Hawaii — pan-seared to crisp perfection and tossed into softly scrambled eggs and wrapped inside of a warm tortilla or diced until lightly browned and added to a spicy, chili-laced, Asian vegetable stir-fry.
One of the tastiest SPAM dishes I ate in Hawaii was a breakfast fried rice with diced SPAM and egg. You’ve eaten pork or ham fried rice and loved it, right? Well, you’ll love SPAM fried rice too. And if you think fried rice wouldn’t taste good in the morning, think again. It was somehow satisfying yet not heavy. We’d eat it and stay comfortable until late afternoon.
Since we’ve returned home to San Diego, I haven’t attempted to make SPAM musubi; working with Nori still intimidates me. But I have made SPAM fried rice, and you should too. In the recipe below, I used Lite SPAM and low-sodium soy sauce to reduce the sodium level in the dish and added lots of healthy fresh veggies, ginger, and herbs. Enjoy it as a side with baked fish or as a main meal with a green salad. You can even scoop it into large Iceberg lettuce leaves for a fun, hand-held appetizer.
Whatever you do, give SPAM a chance.
Hawaiian SPAM Pineapple Fried Rice
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 ounces Lite SPAM, diced
3 scallions, thinly sliced (reserve some of the green part for garnish)
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 small red or green chili (the more the seeds the hotter the flavor)
2 cups leftover cooked white rice
1 cup diced pineapple, preferably fresh
1 to2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped (salted or unsalted)
1. In a wok or a large skillet over high heat, warm sesame oil. Add the SPAM and saute 2 minutes. Add scallions, red bell pepper, ginger, and chili; saute 3 minutes, or until SPAM is lightly browned all over. Add cooked rice, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add pineapple, soy sauce, and macadamia nuts; stir until well coated and heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the scallion greens and serve immediately.