For The Love Of Spam


Spam (shortened from spiced ham) is a canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation, first introduced in 1937. The labeled ingredients in the classic variety of Spam are chopped pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, and sodium nitrite as a preservative. Spam’s gelatinous glaze, or aspic, forms from the cooling of meat stock.


The product has become part of many jokes and urban legends about mystery meat, which has made it part of pop culture and folklore. Through a Monty Python sketch, in which Spam is portrayed as ubiquitous and inescapable, its name has come to be given to electronic spam, especially spam email.




Paula suggested today’s MLC blog topic: Spam.  Did anyone make it out to the Spam-Jam this past Saturday?


I was never a big lover of Spam.  I ate it when it was thrown into our S&S Saimin along with some kamaboko and green onion.  And I ate it when I used to eat Zip-Pacs.  But other than that – I didn’t go out of my way to find Spam meals or even open a can of Spam at home.


But on our last trip to the mainland, I brought along a few Spam musubi from 7-11.  And you know what?  They tasted ono!  I’m not sure if it was only because I was just starting my vacation and in a happy mood or maybe just because I haven’t had a Spam musubi in a long, long time.  Or maybe because the Spam in the 7-11 musubi is cooked in sato-shoyu.  But I thing I’ve found a new airplane snack.  It’s easy to get.  It’s easy to carry.  It’s easy to eat.  And it isn’t messy.


And if I want to splurge little-bit kine, I’ll go for the “katsu” Spam musubi!  :mrgreen:


Are you a Spam lover?  How do you like to eat your Spam?  Did you grow up eating spam or did you only start eating it after the Spam musubi became popular?  Do you have any good Spam recipes to share?


47 Responses to “For The Love Of Spam”

  1. Rodney says:

    Hey NKHEA – Thanks for joining us! We go do um’ again later on.

  2. LINDA KATO says:

    @4G: Thanks for the welcome back ❗ 😀

    Been running my A/C yesterday and today since it’s so humid ❗

    We had a nice visit with my family on the mainland but it is so nice to be home again ❗ 😀

    I was incredulously “lucky” again in Vegas ❗ 😀 Next trip will be in October 2013 unless I win a FREE one before then ❗ 😀

  3. NKHEA says:

    Howzit UR,

    Thanks for “Give to Live ” invite was good as usual…..btw our neighbors loved it.

    As for spam, das the hawaiian steak man :mrgreen:

  4. Rodney says:

    @lowtone123 – Those cool pics were from 4G, not me. Kudos to 4G!

  5. losthawaiian says:

    Spam, spam, spam, spam and more spam. Since I can’t get my hands on real local food out here in Virginia, I have to improvise and go with what I have. The Costco sells spam in a six-pack so I always have plenty on hand. Sapporo ichiban dried saimin with spam, eggs and green onions or spam musubi ( I do get funny looks at my work).

  6. Lori says:

    I grew up eating spam baked like ham with pineapple and brown sugar; fried slices with eggs and hash browns; and strips in saimin.
    Spam musubi is really popular here in California too, so I keep a few cans on hand, the lite version though. What I’d like to know is if anyone really hangs the cardboard spam car air freshener from their rearview mirror (as seen on an episode of Hawaii Five-0)! I’ve actually had people ask me that question, and ask me to get one for them, lol!

  7. lowtone123 says:

    Cool pics RL! I especially got a kick out of the vintage UH Rainbow uniforms.

  8. 4G says:

    @LK! WB! We missed you! 🙂

    Good to hear you made it back in one piece. LOL @ “frozen popsicle”. You would have been a pool of syrup here the last 10 days. It’s been hot, sticky and muggy here. Thank goodness the trades are back today (only to leave again in a couple of days 🙁 ).

    I hope you had a nice time (in addition to your “road trip!”) visiting with your relatives!

  9. LINDA KATO says:

    OT: We just returned from a 10 day road trip from Omaha, Nebraska to Henderson, Nevada. Our daughter will be attending Touro University to become a certified Physician’s Assistant in 2 years. We drove 1600 miles in 3 days with 15 gas fill ups along the way through Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. It was 11 degrees and snowing in Wyoming. Snowed in Nebraska and Utah too. Thought I would leave as a frozen popsicle! I was so not dressed for winter weather ❗ Of course we stopped at the Cal for 5 days for some Vegas fun. Our daughter’s apt is 20 min. away from the Cal. What a long, fun trip, but would never do it again.

  10. LINDA KATO says:

    We always have a can of spam in our home. Our son loves spam and rice and spam in fried rice.

    4G: Never thought to put portugese sausage in fried rice. I’m sure my son would love that ❗ He likes everything spicy ❗ 😀

  11. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Wednesday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

    Keoni: Nice to hear from you ❗ Glad tax time is done for this year ❗ 😀

  12. KAN says:

    4G: that Time photo album was awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  13. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    Happy May Day!

  14. Mark'75 says:

    @4G: Awesome pics, thanks for posting! Wow, Kalapana Black Sand Beach was so picturesque but now just a lava field that seems to extend to the horizon. So few visitors go there today. Dig those UH Football uniforms!

  15. DIO says:

    Keoni: It’s not Dr. Seuss. It’s Dr. Ay-Seuss. 😉

  16. Rodney says:

    Hi Keoni! How’re you doing? Green Eggs and Spam. Dat’s da Hawaii version. lol

  17. Keoni says:

    Why Dr. Seuss nevah write da sequel: Green Eggs and Spam? 😆

  18. khs68 says:

    @ Rodney: Spam chips. Sometimes on a bad day, you can get spam chips when you order the local deluxe breakfast at McDonald’s. 😆

  19. Rodney says:

    I wonder if anyone has tried making Spam chips…

  20. Rodney says:

    Thanks for the pics, 4G! I like that Windward City Shopping Center photo. Looks like it just opened.

  21. 4G says:

    Totally off topic, but thought it might be of interest to some. Time pics – 1959 Hawaii; in color!

  22. 4G says:

    @khs68 – wait – are you saying had shoyu in London? Wow …. 😉

  23. Mark'75 says:

    @khs68: shoyu on potatoes……I no think so…….

  24. khs68 says:

    We did a tour of Kykuit, the Rockefeller mansion on the Hudson river. All the rooms of the house were left in the same way when the Rockefellers lived there. What a shock to see cans of spam being used to “prop up” the tv set in the den. You mean those rich, shiroi people ate spam? 😆

    When I was in London, a pub/cafe had spam, eggs and mash on the menu. Hard to put shoyu on potatoes. 😆

  25. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    Spam in Okinawa is popular too, and they have it in different flavors.

  26. Dean says:

    There’s a jalapeno Spam at some stores.

    We got a can to try out. It’s OK. But inconsistent.

    My wife put it in the ‘fridge in a Ziploc labeled “Hot Spam.”

    In my mind I was hearing Sting’s song, “Roxanne”, but replacing her name with “HOT Spam!”

  27. Dean says:

    BTW, what we’re eating on the boat is Spam musubi. Not the whole can of Spam. That would be a guaranteed pathway to barfing for me.

  28. Dean says:

    It’s handy when we’re out fishing on a boat. Doesn’t blow away in the wind. And keeps us from starving.

    When I worked at the newspaper I photographed Dolly Parton for an interview (cute and petite as she looks on TV). Very down-to-Earth, too. She joked that her favorite food was “rack of Spam.”

  29. dihudfan says:

    love it… sliced thinly, fried crispy with nori… sliced thick with shoyu, sugar and pineapple… first choice for breakfast… spam and eggs… don’t eat it much now, try to eat more healthy… but wont go out of my way to avoid it…

  30. Mark'75 says:

    for real, no? 😆

  31. sally says:

    @Mark’75: They got repulsed by Spam but were okay with the episode on Balut? LOL

  32. Mark'75 says:

    Didn’t those guys who eat bizarre things on cable tv get repulsed by spam when they came to Hawaii? Eh, we get something on them!

  33. Mark'75 says:

    I think I’m part spam by now. Yes, I love it! But, I’ve tapered off a bit.

    Yeah, used to burn me up too when the key broke, the pull tab is sooo easy now.

  34. volleymom2 says:

    Love spam? Not really… but I am crazy about spam musubi. didn’t really eat a lot of it until spam musubi became the “in” thing. but mom used to bake it with brown sugar, pineapple, and cloves. One year.. this student used to always make spam musubi and it was fundraise her way to japan. I used to tell her that I was paying half her ticket.

  35. lowtone123 says:

    Like Spam…yes. Love Spam…uh, like couldn’t live without it…well…no. If it’s served I’ll eat some but I wouldn’t go through a rainstorm to get a Spam Musubi fix. My mom used to slice Spam and do it up with pineapple and brown sugar and bake it in the oven like ham. Simple is best I say, local style breakfast with rice, eggs over easy on top of the rice with two slices of spam fried extra crispy.

  36. sally says:

    Spam Musubi Recipe
    The last time I made spam musubi was maybe 15 or more yrs ago (?)

    2Tbsp shoyu
    2Tbsp sugar
    1Tbsp mirin

    Cook spam in sauce until sauce is thickened on the meat (and I use the term meat very loosely LOL)
    Make your spam musubi as usual, but add FRESH (not canned) fukujinzuke underneath the spam.

    I used to get my fukujinzuke from S. Taniguchi Store on Beretania St, that should give you an idea how long it’s been. I haven’t yet found anywhere that sells one that tastes as good, I just quit eating it. The Shirokiya ones are way too salty. Canned one is, well, canned. blech.

    LOL at least I have good memories of Spam Musubi!

  37. KAN says:

    @Sally – out of the blue, last night, Dad said “can you think of any other can besides corned beef these days that requires a key to open?” That made my mom and me stop and think. Nope, can’t think of any. Dad (and I) remembered when sardine and Spam cans had keys, and Dad remembers when vienna sausage cans had ’em.

  38. KAN says:


    I make spam hash browns. I cube up the spam, fry it a little, take ’em out of the pan, then fry up some (defrosted) hash browns. Once the browns get brown & crispy, I add the spam back in and mix ’em up. I add a little pepper and dried onions. Brok’ da mout’.

  39. 4G says:

    Did anyone make it out to the Spam-Jam this past Saturday?

    Nope; certainly not me! 😉

    Are you a Spam lover?

    Nah, not really. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. I tend to avoid it, but won’t absolutely refuse to eat it . . . .

    How do you like to eat your Spam?

    As little as possible! LOL. I have a can of Spam in my pantry (heaven knows how old it is, though!). I view it was a possible emergency ration (you know, in event of hurricane, tsunami, extended power outage, etc.). Notice, I said “possible”. 😉

    Did you grow up eating Spam or did you only start eating it after the Spam musubi became popular?

    I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know what Spam was. I think it was a few too many “Spam and egg” (quickie) dinners growing up that I had that cemented my “take it or leave it, and mostly leave it” attitude toward Spam. I remember Spam in home saimin, but much prefer char siu. Even better, is the Japanese style cha siu found in ramen. Now, that’s good! LOL. Oh – Spam in fried rice is okay, but I like Portugese sausage better! 😉

    I find Spam musubi the best when you’re really hungry (duh – as in most things), like after swimming at the beach, while golfing, or on long plane rides. One of the best “nutritious”-type snacks on plane rides, I have found, are hand roll sushi – stuff like natto and ume rolls. Mmmmm! Kozo is pretty convenient to pick-up a bunch and stash in your carry-on. Plus, the natto and ume rolls keep pretty well. And, the hand rolls are not as messy as a full-size Spam musubi. 😉

    So – in fairness to the mystery meat, I decided to give it another go this morning. I think I read (was it last year?) that 7-11 is supposed to have the “best” Spam musubi. So I went out and got one this morning – the “teriyaki” one. I was really tempted by the “katsu” one, but thought it not quite “traditional” enough for my “second chance” test. LOL. Meh, it’s a Spam musubi! LOL. Hand roll sushi is definitely easier to eat (not as messy), but I must say that a warm Spam musubi in the morning is more appealing than a refrigerated tuna hand roll! LOL.

    Do you have any good Spam recipes to share?

    Not really, but does anyone remember doing Spam up like a ham? LOL – you know, take it whole, out of the can. Make crosscuts in it like you would on a ham, stick a clove in each “diamond” and glaze it with something like pineapples and pineapple syrup.

  40. eddyo says:

    Hey Rod,

    Last year when I went over to NYC, I heard about a L&L Drive-In & an automat somewhere near Times Square that sold Spam musubi! When I thought about it, why the hell was I even thinkin’ about this stuff on vacation–didn’t go, but completely understand if you were away from Hawaii for awhile or needed something on the plane over.

  41. sally says:

    Drove me nuts when the key broke and you had to get creative to open the can! HAHAHAHA!

    *young ‘uns are going “key”?* LOL

  42. sally says:

    In the days when I did eat Spam, there were a lot of ways to prepare it.
    Spam and cabbage
    Spam and long beans
    Spam and pineapple w/ brown sugar
    Spam and tofu
    Spam won ton
    In da saimin
    In fried rice
    etc etc etc…

  43. sally says:

    I’m no purist, I’ll have an occasional spam musubi a couple of times a year, but I’m not a real Spam Fan lol.

    When I moved into an apt in 2001, I bought a can because no respectable home in Hawaii would be without one. When I moved out in 2011… ten yrs later… that can was still in the cupboard, shoved way in the back.

    Needless to say I threw it away.

    I don’t dislike Spam, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat one.

  44. M says:

    Good morning MLCers!
    I love spam! I’ll eat it anyway it’s prepared. Spam musubi is my favorite go to food. If there’s nothing else to eat at home there’s always spam and rice.

  45. Masako says:

    Good Morning! Spam used to be one of my favorite foods, until I found out what’s in it and the process they use to make it. I grew up eating the stuff, in saimin, for breakfast, in stir frys and then in spam musubi. When I used to be too lazy to use ground pork, I would put a spam in the food processor than add chopped string beans and make crispy gau gee, that used to taste good! Another favorite was to stir fry spam with bittermelon and eggs. Spam also taste good grilled.

  46. 72view says:

    Carol just made that for dinner with togan and a sato shoyu sauce…simply delicious!!!… I like my spam sliced thin and fried crispy served separately along with an ume musubi…uhoh!…now I’m hungry…lol

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