Spam Musubi
Written By
Pedro Conol
April 25, 2024

Spam Musubi

One of the most notorious foods associated with Hawaii surprisingly, doesn’t come from the islands. There’s no denying that Spam has become a local favorite, but how and why? Of all the delicious foods in Hawaiian Cuisine, how did this canned Special Processed American Meat become a staple of Paradise?

The humble beginnings of this favorite ingredient in Hawaiian culture can be traced back to the early 1940’s. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Spam was included in aid packages to help supplement food supplies. As the war impacted trade lanes, Spam became more popular with food distributors. Spam was also issued to U.S. Troops in their rations and the increase of military personnel staged in Hawaii, also helped to introduce the product to civilian populations as a readily available and cheaper alternative to fresh meat.

Today, Spam is a common ingredient on menus in Hawaii, and sometimes is served as a main dish. So much so, that is on the menu at many global chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and 7-Eleven.


For this recipe, we’ll be making one of Hawaii’s favorite comfort foods, Spam Musubi. Although commonly made with a variety of proteins, Spam is perhaps the most popular as it is common in most households. Often described as “Spam Sushi” this treat is a favorite of all ages.


1 can Spam

5 sheets nori (sushi seaweed wraps)

½ cup Aloha Shoyu (Soy) Sauce

2 -3 tbsp sugar

4-5 cups fresh-cooked white rice (medium grain)

Furikake (rice seasoning) *optional

Musubi press *optional

½ cup water

Prepare Ingredients:

1. Remove Spam block and place on its side. If not using a musubi press, set the can aside to be used later. Slice lengthwise into approx. 8-10 even slices. Cut Nori sheets into halves along the middle.

2. Make Sauce: Dissolve Sugar into Shoyu in a small pan and simmer until thickened.

3. Fry Spam Slices until brown and crispy on both sides.

Assemble Ingredients:

1. On a flat surface, place the press onto a halved Nori sheet so that the edges of the press closely align with one end of the sheet.

2. Scoop rice into the press and pack down evenly until halfway full. If not using a press, first form the rice inside the empty Spam can. Turn over formed rice block onto nori sheet and continue assembly.

3. Brush or drizzle sauce on the rice block taking care not to over saturate (it will break apart the rice.) Sprinkle desired amount of Furikake over rice block.

4. Place 1 slice of spam on top of the rice block. Remove the rice and spam by holding down the spam, while lifting the press. You should have a nicely formed block sitting on the Nori Sheet.

5. Wrap the Nori up and over the block securing the loose by spreading a bit of water with your finger.

A short video of the Directions can be found here.

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