Spam musubi is an easy snack or lunch made with rice topped with fried slices of spam and wrapped in nori seaweed. Add sweet and savory teriyaki sauce, furikake, and egg (tamagoyaki) to upgrade this delicious Hawaiian snack!
Spam musubi is a delightfully salty, umami-filled snack that's fantastic for using up day-old rice. It's ready in only 10 minutes and requires just a few ingredients - spam, cooked rice, and nori.
It's perfect as an after-school snack, a quick grab-and-go lunch, or my favorite - a late-night snack while walking around Hawaii! If you like spam musubi, try these other rice ball recipes - Onigiri, Yaki Onigiri, Jumeokbap.
What is spam musubi?
Spam musubi is an easy lunch or snack that's made with pan-fried spam slices placed on top of warm rice. The whole thing is wrapped with a strip of nori to hold it all together.
It's thought to originate from Hawaii as a result of the availability of Spam after World War II. Spam musubi soon became a popular staple in Hawaiian cuisine and is sold in most convenience stores, grocery stores, and casual restaurants.
How to Make Spam Musubi
- First, fry the spam slices in a bit of oil until the surface is crispy. Tip: For more flavor, make a quick musubi sauce, which is actually teriyaki sauce. Add equal parts soy sauce, sugar, and mirin to the pan and let it reduce and thicken during the last 2 minutes of cooking. The result is glazed teriyaki-flavored spam that's great over rice.
- Second, using the spam container or a musubi mold, add the cooked rice and press down firmly to create a rectangular shape.
- Top with furikake seasoning or a slice of tamagoyaki, which is a Japanese rolled omelet that's a popular pairing with spam musubi.
- Next, top with the fried slice of spam and then wrap the nori strip around the whole thing, keeping the spam in place. Brush on any remaining musubi sauce and enjoy!
More Hawaiian Recipes
More Spam Recipes
- Pan-fry spam: Heat a pan over medium-high heat and fry the spam slices in a bit of oil. Optional sauce: In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the soy sauce, sugar, and mirin to the pan and let it reduce and coat the spam pieces.
- Form rice layer: Add ½ cup of cooked rice to an empty spam container lined with plastic wrap or to a musubi mold. Firmly press it down with the back of a spoon or the mold lid. Aim for 1⅔ inch height or more, depending on the thickness of the spam slices. Add more rice if needed. If using, sprinkle furikake on top. Repeat with the remaining rice for a total of three musubi.
- Add spam and nori: Place the spam slices on top of the rice and wrap the musubi with strips of nori, placing it seam side down. If using, brush any remaining musubi sauce on top of the spam and serve. Enjoy!
✎ Recipe Notes
- Spam - If you prefer less salt, use low-sodium Spam (which is what I used). Regular spam can be quite salty for some, so I recommend using thinner slices or adding more rice.
*Nutritional information is an estimate, calculated using online tools.
Musubi and onigiri mean the same thing - rice balls. They are used interchangeably in Japan though some regions use one more commonly than the other.
This was amazing! My Hawaiian friend introduced me to this recipe and I am so glad she did! I love it for a light lunch or snack. The sauce is AMAZING and has a wonderful flavor. Thanks for sharing.
That's great to hear Susan! Thanks for trying the recipe! 🙂