Teriyaki Spam Musubi. Pan-fried spam with a homemade teriyaki glaze packed with sushi rice and wrapped in roasted seaweed.
A delicious and popular Hawaiian dish that is easy to make at home. This is a popular foreign food that residents of Hawaii love! It's sold at many shops.
This is one of my favorite foods as a savory snack if I have a can of spam lying around with leftover rice. If you love teriyaki spam and rice with nori, then this is the dish for you.
Great on its own
Spam musubi is best served on its own, for diner, lunch or delicious as quick snacks. It's my favorite food when I'm feeling a bit indulgent because it's an easy snack to throw together. I wouldn't say it's a complete meal, but you can have it with some veggies or whatever you'd like to make it feel complete.
No Musubi Press Required
This great recipe does not require a spam musubi mold or a musubi maker. You can simply use the can that your spam comes in. This is my personal preference to keep things simple. Alternatively, you can also use your hands to mold the layer rice into a rectangular block, but this can be challenging.
Popular in Hawaii
Spam musubi is a very popular thing to eat in Hawaii. After the World War II, canned meat was heavily available as it was imported from the United States. It's very similar to a Japanese onigiri.
Spam Musubi is a wonderful Hawaiian snack, and you can find it in the convenience store or gas stations in Hawaii. And now you don't have to travel to the Hawaiian Islands to have Hawaiian spam musubi!
It’s okay if it’s not pretty!
If this is your first spam musubi in the making, don't panic if it's not perfect! I will show you step by step how to make this popular Hawaiian snack. If you don’t assemble it properly, it’s okay because it’s the taste that matters the most and remember that practice makes perfect.
Save the Spam Can
Although this is a spam musubi recipe without the mold, we are still going to use the spam can. Just make sure to clean it with some soap and water before using.
The below teriyaki spam musubi ingredients are required. ***Please scroll down to the below Recipe card for full measurements***
- Short-grain rice: aka Sushi rice or Calrose rice is recommended for this dish.
- Spam: We're using reduced sodium spam but feel free to use regular spam.
- Nori Seaweed: We are simply cutting a strip of nori into vertical strips to wrap the entire musubi to hold the elements together.
- Vegetable oil: or any neutral tasting oil like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or canola oil to fry the spam.
Teriyaki sauce for spam musubi:
- Regular soy sauce: We'll be using equal parts soy sauce. Make sure to use regular all-purpose soy sauce and not light or dark soy sauce. Regular soy sauce will be labelled as "Soy Sauce".
- Mirin: Most Asian grocery stores or online retailers like Amazon will sell this item. It's a sweet cooking wine that tastes nothing like alcohol.
- Cooking sake: Most Asian grocery stores or online retailers like Amazon will sell this item. It's commonly used in Japanese cooking.
- Rice vinegar: Most Asian grocery stores or online retailers like Amazon will sell this item. You can also use white vinegar too.
Required: large non-stick skillet
How to make Teriyaki Spam Musubi
Below are brief steps and images on how to make this spam musubi but please scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions:
- Rinse your uncooked white rice in water a few times. Cook rice in a rice cooker. Season hot rice with sugar, salt and rice vinegar.
- Cover and let it cool down to room temperature as you prepare other ingredients.
- Lay spam on a clean surface. Cut spam into 5 equal pieces. Clean and reserve the spam can for later.
- In a small bowl, combine regular soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add vegetable oil. Fry slices of spam in a single layer for 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side, until pinkish golden. Do not go above medium-high heat.
- Pour sauce over cooked spam slices and let it fry in sauce for 1 minute on each side until it becomes a thick glaze. Remove spam from hot pan and transfer to an oiled plate to prevent the spam from sticking to plate.
- Note: Do not leave spam in pan as the teriyaki glaze will start to burn it with the residual heat.
- Line the can of spam with a large piece of plastic wrap.
- Divide seasoned rice into 5 equal portions using a wet rice paddle.
- Scoop 1 equal amount of rice into base of lined spam can.
- Cover the rice with the plastic wrap. Then using your fingers, pack the rice into base of can until top is flat. Note: Be careful not to cut yourself along the sharp edges of the can, feel free to use a utensil to help you with this step.
- Remove the rice from can by pulling the cling film out and unwrap it.
- On a clean work surface, cut your nori sheet horizontally into 5 equal sized strips.
- Wet your hands and place a slice of spam on top of the rice. Shiny side up.
- Wrap nori strip around the whole thing. Repeat process for remaining ingredients. Enjoy!
Below are tips on making the best spam musubi:
Season rice while hot
This allows for the seasoning to really penetrate the rice granules. It’ll also be easier to mix when the rice is piping hot versus warm.
Cover rice to keep moist
This is super important. Otherwise, your rice will not stick when you press it
Cut spam into equal portions
On a flat surface, slice spam into equal pieces. I like them thicker but if you like them thinner, feel free to do that too.
Fry the spam until golden and no further
Fry spam for just 1.5-2 minutes per side over medium heat until pinkish golden. Do not raise flame to medium high heat or it'll burn.
Do not overcook
If you do, your piece of spam will burn in the sauce if you let it cook past 5 minutes. You only want to glaze the spam in the sauce for 2 minutes in total at most!
Use the spam can and plastic wrap or cling wrap
This will help you so much versus molding the rice yourself. Be sure to use a sheet of plastic wrap to line the can to make it easier when you remove the rice block.
Use wet hands when handling your rice block
Short grain rice is a sticky rice. Wet your hands with a little bit of water as this prevents the rice from sticking to your hands as you assemble your musubi
Keep piece of nori inside the package until assembly time
Roasted seaweed tends to draw on surrounding moisture in the air making it less crispy or crunchy. So, I keep the sheet of nori by keeping it in the packaging until you're ready to assemble.
Cut a strip of seaweed
Cut them into vertical pieces. You can make them thicker if you'd like.
Below are frequently asked questions about this spam musubi with teriyaki sauce:
How long will this last?
This can be kept for 4 days refrigerated.
Can I store spam musubi in the fridge for later?
You can but just wrap it in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. To reheat, microwave for 20-30 seconds without the plastic wrap. Warning: the nori will be moist.
Can I use long grain rice instead?
I would not recommend that as the rice will not stick together. Short grain Japanese rice is the best for this dish.
May I use the less sodium version of spam?
Yes, go for it!
What is Spam musubi sauce made of?
There are many different variations of it! Some use a simple soy sugar base while others use oyster sauce. However, my teriyaki spam musubi recipe is without oyster sauce. My teriyaki sauce is homemade and is made of three simple ingredients: regular soy sauce, mirin and cooking sake.
What’s the best teriyaki sauce for spam musubi?
The best kind is homemade to be honest! It’s so easy to make as it only requires three simple ingredients: regular soy sauce, mirin and sake. However, teriyaki sauce can be found at most grocery stores. So, choose one that you enjoy! I like the Kikkoman one.
What is the difference between musubi and onigiri?
Onigiri is a rice ball shaped in a triangle wrapped in nori. The dish originates from Japan, and it can contain ingredients like tuna with mayo, crab meat, spam, sweet fish roe, and more.
Musubi is a Hawaiian Japanese fusion dish, and the shape is rectangular consisting of spam, sushi rice and roasted seaweed.
What sides go with Spam musubi?
Teriyaki Spam Musubi is a dish that you usually eat on its own as a snack, but you can definitely pair it with a side of vegetables to make it healthier.
Is Spam musubi good for you?
I wouldn’t say it’s a health food as spam is high in sodium and it’s quite high in fat content but it’s darn delicious and sometimes you have to indulge!
Is Spam musubi Hawaiian or Japanese?
It’s a Hawaiian Japanese fusion dish.
Other rice sandwich recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed my teriyaki spam musubi recipe, you may enjoy these other recipes:
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Teriyaki Spam Musubi
- Rinse your uncooked rice in water a few times. Then boil it until cooked. Season hot rice with sugar, salt and rice vinegar. Cover and let it cool down as you prepare other ingredients.
- Lay spam flat on the cutting board. Slice spam into 5 equal pieces. Clean and reserve the spam can for later.
- In a bowl, combine regular soy sauce, mirin, and sake.
- In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, add vegetable oil and fry spam for 1 ½ to 2 minutes per side, until pinkish golden.
- Pour sauce over spam and let it fry in sauce for 1 minute on each side. Remove spam from hot pan and transfer to an oiled plate to prevent the spam from sticking to plate. Do not leave spam in pan as the teriyaki glaze will start to burn it with the residual heat.
- Line the spam can with a large piece of plastic wrap.
- Divide seasoned rice into 5 equal portions using a wet rice paddle. Scoop 1 portion into base of lined spam can. Cover the rice with the plastic wrap. Then using your fingers, pack the rice into base of can until top is flat. Be careful not to cut yourself along the edges of the can, feel free to use a utensil to help you with this step.
- Remove the rice from can by pulling the cling film out and unwrap it.
- Cut your nori sheet horizontally into 5 equal sized strips.
- Wet your hands and place a piece of glazed spam on top.
- Wrap a strip of nori around it. Repeat process for remaining ingredients. Enjoy!