How to Make Spam Musubi

4.96 from 25 votes
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You don’t need to fly to Hawaii to try this tasty authentic Hawaiian Spam Musubi. With this easy recipe you can make it yourself at home!

Spam Musubi, rice and spam wrapped in seaweed, on a bamboo sheet

What is Spam Musubi?

OK, I know what you are thinking right now. What the heck is Musubi? Maybe the next thing you are thinking is “EW…SPAM!” Am I right? The only people who might know what this is are those of you visiting this site from Hawaii or another Pacific island (I’m sure you know exactly what Spam Musubi is).

For those of you who have never lived in or visited Hawaii, allow me to enlighten you for a moment. Spam became increasingly popular in Hawaii after WWII, it was sent to the troops stationed in Hawaii and kind of spread from there. It was cheap. It was easy to cook. And it still is! It is actually one of the staple foods there still today.

A piece of spam musubi

What is Spam?

Spam is a canned meat made mostly with ham. When I lived in Hawaii I had SPAM all the time, mainly because it was pretty much all I could afford. I had it for breakfast with eggs and rice. I had it for dinner with noodles and rice. And for lunch, I made this Spam Musubi. You can buy Spam Musubi in Hawaii at any grocery store or gas station. On the mainland, it is available in most grocery stores where you buy canned meats.

I know you are skeptical, I was too until I tried it. Even if you aren’t the biggest fan of SPAM, this is worth a try! I made it for some of my family members last week and they all were pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Think of it as a Hawaiian hot dog… really, it’s good! Don’t knock it til you try it!

Spam frying in a pan

Make your own Musubi mold

First of all, you will need to make or buy a Musubi mold (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases). I didn’t want to fork out $10 to have one sent to me from Hawaii so I made my own. First, you will need to get a mini SPAM can (you will need SPAM anyway to make the Musubi). If you use the full size can, cut it down to about half the original height. Clean it out well with soap and water. CAREFULLY cut off the bottom with a utility knife or an exact-o knife, then cover the sharp edges with electrical tape or duct tape (make sure the tape you use it NON-lead based).

More Tasty Authentic Hawaiian Recipes:

Three pieces of spam musubi

Spam Musubi

4.96 from 25 votes
You don’t need to fly to Hawaii to try this tasty authentic Hawaiian Spam Musubi. With this easy recipe you can make it yourself at home!
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 8

Video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Slice the SPAM into about 8-10 slices (depending on how thick you like it) and put in a Ziplock bag. Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar until sugar is dissolved and add to the bag with the SPAM. Marinate for about 15 minutes.
  • Drain off marinade and fry SPAM on each side over medium heat until slightly crispy or until desired doneness. Some people like to glaze the SPAM with the marinade/sauce AFTER frying, either way tastes great! 
  • Place a strip of nori on a cutting board or clean surface (shiny side down). Place your Musubi mold across the middle of the nori. Add Sushi Rice to the mold, pressing down firmly and evenly, so there is about 1-1 ½ inches of rice. (dip the mold and your fingers in water as you go to prevent sticking)  
  • Next, remove the mold from the rice. Now you will have a nice little block of rice right on the nori. Add some of the cooked spam to the top. Wrap up one side of the nori and stick it to the top of the SPAM, then wrap up the other side. Just like you are wrapping a nice little package. Use a little water on your finger to seal if needed. Serve warm.
  • Some like it dipped in soy sauce, some like it with ketchup, and some like it as is.
    A piece of spam musubi

Notes

If you are making a lot and saving it. Wrap individually in some plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. When you are ready to eat it, unwrap and place in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 9gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 1210mgPotassium: 202mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.6mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. Hey, I always made my spam marinade with shoyu, mirin and sugar, but I’m gonna try the oyster sauce instead of mirin.
    ‘nother question: do you think it’s fine to use left over rice? I read that someone else had the problem of an impossible nori and they were told to let the heat from the rice make it softer, do you think it’s possible to just leave it for 10 mins, even if the rice is cold to begin with?

  2. 5 stars
    We love Hawaii so much! These really brought us back to our vacation and we had fun making them. So full of flavor! Thank you for sharing these!

  3. 5 stars
    We are currently missing a Hawaiian vacation that we’re supposed to be on so this was a nice way to bring Hawaii to us! Totally impressed my husband so thank you.

  4. For the marinade, it indicates to use Regular Kikkoman soy sauce. Will it be just as good with Light Kikkoman soy sauce – that’s what I have on the shelf. I’m going to try this out this evening. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    1. Paul Kim here from Hawaii I cannot find a good heavy duty spam slicer does anyone know where to find one that isn’t just plastic? I saw a great one on Andrew Zimmern but I can’t find a good one anywhere thank you

  5. How long do you cook the spam? I feel the batch I made burned a little. I also made another batch and cooked less but the spam didn’t Brown very much. Any suggestions?

  6. This recipe turns out fine it does taste great. It seems like a big waste with the amount soy sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce that goes into it. I poured most of it down the sink. Also, oyster sauce has a TON of salt in it. With the amount of salt already in Spam, I don’t find it necessary. A lot of recipes tell you to brown the Spam a bit, and then add a small amount sugar, soy, water, and maybe a dab of oyster sauce to the pan to carmelize it. You could also just use a low-sodium store bought asian marinade.

  7. 5 stars
    I have made Spam musubi a few times and this time my teenaged son wanted to make it — I liked your clear recipe instructions and the marinade ingredients sounded good. It was SO GOOD — this is our new favorite. So delicious and the marinade keeps the Spam tender. There was enough marinade for two cans-worth of Spam.

    1. Hi Jessica- so happy to hear you and your so liked this Musubi recipe! Thanks for sharing how much spam you could marinate with the marinade. Glad you could get a full 2 cans worth!

  8. Thank you for the recipe! I find the sugar has a hard time dissolving. Is it really 1/2 cup of sugar we should be using?

    1. Yes that is the correct amount. If you find it hard for the sugar to dissolve you can heat it on the stove until it dissolves and then allow it to cool to room temp before marinating. Hope this helps!

  9. Hi, I make my sauce for the musubi the same way, but I’m trying to figure out what it’s called? Does it even have a name?

    1. I don’t know if it actually has a name– if I were to choose one I would just call it “sweet oyster sauce”. 🙂

    1. Please no offense! I meant it in the way that it is common. Of course Musubi tastes way better than a hot dog 😉

  10. 5 stars
    Nice! I think my favorite recipe so far. I went to Hawaii for a relative’s wedding and got interested there — strangely I never bought it there, so I’m not totally sure but it seems WAY better when you eat it right away because the rice is the soft and the seaweed is crunchy. Hard to understand how you can wrap it and eat it later when the seaweed gets so soggy and the rice might get dry and crunchy. BTW I bought a musubi maker online for like $5 and maybe another $5 for shipping, it’s a big advantage! I had leftovers this morning with some flattened scrambled egg, a bowl of warm brown rice and some cut up seaweed crisped in the oven — made little breakfast tacos! Delicious!

    1. Wow thank you for the nice comment! I will have to look into the store-bought makers. Definitely would be easier than a spam can haha I love musubi the next day, even if the seaweed is soft. If you wrap it nice and tight in plastic wrap, the rice shouldn’t get dry. Hope this help! Thanks for kind comment and for the 5 stars!

  11. 5 stars
    My husband is part Hawaiian but doesn’t know much about the food because he moved to the mainland when he was two. A couple of years ago I wanted to make an authentic Hawaiian dish for his birthday. The musubi I made has become a staple. The version I make has a glaze. I look forward to trying this method. I saw all the other Hawaiian recipes here and feel like I’ve hit the gold mine. Thanks for sharing these!!

  12. 4 stars
    I just tried this for the first time tonight. It tastes great. The only problem I’m having is that it’s almost impossible to bite through the nori. it just refuses to break, and I end up either ripping the musubi apart, or having to stuff the whole thing into my mouth. Any suggestions on what I may be doing wrong?

    1. It could be the brand of nori you are getting? Maybe try moistening the nori using a damp paper towel before wrapping. Let me know if that works. In the meantime I will keep brainstorming..

      1. Thanks for the reply. I refrigerated two of them, and the next day, they were fine. Maybe I was trying to eat them too soon? I’m doing another batch today. I’ll have to experiment a bit and see how they turn out.

      2. A good low sodium alternative to soy sauce is Braggs liquid aminos. Also for a spicy twist add chili paste (not the same as siracha sauce although that too is just as good).

    2. Make the musubi while the rice is hot or warm. After you make it wrap it in saran wrap for a few minutes. The heat from the rice will moisten the seaweed and will keep the musubi together:)

    3. After wrapping the musubi with nori, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap so the heat from the rice and spam will soften the nori so it will not be chewy. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

      1. 5 stars
        It’s all about the sauce and this recipe nailed it! My husband never had it and raved about it. Thanks for the aloha 🌈🌈🌈

    4. It says to make the Sushi rice without the vinegar mixture. The linked recipe says to use white wine vinegar to make the rice. I assume that’s the vinegar mixture you’re talking about. So, you make the sushi rice with only salt, sugar, and water (no white wine vinegar)?

      1. I’m from Hawaii and we make it different. We usually soak it in just a shoyu (soy sauce, aloha brand) and sugar mixture. You can also just cook the sauce with spam and does not require soaking. Another option would be to use Yoshida sauce. After you add the spam, we add furikaki, which is a rice seasoning. No rice vinegar needed for rice.

    5. Buy better sushi nori. Bags are colored to identify the difference. Green, blue, silver, gold. Gold being the best quality. Make sure it’s from Japan as well.

  13. My next door neighbor brings these to me when she make them for her husband. She just had a new baby so I don’t want to bother her for the recipe so I’m glad I found yours on pinterest.

    I’m going to feature this on a list of “exotic” recipes in March on my blog iamzoewatson.com. I know this is early to tell you, but I’m doing research now for the post. The aim of my writing will be to help my readers expand their dinner menus to include more exciting “exotic” dishes. I’ll let you know when the blog post publishes!

    Thanks again for posting this!

  14. 5 stars
    if you can find an Hawaiian BBQ place near you, they usually carry Musubi. I am so glad to have a recipe for this now. There was a place near where I worked in the South Seattle area that made KICKIN Musubi.

  15. 5 stars
    I visited Hawaii a couple times before i moved here three years ago. Musubi is a staple grab and go breakfast… Like, from the gas station. I just started making my own after i bought my mold at walmart. This recipe really nails the marinade which is crucial. I sub Bragg’s Aminos though and use the Roast Turkey Spam which is not in every store- but I think it holds up a little better and may take the marinade a little better too. thanks!!! Aloha!

  16. 5 stars
    Oh YES. Those sweet memories of Musubi. My friend lives in Hawaii and turned me onto this wonderful stuff. Your very right. Don’t Knock it till you’ve tried it. I LOVE IT. I bought my mold at Walmart in Hawaii and brought it home with me. My Family thought I had lost my mind, till they tried it. This is what the children take for lunch. Yes, cheap meal and filling. Thanks for Sharing…..