Food From My Childhood: SPAM

Sometimes we crave food from our childhood. I had that strong urge to fry up some SPAM recently after noticing a renewed interested in this canned ham concoction. Several asian celebrity chefs have proudly admitted to enjoying this mystery meat now and then. Celebrity chef Roy Choi says SPAM is like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of Hawaii…a real staple. Sushi Musubi made with seared SPAM, sushi rice and wrapped in roasted seaweed…sounds just too good to be true.

Kalbi Style SPAM Musubi

But just like many prepared foods we grew up with, it was something my parents would quickly make when they were exhausted from work. I knew it can’t be good for me. Somehow this cheap substitute became a delicacy of sorts. Actually, I was surprised to find it wasn’t so cheap. In my local grocers it had top shelf presence with a whopping $4.97 price tag.

Without my non-asian husband noticing, I’ve managed to keep the can in the kitchen pantry. Saved for THAT rainy (or effing snowy) day.

There it sat for about two months. I was waiting for the right moment to break open the can. That is, when hubby was out of town on a business trip. This “cat food” he would affectionately call it, definitely would NOT go near  his lips so I wasn’t even going to try. My kids, on the hand, will try anything at least once. Yes, the adventurous and curious eating asian gene kicks in!

While I waited for the right day – treating it as special as a coveted tiny jar of caviar – to break it open. In the meantime, I had visions of fried up SPAM slices draped over a hot bowl of soup noodles with bok choy on the side. A fried egg would lay gently on top. Maybe a side of kimchi for a kick. Mmm….bring me back to MA!

I patiently waited and finally found the right time and I went for it.

Opening the can wasn’t the same as I remembered it. I had mentioned it to my sister. She said “maybe it was the other brand?” was it called Klik? Same thing. But you had to take some strange key looking device to twist around the can to open it back then. I guess that was for those who went camping. Who needs a can opener, right?

All ready to be slurped up I excitedly served it to my little ones.

“Uh, what is that? Is that SPAM?”

They tried it.

The verdict….

Well, let’s just say I had my fix and I’m good for a while now. The kids tried it and well, pushed it aside….and the cats in the ‘hood will be happy.

Maybe I need to go to Hawaii.

But you have to admit…this Hello Kitty Musubi made with SPAM is too cute!

Spam Hello Kitty Musubi













Sonya is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of She is also a well-established contributing lifestyle writer to other sites and magazines sharing her passion for arts & culture, fashion, beauty, travel and food. Sonya is based in Toronto, Canada. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @theculturepearl

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