Spam musubi is a classic Hawaiian snack or on-the-go lunch, made with a slice of seared spam on top of rice, all wrapped in crispy seaweed! It has a delicious soy sauce glaze that makes each bite extra flavorful.

I find myself craving Hawaiian food SO often. It’s just so flavorful and the meat is always perfectly tender! You’ll have to try this Hawaiian-style garlic shrimp, slow cooker kalua pork or poke bowl recipe next!

2 spam musubi stacked on top of each other.

Spam Musubi Recipe

If you’ve never had musubi before, I know what you’re thinking. Spam, rice, and seaweed? Trust me, it’s one of those things you just need to try. Every time I get Hawaiian takeout, I have to get me one of these bad boys. The spam is so savory and seared to perfection, covered with a delicious soy sauce glaze. The soft white rice and hint of crispiness from the seaweed makes musubi have the best texture ever!

Musubi is a variation of Japanese onigiri, so if you’ve ever had that, the taste is similar! Once you make some spam musubi at home, you’re going to want it all the time. They taste amazing when you serve them fresh, but you can also easily wrap them up in plastic wrap, store them in the fridge, and enjoy them later!

Ingredients Needed

Hawaiian Spam musubi is such a quick and easy snack, and you only need a few simple ingredients to make it! Check out the recipe card below to see the exact measurements I used.

  • Spam: The star of the show! This iconic canned meat has a salty, savory flavor and a texture that’s perfect for grilling or pan-frying. It’s a popular ingredient in Hawaiian cuisine and is a must-have for making musubi.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds a rich umami flavor to the musubi filling. Just a few tablespoons are all you need to take your musubi to the next level.
  • Granulated Sugar: A little sweetness goes a long way in balancing out the salty flavor of the Spam and soy sauce.
  • Nori Seaweed: A type of edible seaweed that’s dried and pressed into thin sheets, nori is an essential component of musubi. Its slightly salty, earthy flavor complements the Spam and rice filling perfectly, and its texture adds a satisfying crunch!
  • Short Grain Rice: The foundation of the musubi! Short grain rice, also known as sushi rice, is a sticky, slightly sweet variety of rice that holds together well when shaped into musubi.
  • Japanese Rice Vinegar: Adds a subtle sweet and tangy flavor to the rice.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt helps enhance the flavor of the rice and also brings out all the other flavors in the musubi filling.
  • Water: The final ingredient, but perhaps the most important! Water is essential for cooking the rice and getting it to the perfect texture for making musubi. Be sure to use the right amount of water and follow the cooking instructions carefully to ensure that your rice turns out perfectly every time.
4-photo collage of spam being prepared.

How to Make Spam Musubi

I know it looks like a lot of steps, but once you get the hang of making musubi you’ll be able to whip them up in no time! I’ve broken this recipe down into 3 parts. Preparing the spam, preparing the rice, and then putting everything together!

  1. Remove Spam: Remove the spam from the can by squeezing the sides and shaking it until the spam comes out in one piece. SAVE THE CAN for assembling the musubi.
  2. Slice: Cut the spam into 9 equal slices. 9 slices allow the slices to be the perfect thickness for musubi, but you can cut them to your desired thickness.
  3. Prepare Skillet: Lightly spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray and add the spam slices to the pan. Heat over medium-high heat.
  4. Pan Fry: Fry the slices for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  5. Glaze: Whisk together the soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the spam with the mixture. Continue to cook until the sauce starts to thicken and caramelize. It will create a sweet glaze that clings to the spam and makes it delicious!

Sushi Rice

  • Wash Rice: Rinse the rice with cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Cook: Cook the rice on the stovetop, in a rice cooker, or in the Instant Pot. If you use a rice cooker or Instant pot, cook the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. My rice cooker takes 4 cups of water to cook 3 cups of rice.
  • Vinegar Mixture: While the rice is cooking, add the rice vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan. Then heat over medium-high heat and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Combine: Transfer the cooked rice to a large mixing bowl. Then pour the vinegar mixture over the rice and use a spatula to fold the mixture into the rice.
  • Cool: Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let the rice cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature.

To Assemble

  1. Prepare Can: Wash the spam can and be careful so you don’t cut your fingers! Dry the can and then line it with saran wrap leaving an overlay of extra wrap.
  2. Rice Layer: Spoon about ¼ cup of sushi rice into the bottom of the can.
  3. Add Spam: Place a slice of cooked spam on top of the rice in the can.
  4. Shape: Gather the excess plastic wrap and then gently push it down shaping it into the mold of the can. Pull the musubi out of the can by lifting the gathered plastic wrap up.
  5. Place on Nori: Remove the plastic wrap from the musubi and then place the spam side down onto the nori. Center it in the middle of the wrapper. Wrap the strip of nori tightly around the musubi and seal it using your finger dipped in water.
  6. Enjoy: Serve musubi warm or chilled. It’s so perfect for an on-the-go snack!
3-photo collage of the snack being assembled.

Tips and Tricks

Musubi is super simple to make, but here are a few ways you can perfect it and make it your own! You’re going to love this savory Hawaiian snack.

  • Type of Rice: I like to use Botan Calrose rice.
  • Musubi Thickness: The thickness of your spam slices and the rice-to-spam ratio is entirely up to you.
  • Add Vinegar Mixture Slowly: Add the vinegar mixture to the rice a little at a time. This is to ensure the rice doesn’t get too wet. It still needs to be sticky to keep it’s shape.
  • Using Different Meat: Musubi is most commonly made with Spam, but I’ve also seen it made with teriyaki chicken and beef! You’ll have to try a few different varieties!

Top-down view of 3 spam musubi.

Storing Leftover Musubi

Congratulations! You’ve made a delicious batch of musubi and now you’re wondering how to store the leftovers. Don’t worry, it’s easy and you can keep enjoying your tasty treats for days to come. First things first, let your musubi cool down completely before storing them. Nobody likes warm, soggy musubi. Once they’ve cooled, wrap each musubi tightly in plastic wrap. This will help keep them fresh and prevent any unwanted moisture from seeping in.

  • In the Refrigerator: Musubi will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure it’s wrapped tightly in plastic wrap so it stays fresh!
  • In the Freezer: Want to save your musubi for longer? No problem! Wrap each musubi tightly in plastic wrap, then pop them in a freezer-safe bag. They’ll stay fresh for up to two months in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat them, let them thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat them in the microwave or over the stove.

2 musubi on a stoneware plate. One has a bite taken out of it.

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