spam, wonderful spam

Warning: This is not a vegetarian-friendly post!

spam can.JPG

Peter went to the grocery store today, and surprisingly, he brought home a can of Spam. Lately he has been intrigued with Spam. We must have seen something on the Food Network or the History Channel or something. Anyway, I don’t think he has ever eaten Spam. Me, I grew up on the stuff. My father liked to fry it then eat it with soy sauce and rice. I liked the saltiness of it, but I didn’t like the gelatinous glop in which it was embedded, nor was I fond of the little hard gristly bits that I would encounter from time to time.
Anyway, Spam has come a long way since those days. Peter picked up the “lower salt” version of it, which is really kind of pointless, because it is still a salt lick. I sliced it, brushed on some soy sauce/mirin mix (yeah, genius move, add some more salt to it. Gah!), and threw it on the grill:
spam grilled.JPG

You really gotta have it with rice. Any Spam memories out there?

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51 Responses to spam, wonderful spam

  1. Collette says:

    Ooh, yes, spam memories. We used to have scalloped potatoes and spam about once a month while I was growing up. I think I’ve made it about once every 5-6 years now that I’ve “grown up”. Takes me right back to childhood. (When making it, I did however force my husband to open the can and dispense with the glop before I saw it. Blech.)

  2. erin says:

    We have Asian versions of this and it’s called luncheon meat. We eat it with rice, fried noodles and sandwiched between slices of white bread.

  3. carolyn says:

    in high school – 9th grade i think – we told this girl in our class that we had seen teh spam animal at the minneapolis zoo. she believed us. and a few months later was diagnosed with a brain tumor. (she had operation, and survived just fine). coincidence?
    p.s. i have secretly always somewhat loved spam. the girlreaction, she thinks it is not so much unlike the bologna, also a delicious treat, n’est-ce pas?

  4. katey says:

    I honestly don’t think you could pay me enough to eat spam. There’s a glop in it! And ocassional hard things! I’ll do anything to avoid hard things. Ewww!

  5. molly says:

    I had Spam for the first time just last month in Okinawa! It was a not-totally-unwelcome surprise that was all chopped up in my goya champuru. It was good in a really gross way.
    But when I told some Japanese people that I had spam for the first time in Japan, they were totally scandalized. “But ALL Americans eat Spam!” they protested. I honestly never knew there were so many of us out there eating it. I’m interested to see what other comments people have for you.
    Good experience, but I can’t say I’ll be eating it again anytime soon.

  6. Gee says:

    My mom used to fry it and we’d eat it with rice and I liked to put ketchup on it. Probably the only time I put anything on my rice.

  7. ann says:

    anytime I would roll my eyes about Spam, my dad would tell me that I would eat Spam if I got hungry enough and that I should spend some time in the Army eating shit on a shingle and then I’d learn to love Spam!
    thank God I’ve never gotten that hungry ….

  8. sharlyn says:

    Spam memories? Come on, I’m from Hawaii. Boy do I have Spam memories. Spam musubi, spam with tomato sauce and onions, fried spam and cabbage, spam in my saimin, spam for breakfast…whatever you do though, stay away from luncheon meat. That is NOT Spam :).

  9. Sandee says:

    Tons of spam memories from Maui! Spam musubi, spam and cabbage, spam in saimin…Damn, I’m hungry again! My favorite was spam with snow peas! LOL And yes, you had to have rice with it!

  10. Tooth Carrie says:

    Minnesota…the home of SPAM, of course I have memories! We used to bring it on camping trips and cook it for breakfast over the fire. We would wrap it in foil with brown sugar and cheese. I haven’t eaten it in years. My mom works for the company who prints labels for Hormel so she occasionally gets SPAM goodies. In fact I posted a photo of my turkey SPAM bank on my photo blog, June 16th. Thanks for stirring up memories!!

  11. Stephanie says:

    mmmm Spam! Fried Spam & rice with pineapple…yummeee! 🙂 yikes.

  12. freecia says:

    My local Japanese market has spam Onigiri (rice balls). They’re still there long after the Roe and picked veggie versions are sold out.
    Myself, I avoid Spam. Aren’t hot dogs a bad enough secret vice?

  13. Rosa says:

    I loved Spam sandwiches as a kid. My dad made fried Spam sandwiches on toast with mustard, and they were great. When I was in college and would get homesick, it was one of the things I would fix for myself (and never admit to anyone).

  14. Christine says:

    My parents are from England and I think SPAM was pretty big over there so we used to eat it on sandwiches a lot as kids. Always fried slices on fresh bread. I preffered mine sliced quite thin. As you know SPAM is just spiced ham, so off course you don’t have to cook it, and one day mum was making SPAM sandwiches without cooking the SPAM. She tried to feed this to me. I was not happy. Lot’s of crying, and me shouting “I’m not eating raw SPAM!!” My family still like to recall this tale 🙂 Of course now as an adult I am a vegan so no more SPAM.

  15. natalie says:

    Hi! I’ve been enjoying reading your blog for many months. Aaah Spam, we’ve had a checkered relationship. My first memories of it was when my Hawaii-raised mother would put it on top of saimin without cooking it! Oh the horror.
    It took my college roommates to bring me around…seems you have to cook the stuff first! If you get really hard core, buy Hawaii’s Spam Cookbook, so ono (delicious).

  16. Angela says:

    I love spam musubi! If you’re in LA (Marukai in particular) or in Hawaii you can get “hot and spicy” spam made with tabasco! It’s really good if you like spicy food! Looks like this

  17. Elaine says:

    I always learn so much from the Internet. I didn’t know SPAM was so big in Hawaii. Never had it although I’m sure my mother tried to sneak it in sometime. Some of the recipies here sound intriguing. I wonder if I can get Joaquin to eat it.

  18. maia says:

    I vaugely remember my mom buying it a few times and frying it up. Big treat for us. Might have to buy a can and refresh my memory on the stuff. No, better not. Thinking the hubby and kids would love it (bleh!)

  19. christina says:

    Oh yeah, I remember eating spam when I was a kid. But I can’t remember exactly what my mum did with it. Probably sandwiches. Didn’t it come in one of those cans that you open with a key?

  20. natalie says:

    I remember the key always broke before the top was completely off.
    More about Spam and Hawaii:

  21. chris says:

    yum! spam with ketchup and rice! my favorite! being filipino and all…gotta love the spam and corned beef! 😀

  22. P-la says:

    Mom would fry it up with peas and carrots and rice. Haven’t had it in years, husband won’t allow it in the house, but I may have to sneak in a can now!

  23. monica says:

    My sister made this awesome breakfast sandwich with spam, egg and cheese.

  24. Cathy says:

    My husband is Vietnamese – Fried Spam, rice, and soy sauce is one of his comfort foods. When he’s not feeling well, he’ll have rice, bananas, soy sauce, and American cheese. He’s got the kids liking both combinations. When I was pregnant, I was on a macaroni and cheese kick. He would fry up some spam and add it to his portion. He has lots more food eccentricities up his sleeve.

  25. Janet says:

    What is it about Japanese moms and SPAM? I grew up with it too.

  26. Sharlene says:

    My mom is from Hawaii, so the Spam is good food mentality was big in our house. White rice with Spam, fried rice with Spam, either way, its all breakfast…

  27. Susan dennis says:

    Raised in the 50’s by Mom from Texas and Dad from Oklahoma. Spam was a regular in our dinner rotation. Mom would score it with a cross hatch (like a ham), put cloves in the diamond sections, glaze it and bake it. Seriously.
    Me? I had fried Spam sandwiches just the past weekend. (Fried Spam slices, rye bread, mayo)

  28. jen says:

    yep, my filippino boyfriend has a similar, secret love of spam. fry up some leftover rice, cubed spam, throw a runny fried egg on top… i’m vegan. heh.

  29. Jean says:

    Mmmm, fried spam sandwiches! I used to have those all the time when I was little! Definitely a guilty pleasure.

  30. Nanc says:

    We always had SPAM for campouts and road trips. (Man-oh-man, the food stuffs that my folks fed us kids during long road trips. Ghack!) Recently my hubby and I tried SPAM for a non-camping dinner and it did not go well.
    But the by-far best museum (of a corporate product) is the SPAM museum in MN. (link: Fun, entertaining, and educational – what more could you ask for?

  31. Cat says:

    If you’re ever in Minnesota, do NOT miss a trip to the SPAM Museum in Austin. It’s a fabulously campy, interactive, and well done musuem full of factoids about SPAM. Oh, and only there are you able to buy all of the varieties of SPAM. Who knew there were so many?

  32. Kay says:

    For me, Spam is ‘Dad Food’. When forced to cook, such as at 4 a.m. before going fishing, Dad would scramble eggs with diced spam, green peppers, cheese. Kind of a Denver Spam Omelet. Toast and jelly. Grab the cooler full of nightcrawlers and cans of Safeway pop (what was it, Cragmont?), and it was time to go scare some fish.
    He’d leave the skillet in the sink, of course.
    I only say ‘pop’ for historical accuracy, mind you. xox Kay

  33. Brittany says:

    There is a special collector’s edition Spam out for the musical Spamalot

  34. hannah says:

    i like that it says “crazy tasty” on the can, such clever marketing…

  35. margaret says:

    So many people with similar Spam memories! My mom was Vietnamese, and we always had Spam on road trips. Usually in some french bread with margarine, soy sauce, and cilantro OR with some cold rice (with soy sauce and tobasco). MMmmmmm. My favorite at home Spam dish was ramen noodles, boiled then drained of the water, seasoned with the seasonings packet (extra salty because there was no water to dilute the saltiness!) mixed with cubed Spam. Question for your readers–why is Spam so expensive?

  36. Jenn says:

    “Tastes like human, sir!”

  37. Lori says:

    Picture this scene from the 70’s: early morning somewhere in Virginia at a roadside table, dew collects on the red and white vinyl tablecloth, four kids impatiently wait for breakfast, the Coleman stove sits on the tailgate of the blue station wagon. What’s cooking? Spam and eggs of course.

  38. VaxGirl says:

    My mom would regale me with stories of how meat was rationed during WWII. Apparently SPAM was one of the few meats(?) available. Like Jen’s mom, she would crosshatch it and put in cloves and brown sugar. Once unexpected guests dropped by and she had to run out for another. She never touched it after the war and could barely look at it in the supermarket.
    …I am totally pissed I blew off the SPAM museum on last years road trip…

  39. J Strizzy says:

    I’ve never tried it, but I’ve long been intrigued by it. I had no idea it was so salty, which dampens my intrigue a little, but I still want to try it.

  40. gaile says:

    I agree with Cat – the Spam museum rocks! there is even a monty python section with the spam song on video! we had a great time there, and I’m a vegetarian. I did hear of Cham too, a purportedly chicken version of spam marketed solely in Japan. Anyone tried that? I don’t think you can get it in the U.S.

  41. natalie says:

    Yet more about Spam…
    Have you ever heard of Spam haiku? It’s also known as SPAMku.
    Question about SPAM.
    Exactly what is in it?
    Shiny pink pig parts.
    You can see more at:
    There’s also a book. . . . . I’m really not as obsessed with Spam as it seems in these comments, it’s just a Hawaii/Japanese thing.

  42. tracy says:

    I also give a shout out to the spam musubi. I like slicing the spam thin and frying it real good to the point of crispiness! -t

  43. amineko says:

    i would like some spam.

  44. j says:

    Even Kelly Preston, who’s from Hawaii, secretly craves SPAM!

  45. Kathy says:

    I remember Spam sliced abour 1/4 inch thick, then fried until the edges curled up and everything got a bit browned. I liked it quite a bit that way. It’s been over twenty years since I tried it in any form, so I couldn’t say whether I’d still like it now.

  46. herschel monkey says:

    at every asian grocery store, there are always cases of spam stacked up right next to the 25-lb. bags of rice.

  47. Marcia says:

    Mmmm. Spam and egg and melted cheese sandwich.
    And, swear to the gods of all gelatinous meat-like substances, as a child we ate spam, peanut butter (smooth) and dill pickle sandwiches, on toasted wonder bread. No, really.

  48. stef says:

    i love spam. in singapore we call it luncheon meat. we make a good fried rice with it cubed….and also it makes a good cubed potato/spam dish too. yum. i need to get me some spam 🙂

  49. selenium7 says:

    Spam became big in Japan, southeast Asia, and Hawaii during WWII and later Vietnam when the US was shipping Spam over with the troops and the reconstruction force.
    The Spam stuck, as it were, and is hugely popular still overseas.
    Me? I’ve never eaten it and I don’t plan on it.

  50. Aoi says:

    I grew up in Okinawa, Japan, and they have the same attitude towards Spam as the Hawaiians. We used to buy it in bulk on base and give it to my Japanese family as gifts. I don’t eat meat anymore, but I must admit that I miss Spam now and then. The best onigiri I ever had was with egg, Kewpie mayonnaise, and Spam. The perfect conbini snack!

  51. Reid says:

    Hi Mariko,
    You do know that in Hawaii Spam is it’s own food group right? We eat it with eggs for breakfast, as a topping on musubi, baked with cloves and brown sugar.
    That said, my mom’s favorite way to cook Spam is sliced into little strips, stir-fried with sting beans and seasoned with shoyu, a little sugar and mirin. Mmmm! =P

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