At the recent “A” is for Anne, “B” is for Birthday potluck (http://sftaoofpao.com/pao-chow-parent/a-is-for-anne-b-is-for-birthday-potluck/) my girls threw for me, we had a variety of dishes that all started with the letter “A.” The only exception to this rule was my friend Debbie’s offering of Crunchy Spam Balls.
Debbie is a local Hawaiian and in case you did not know, the state of Hawaii consumes the most Spam per capita than any other place in the United States. Spam is often referred to as the “Hawaiian Steak” given how much locals love it. While other parts of the US may associate it with being “poor people’s food” (it is preserved pork shoulder and ham in a can by the way), Hawaiian’s embrace this salty meat despite its high concentration of saturated fat. Side note, if you’ve ever been to Hawaii you will notice they are not too concerned about low fat diets (just check out plate lunch at Rainbow Drive-in and you’ll know what I am talking about).
When I lived in Hawaii as a kid, I was introduced to a dish known as Spam Musubi. It’s basically salted Japanese rice, with a piece of Spam on top and then is wrapped in “nori” or dried seaweed. The kids in my 3rd grade class INHALED this stuff. It was served at the snackbar on campus even! Back then, I ate like a bird (probably why I weighed 40 pounds as an 8 year old – te same weight as many toddlers I’ve seen) so eating Spam was not something I was adventurous enough to try.
Not until high school (also known as the time I out ate every guy in my family and grew 10 inches in 2 years) did I develop a newfound love for Spam.
So imagine my joy when Debbie showed up to the potluck last week with Crunchy Spam Balls! Our crew annilihated the entire plate of rice/pork/seaweed goodness, even the vegetarian in the group gave it a bite! We were not all “Pau” – which in Hawaiian pidgin speak means “All Finished” until every last bit of Crunchy Spam Ball had been eradicated off the plate. Or maybe I should say we were all “Pau Wowed.”
Enjoy the recipe and thanks Debbie for providing!
CRUNCHY SPAM BALLS
1 can of spam
2 cups of japanese white rice (preferably sushi rice)
1 container of furikake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furikake)
li hing powder (only at long’s hawaii! or online. . . )
1 bottle huy fong sriracha chili sauce
- rinse and cook white rice
- set aside to cool
- dice a can of spam into 1/2″ cubes
- cook in frying pan, stirring occasionally for even browning
- set aside after golden brown on a plate lined w/ paper towels to
soak up the fat
- when cooked rice is cooled, scoop up 2 tblspns and form a ball in
your hand (keep hands wet with water to prevent rice from sticking to
- flatten ball like a pancake and place 1-2 spam cubes in the center
- wrap the rice around the spam and form a tight ball
- inject sriracha chili into center of ball
- roll rice ball in furikaki
- repeat until all the rice is consumed
- heat a wok or frying pan with oil and lightly fry the furikaki
encrusted spam balls for that extra crunch
- lightly sprinkle the top of the spam balls w/ li hing powder for
that island touch
- stuff the furikake encrusted balls with ume, kimchee, bulgogi, whatever!