Spam musubi

Spam musubi is a popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii composed of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori in the tradition of Japanese omusubi.

Inexpensive and portable, Spam musubi are commonly found near cash registers in convenience stores all over Hawaii.

Spam has become so ubiquitous in Hawaii that Spam dishes range from the cheap and fast at 7-Eleven (which also sells sushi in Hawaii[1]), served on catering trays at formal events, to homemade Spam made by celebrity chefs such as Alan Wong at his exclusive restaurants.[2]

Spam musubi
A plate of freshly made Spam musubi.
Spam musubi made from Spam and rice
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateHawaii
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsSpam, rice, nori, soy sauce
Spam musubi at Ninja Sushi
Spam musubi are commonly sold in convenience stores packaged in plastic boxes.


Spam became a popular food in Hawaii after World War II. Spam was a main course for the troops during the war, and the large military presence in Hawaii led to Spam's widespread local adoption. Japanese Americans in Hawaii created the Spam musubi as a result.

The origin of the dish is credited to Barbara Funamura, who died on May 12, 2016 at the age of 78.[3]


Typical preparation begins with grilling slices of spam, sometimes with a light teriyaki flavor. Then, an acrylic mold (often the shape of a slice of Spam) is then placed over a long, narrow piece of nori and rice is pressed into the mold. The grilled spam is placed over the rice before the mold is removed. The nori is then wrapped over the top and around the musubi. It is served sometimes with soy sauce or Japanese mayonnaise.


Spam and egg musubi
Spam musubi with egg.

Similar to the Japanese onigiri, variations on the traditional Spam musubi exist.

The following are just a few examples of the limitless variations:

  • Furikake mixed into the rice
  • Scrambled egg added between the Spam and rice
  • Takuan added between the Spam and rice

The spam may also be replaced with hot dog, fried shrimp, chicken teriyaki, chicken katsu, pork cutlet, Portuguese sausage (linguiça), char siu (roast pork), or other proteins instead of Spam.

See also


  1. ^ "Party Platters and Tailgate Packs". 7-Eleven Hawaii.
  2. ^ Chew, Cynthia. "The Land of SPAM". The Food Pornographer.
  3. ^ "Barbara Funamura, creator of Spam musubi, dies at 78". Nichi Bei.

External links

Arthur H. McCollum

Arthur H. McCollum (4 August 1898 – April 1, 1976) was an American Naval Officer as well as a key member of the Intelligence agency in the Southwest Pacific. He was born in Nagasaki, Japan to two Baptist Missionaries. He spent several years in Japan after his graduation from the Naval Academy, granting him a large amount of knowledge about East Asia and the Southwest Pacific that proved key in his interactions with Naval Intelligence.

McCollum served as an American Naval Officer and retired in 1951 as Rear Admiral and consultant after World War II to the Central Intelligence Group and Central Intelligence Agency.

McCollum graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1923 and was then sent by the Navy for 3 years of study in Japan. He also attended the submarine school at the Naval Submarine Base. Despite the fact that he served on a wide variety of ships with the US Navy, he is most noted for his work in intelligence. He was fleet intelligence officer on the staff of Commander in Chief U. S. Fleet (1936-1938). In October 1940 as a Lt. Commander he authored what is called the McCollum memo outlining his assessment of German and Japanese threats to U.S. security. From Nov. 1942 to May 1945, he held 3 titles simultaneously. He held Director of Allied Naval Intelligence, Southwest Pacific, Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Seventh Fleet, and Commanding Officer of the Seventh Fleet Intelligence Center. He retired in 1951 from the US Navy. He was recalled to active duty with the CIA and retired once more in 1953.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern is a travel and cuisine television show hosted by Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel in the US. The first season debuted on Monday, February 6, 2007 at 9pm ET/PT.

Bizarre Foods focuses on regional cuisine from around the world which is typically perceived as being disgusting, exotic, or bizarre. In each episode, Zimmern focuses on the cuisine of a particular country or region. He typically shows how the food is procured, where it is served, and, usually without hesitation, eats it.

Originally a one-hour documentary titled Bizarre Foods of Asia, repeated showings on the Travel Channel drew consistent, considerable audiences. In late 2006, TLC decided to turn the documentary into a weekly, one-hour show with the same premise and with Andrew Zimmern as the host. In 2009, Zimmern took a break from Bizarre Foods to work on one season of the spin-off Bizarre World.

Cuisine of Hawaii

The cuisine of Hawaii incorporates five distinct styles of food, reflecting the diverse food history of settlement and immigration in the Hawaiian Islands. In the pre-contact period of Ancient Hawaii (300 AD–1778), Polynesian voyagers brought plants and animals to the Islands. As Native Hawaiians settled the area, they fished, raised taro for poi, planted coconuts, sugarcane, sweet potatoes and yams, and cooked meat and fish in earth ovens. After first contact in 1778, European and American cuisine arrived along with missionaries and whalers, who introduced their own foods and built large sugarcane plantations. Christian missionaries brought New England cuisine while whalers introduced salted fish which eventually transformed into the side dish lomilomi salmon.

As pineapple and sugarcane plantations grow, so did demand for labor, bringing many immigrant groups to the Islands between 1850 and 1930. Immigrant workers brought cuisines from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Portugal after arriving in Hawaii, introducing their new foods and influencing the region. The introduction of new ethnic foods, such as Chinese char siu bao (manapua), Portuguese sweet bread and malasadas, and the Japanese bento, combined with the existing indigenous, European, and American foods in the plantation working environments and in the local communities. This blend of cuisines formed a "local food" style unique to Hawaii, resulting in plantation foods like the plate lunch, snacks like Spam musubi, and dishes like the loco moco. Shortly after World War II several well known local restaurants, now in their 7th decade opened their doors to serve "Hawaiian Food". Chefs further refined the local style by inventing Hawaii Regional Cuisine in 1992, a style of cooking that makes use of locally grown ingredients to blend all of Hawaii's historical influences together to form a new fusion cuisine.

Food Paradise (season 14)

Food Paradise is a television series narrated by Jesse Blaze Snider (formerly by Mason Pettit) that features the best places to find various cuisines at food locations across America. Each episode focuses on a certain type of restaurant, such as "Diners", "Bars", "Drive-Thrus" or "Breakfast" places that people go to find a certain food specialty.


Hawaii ( (listen) hə-WY-ee; Hawaiian: Hawaiʻi [həˈvɐjʔi]) is a state of the United States of America. It is the only state located in the Pacific Ocean and the only state composed entirely of islands.

The state encompasses nearly the entire Hawaiian archipelago, 137 islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). The volcanic archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight main islands are, in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaiʻi Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago.

Hawaii is the 8th smallest geographically and the 11th least populous, but the 13th most densely populated of the 50 states. It is the only state with an Asian American plurality. Hawaii has over 1.4 million permanent residents, along with many visitors and U.S. military personnel. The state capital and largest city is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu. The state's ocean coastline is about 750 miles (1,210 km) long, the fourth longest in the U.S., after the coastlines of Alaska, Florida, and California. Hawaii is the most recent state to join the union, on August 21, 1959. It was an independent nation until 1898.

Hawaii's diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists. Because of its central location in the Pacific and 19th-century labor migration, Hawaii's culture is strongly influenced by North American and East Asian cultures, in addition to its indigenous Hawaiian culture.

Japanese loanwords in Hawaii

Loanwords from the Japanese language in Hawaiʻi appear in various parts of the culture. Many loanwords in Hawaiian Pidgin (or Hawaiian Creole English) derive from the Japanese language. The linguistic influences of the Japanese in Hawaii began with the first immigrants from Japan in 1868 and continues with the large Japanese American population in Hawaiʻi today.

Lei (garland)

Lei () is a garland or wreath. More loosely defined, a lei is any series of objects strung together with the intent to be worn. The most popular concept of a lei in Hawaiian culture is a wreath of flowers presented upon arriving or leaving as a symbol of affection. This concept was popularized through tourism between the Hawaiian Islands and the continental United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Children and sweethearts are poetically referred to as "lei" and many ancient and modern songs and chants refer to this imagery.

Leonard's Bakery

Leonard's Bakery is a Portuguese bakery in Honolulu, Hawaii, known for popularizing the malasada. The fried pastry, slightly crispier and chewier than a doughnut and with no hole, is known as a cuisine of Hawaii. Though Portuguese immigrants brought the malasada to Hawaii at the turn of the 20th century, Leonard's opened in 1952 and brought it to a wider audience. Leonard's is a household name in Hawaii and is well known in the continental United States and internationally. A franchise location opened in Japan in 2008.

List of Hawaiian dishes

This is a list of dishes in Hawaiian cuisine, which includes Native Hawaiian cuisine and the broader fusion Cuisine of Hawaii. The Cuisine of Hawaii refers to the indigenous, ethnic, and local cuisines within the diverse state of Hawaii.

List of Japanese dishes

Below is a list of dishes found in Japanese cuisine. Apart from rice, staples in Japanese cuisine include noodles, such as soba and udon. Japan has many simmered dishes such as fish products in broth called oden, or beef in sukiyaki and nikujaga. Foreign food, in particular Chinese food in the form of noodles in soup called ramen and fried dumplings, gyoza, and western food such as curry and hamburger steaks are commonly found in Japan. Historically, the Japanese shunned meat, but with the modernization of Japan in the 1860s, meat-based dishes such as tonkatsu became more common.

List of regional dishes of the United States

The cuisine of the United States includes many regional or local dishes, side dishes and foods. This list includes dishes and foods that are associated with specific regions of the United States.

Midwest Buddhist Temple Ginza Holiday Festival

The Midwest Buddhist Temple Ginza Holiday Festival is a large annual Japanese cultural festival that occurs on the second weekend, Friday to Sunday, of August at 435 W. Menomonee Street in Chicago’s historic Old Town, Chicago. The Midwest Buddhist Temple has kept this annual event going since 1955.

Highlighting the event are four master craftsmen (Waza), flown in straight from Tokyo, Japan. For the three days, they demonstrate their generations-old skills creating their unique crafts. The public have the opportunity to meet the Waza and purchase their crafts. Several other exhibits and booths feature other Japanese items, such as Japanese dry goods and snacks, kimonos, jewelry, art and an abundance of traditional Japanese cuisine, including their famous grilled Chicken Teriyaki dinner, Udon (Japanese cold noodles), spam musubi, sushi, Edamame, and kintoki (Japanese snow cone topped with sweet azuki beans). Beer, sake and wine are also available.

Also, featured in the festival are ongoing stage performances with Taiko drumming, Traditional Japanese folk dances, martial arts demonstrations, and other entertainment and exhibits.

The temple is open for guests who are interested in observing the service area and learning the basics of Buddhism. During stage intermissions, there are short Dharma talks given inside the Temple by Rev. Ron Miyamura.


Musubi may refer to:

Musubi-no-Kami, the Shinto Kami of matchmaking, love, and marriage, similar to the Chinese Yue Lao

Onigiri, also known as o-musubi, a Japanese snack

Spam musubi, popular in Hawaii

Musubi, a character in Sekirei

Decorative knots made to support obi sashes


Nori (海苔) is the Japanese name for edible seaweed (a "sea vegetable") species of the red algae genus Pyropia, including P. yezoensis and P. tenera. It has a strong and distinctive flavor. It is used chiefly in Japanese cuisine as an ingredient to wrap rolls of sushi or onigiri, in which case the term refers to the dried sheets.

The finished dried sheets are made by a shredding and rack-drying process that resembles papermaking. They are sold in packs in grocery stores for culinary purposes. Since nori sheets easily absorb water from the air and degrade, a desiccant is needed when storing nori for any significant time.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics established in 2016 that nori is not an adequate source of vitamin B12. Nori also contains toxic metals (arsenic and cadmium) and amphipod allergens, so its daily consumption in large quantities is discouraged.


O-nigiri (お握り or 御握り; おにぎり), also known as o-musubi (お結び; おむすび), nigirimeshi (握り飯; にぎりめし), rice ball, is a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or cylindrical shapes and often wrapped in nori (seaweed). Traditionally, an onigiri is filled with pickled ume (umeboshi), salted salmon, katsuobushi, kombu, tarako, or any other salty or sour ingredient as a natural preservative. Most Japanese convenience stores stock their onigiri with various fillings and flavors. There are even specialized shops which only sell onigiri to take out. Due to the popularity of this trend in Japan, onigiri has become a popular staple in Japanese restaurants worldwide.

Despite common misconceptions, onigiri is not a form of sushi and should not be confused with the type of sushi called nigirizushi or simply nigiri. Onigiri is made with plain rice (sometimes lightly salted), while sushi is made of rice with vinegar, sugar and salt. Onigiri makes rice portable and easy to eat as well as preserving it, while sushi originated as a way of preserving fish.


Saimin is a noodle soup dish common in the contemporary cuisine of Hawaii. It originally consists of soft wheat egg noodles served in a hot dashi garnished with diced green onions and a thin slice of kamaboko. Modern versions include additional toppings such as char siu, sliced Spam, sliced egg, or shredded nori. When Chinese dumplings are added to the noodle soup, it is seen on menus as the heartier wonton min. All saimin establishments have their own, often secret recipe for the soup base, but primarily use kombu and dried shrimp as major components. Common table condiments mixed in the saimin broth are Chinese hot mustard and shoyu, added in small quantities according to each individual’s taste. Many local residents of Hawaii also enjoy barbecued teriyaki beef sticks (skewers) or American hamburgers as a side dish.

Saimin was developed during Hawaii's plantation era and is a testament to the history of cultural influences found in the Hawaiian Islands. It is a local comfort food eaten all year round at any time of day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a late-night snack. Originally consumed by the working class, saimin can now be seen on the menus of Hawaii's restaurants from fast food chains all the way to upscale five-star hotel restaurants. It is commonly eaten at sporting events as well, with concession stands offering the hot noodle soup along side popcorn and nachos. Saimin is also available as a pre-cooked packaged food much like instant ramen.

Spam (food)

Spam (stylized as SPAM) is a brand of canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Minnesota. It was first introduced in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. By 2003, Spam was sold in 41 countries on six continents and trademarked in over 100 countries (not including the Middle East and North Africa). Spam's basic ingredients are pork with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch (as a binder), sugar, and sodium nitrite (as a preservative). Natural gelatin is formed during cooking in its tins on the production line. Many have raised concerns over Spam's nutritional attributes, in large part due to its high content of fat, sodium, and preservatives.By the early 1970s, the name "spam" had become a genericized trademark used to describe any canned meat product containing pork, such as pork luncheon meat. With an expansion in communications technology, it became the subject of urban legends about mystery meat and made other appearances in pop culture. The most notable was a Monty Python sketch, which led to its name being borrowed for unsolicited electronic messages, especially email.


Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, pronounced [sɯ̥ɕiꜜ] or [sɯ̥ꜜɕi]) is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice (鮨飯, sushi-meshi), usually with some sugar and salt, accompanying a variety of ingredients (ネタ, neta), such as seafood, vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is "sushi rice", also referred to as shari (しゃり), or sumeshi (酢飯).

Sushi is traditionally made with medium-grain white rice, though it can be prepared with brown rice or short-grain rice. It is very often prepared with seafood, such as squid, eel, yellowtail, salmon, tuna or imitation crab meat. Many types of sushi are vegetarian. It is often served with pickled ginger (gari), wasabi, and soy sauce. Daikon radish or pickled daikon (takuan) are popular garnishes for the dish.

Sushi is sometimes confused with sashimi, a related dish in Japanese cuisine that consists of thinly sliced raw fish, or occasionally meat, and an optional serving of rice.


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.