This Hawaiian fried rice recipe is a classic legit Hawaiian comfort food. Everyone that eats this recipe is blown away by its authentic local flavor. After growing up on Oahu I have a heart for Hawaiian soul food. This recipe is a classic.
Over the years I've pretty much perfected this Hawaiian-style fried rice recipe. So many people that have lived in Hawaii and have had Spam Fried Rice tell me that this recipe is the most authentic one they have found.
Fun fact: I grew up as a Navy brat, which means I lived all over the place. There are certain things that you learn when you grow up moving around every few years:
- Home is truly where your heart is – When people ask me where I'm from my answer is usually something like...uh, It's complicated.
- You learn to make friends anywhere – Stranger? What? I've never met one.
- Always be adaptable – 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.' – Ferris Bueller
- Try anything – Never be afraid of new experiences. Things usually work out just fine.
When I moved to Hawaii my first experience with Spam (the wonder ham in a can) involved eating it on toasted white bread with ketchup and mustard.
We were staying in the military commons waiting for our housing assignment and furniture delivery from California. I was a kid, and my palate was maybe less developed than it is now. But, I liked Spam.
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What You’ll Love About This Recipe
- Authentic. This recipe is an Authentic Hawaiian recipe. I have hundreds of people tell me that this recipe is just like the kind they had in Hawaii.
- Comfort food. This simple spam fried rice recipe is true island-style comfort food.
- Easy. Making fried rice is super easy and fast. It's the perfect easy dinner recipe.
It's best to use leftover rice for this recipe. So plan ahead and make sure you have some in the fridge.
- Leftover rice. Fried rice always starts with leftover rice. It should be refrigerated overnight for best results. You can use any type of rice that you like and have leftover. I like Nishiki Sushi Rice or Calrose Botan rice. Both are short-grain white rice.
- Spam. One can of Spam. I like the original.
- Eggs. I mix eggs with a pinch of sugar and a little bit of soy sauce.
- Veggies. You'll need a bag of frozen peas plus, a few fresh veggies. Sweet onion, carrots, fresh ginger, and garlic. Also, one bunch of green onions. Some people like to add in frozen carrots and corn.
- From the Asian section. Mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.
- Optional ingredients. Sriracha or ketchup for topping off your fried rice.
Step 1 - Make sure you have leftover rice.
This recipe used 4 to 6 cups of day old rice. You can adjust the rice to goods ratio to your liking.
Step 2 - Make the Sweet Egg
Mix the egg with the sugar and soy sauce. Add a little oil to a small skillet on low heat. Cover the skillet and cook the egg until it is cooked through. Then set aside and dice the egg.
PRO-TIP: If you don't want to dirty a seconds skillet, you can create a well in the middle of the fried rice at the end and just scramble the egg in the center of skillet.
Step 3 - Fry the spam
Start by dicing the spam and then frying it in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it's a light golden brown. Remove the spam from the skillet and set it aside.
Step 4 - Sauté the mirpoix
Add the carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic to the large skillet or a wok. Sauté the veggies until they are slightly soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes.
Step 4 - Add the rice
Add the rice and a little sesame oil to the pan. Sauté the rice in the oil and break it up with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Step 5- Add the frozen peas
Mix in the frozen peas and make sure they are sufficiently warmed.
NOTE: This is when you would add in the frozen corn and carrots, if you're using them.
Step 6 - Add the remaining ingredients
Remove the fried rice from the heat. Add the mirin, rice wine, and soy sauce to the pan. Mix well. Add in the spam and diced egg. Stir to incorporate. Add the diced green onion.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Use day-old rice to make fried rice.
Refrigerated day-old rice is a little bit dried out and works better when making fried rice because it can absorb the liquid from the soy sauce and mirin without getting too mushy.
Yes, Fried spam is definitely good!
You can eat it with rice and eggs. I like to add sriracha and furikake for a super yummy breakfast treat.
The only way I have ever cooked spam is by pan frying it.
Typically I will cut the spam in slices and brown it on each side. This method is best for making one of my favorite breakfasts, rice and spam with over-easy fried eggs.
Sliced spam is also used to make Spam Musubi.
To make Spam Fried Rice you will dice the spam and then brown it in a frying pan or wok.
What is Spam Musubi?
My absolute favorite Spam treat was – and still is – Spam Musubi. Spam Musubi is a thick slice of fried spam, sometimes in a teriyaki sauce. It's perched on a brick of rice and wrapped in a sheet of Nori. There are a lot of different versions, but all basically follow this formula. It's magic!
What to Eat With Spam Fried Rice
My two favorite things to eat with spam fried rice is My Furikake Fried Chicken and My Spicy Asian Cucumber Salad.
More Island-Inspired Recipes To Try
When you visit Hawaii there are a few must-eats:
Not necessarily in that order.
Spam Fried Rice
- 3 cups Nishiki rice sushi grade
- 4 cups water
- 2 carrots shredded or finely diced
- ½ sweet onion finely diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- vegetable oil
- Make the rice according to directions. Store in the refrigerator overnight before using it in this recipe. NOTE: Fresh rice will get mushy in this recipe. It's always best to use cold rice.
- Lightly beat eggs with 1 tsp sugar and 2 tsp of soy sauce. I usually cook this like an omelet and then dice it.
- Dice the Spam. Brown the spam in a little oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the Hawaiian mirepoix to the pan, saute until tender and fragrant.
- Add the sesame oil and rice to the pan. Mix well.
- Add frozen peas (and/other frozen vegetables if desired). Mix in and make sure they are sufficiently warmed through.
- Remove the fried rice from the from heat.
- Add the mirin, rice wine, and soy sauce to the pan. Mix well.
- Add in the Spam and diced egg. Stir to incorporate.
- Add diced green onion.
- Serve immediately.