This classic Hawaiian Fried Rice is a classic Spam recipe. If you haven’t ever had this authentic Hawaiian recipe you need to give it a try.
Hang Loose Bruddah AND Don’t Knock It ‘Til You Try It!
Yeah, it’s not paleo. It’s probably not even healthy. But Spam Fried Rice is frickin’ delicious.
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 that it is now. But, I liked Spam.
My mom sliced the Spam and fried it until it was lightly browned. She served it on toasted Wonder bread – kind of like a hamburger, but way more low budget! It was salty, I mean really salty. I still remember how it tasted with the overly sweet ketchup, and the yellow mustard all nestled between the oh – so – soft and fluffy, fortified, and aggressively processed slices of white bread.
While living in Hawaii Spam became a common food group
My absolute favorite Spam treat was – and still is – Spam Musubi. Spam Musubi is a thick slice of Spam browned, 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!
When you visit Hawaii there are a few must-eats:
- Shave Ice
- Spam Musubi
- Lau Lau
- Leonard’s Malasadas
Not necessarily in that order.
The Evolution of Spam Fried Rice – Definitely a Journey of Love.
I started making this tasty dish in my twenties, during my college days. It was cheap, and I always had rice and eggs around (that’s another story). Over the years I’ve pretty much perfected this Hawaiian style fried rice recipe. Spam fried rice is island-style comfort food. Eating it reminds me of the time I spent growing up on Oahu, and living by the beach in San Diego during college.
While working in San Diego, I brought this to an office potluck. One of my friends there, who happens to be Hawaiian, loved it! I think it was comfort food for him, too. Something about food brings people together. We bonded over food, and now we are Ohana. If only everything in life were this uncomplicated.
I’ve talked about this before but, the connection and commonality we can get through food are what fuels my passion for cooking. Food and the entire cooking experience takes me back to moments in my life that make me feel rooted. It ties me to my history, transporting me through the tangled web of my life; and all the places I have been and all the people that I’ve met.
This recipe is inspired by my own past and cultural experience.
I can relive these moments any time I cook my beloved Spam fried rice. And while it’s not a macro-friendly Beast Bowl, it’s authentic food from my roots. Every now and then we all need a little of the soul – fueling that you get from staying connected to your own roots.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. If you love it, please share it.
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Spam Fried Rice
- 3 cups Nishiki rice sushi grade
- 4 cups water
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 carrots shredded or finely diced
- ½ sweet onion finely diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- vegetable oil
- 1 can SPAM diced
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 16 oz bag frozen peas
- 1 bunch green onions sliced
- 1/2 16 oz bag frozen corn
- 1/2 16 oz bag frozen diced carrots
- Ketchup for on top
- Make the rice according to directions.
- 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 Spam. Brown in a little oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add Hawaiian mirepoix to the pan, saute until tender and fragrant.
- Add 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 from heat.
- Add 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.