I’m sort of embarrassed to admit this, but my kids love SPAM. Not just any SPAM, but in the form of one of Hawaii’s favorite snack foods: musubi. And my boys may be genetically proven to be part-Irish, but they don’t care much for corned beef and cabbage. Which is disappointing for me, because I look forward to my once a year Irish food fix.
Then I started thinking about how in my childhood, we never ate SPAM, but we did sometimes make sandwiches out of this corned beef foodstuff that came in a square can just like… SPAM.
Voila! Corned Beef Musubi!
What is a musubi? Simply seasoned sushi rice, topped with cooked meat — often chicken teriyaki, linguisa, Spam, or in our case, corned beef — and wrapped with a strip of toasted seaweed, or nori. Musubi makes a neat little package, much like a sandwich, that can be make a quick meal or picnic.
And since corned beef is not complete without a side dish of cabbage, an easy Asian quick-pickle based on Japanese tsukemono makes a refreshing accompaniment.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Mahalo.
Corned Beef Musubi
- 1 c. short grain or sushi rice
- 1/3 c. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 12 oz. can corned beef (such as Hereford or Hormel)
- 2 sheets sushi nori
- Steam rice in rice cooker until done, using slightly less water than for normal serving
- Heat rice vinegar on the stovetop or for 30 seconds in the microwave, then dissolve sugar in it.
- Sprinkle the vinegar mixture over the cooked rice, stirring with a rice paddle to incorporate.
- Remove corned beef from the can and slice into six slices about 1/4-1/3 inch thick
- Fry corned beef slices until brown on both sides.
- Using kitchen shears, cut each sheet of nori into thirds.
- To assemble, lay one strip of nori on a plate. Place one slice of corned beef across the center of the strip.
- Scoop about 1/2 c. sushi rice into the palm of your hand and set this on top of the corned beef.
- Dipping your fingers into a bowl of warm water, mold the rice to fit the shape of the meat.
- Wrap one end of the nori over the rice, pressing to hold it tight.
- Fold the other end of the nori over, wetting the end with a little water to seal the musubi.
makes six servings
- 1/2 head of white cabbage
- 1 carrot
- 1 Tbs. salt
- 2 slices fresh ginger, diced
- Cut the cabbage into medium sized pieces, then tear into small pieces.
- Peel carrot and slice into thin rounds.
- Put cabbage, carrot and ginger into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt
- Toss thoroughly, then place a heavy plate that is sized to set into the bowl on top of the mixture, and press down on the plate.
- Let sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight.
- Before serving, squeeze out excess water.
P.S. For more mystery meat fusion food, check out my recipe for Hot Dog Kimbap.