Speedy loves SPAM. He really, truly does. With bread, with rice, as pizza topping, in pasta sauce… in whatever form. But nothing intrigued him more than SPAM musubi, that iconic Hawaiian creation that defies categorization. We’ve tried making SPAM musubi at home and they tasted great but, for some reason, they never looked right.
My most recent attempt was inspired by a maki mold that we found at one of those 88-pesos Japanese stores. I bought it for Sam, actually, who loves making maki but she slept through most of the weekend and no maki materialized.
So, I decided to make maki myself. Heart-shaped SPAM musubi sounded like a good idea. With chopped mango and greens for contrast in color, flavors and texture. The heart-shaped SPAM musubi with mango and arugula salad was a wonder of flavors and texture, but the darn thing didn’t really hold together. I’m really not very good at making maki. That’s why Sam is the resident maki maker here. After making a few pieces that went directly into Speedy’s waiting mouth, I decided to make open-faced sandwiches with the rest of the cooked SPAM. And the result was a SPAM feast.
This is the maki mold that I used. You don’t need one for making open-faced sandwiches. Any cookie cutter will do. Just make sure that the cut bread and SPAM slices are of the same shape and size so that the open-faced sandwiches look neat.
Recipe: SPAM mini open-faced sandwiches
- 1/2 can of SPAM, any flavor
- 1 tbsp. of cooking oil
- 2 tbsps. of light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. of brown sugar
- 1/2 ripe mango
- a small handful of arugula
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. of toasted sesame seeds
- Cut the SPAM into about 1/3-inch thick slices.
- Cut the bread into the same size and shape as the SPAM slices.
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan. Lightly brown the SPAM slices on both sides. Sprinkle the sugar over the SPAM slices. Pour in the soy sauce. Cook, flipping the SPAM slices over after a minute, until they have absorbed the soy sauce and the sugar has caramelized.
- Make the salad by roughly chopping the mango and arugula. Toss together with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Lightly toast the bread on both sides in an oil-free frying pan.
- Assemble the mini open-faced sandwiches. Place a slice of SPAM on each piece of bread. Top with a heaping teaspoonful of the mango-arugula salad. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with your favorite drink.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): about 8 mini open-faced sandwiches good for 2 to 3