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What do you do with Spam?

I consider myself fairly creative, but Id love hear what CHers do with that spice ham product in a can.

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  1. When I was a poor college student, I wasn't above slicing it, frying it, and eating it with sauerkraut.

    1. I stopped eating it about 30 years ago, but I used to frying slices until very crisp and eat with mustard. Also, as a kid, we used to make Spam and American cheese sandwiches which we toasted in the waffle iron--very salty.

      1. What I do with Spam is leave it on the shelf in the supermarket

        Here's a link to the Spam Cook of the Year competition with some recipe ideas.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Yes yes but that isn't a CREATIVE use of the product.

          http://scottbeveridge.blogspot.com/20.... You know what REALLY strikes me about this article? And the link that you shared as well? That the cookbook in question is BRITISH. The Brits may be said to be renowned for many things, without a doubt.

          Regrettably, cooking and cuisine are NOT among them. As far as I'm concerned the mere FACT that the definitive spam cookbook is of this origin is reason enough to run for the hills. Most Brits, if they were honest, would probably acknowledge my personal theory that all that sea-bound exploration, imperialism, and colonization started out from a simple need to "find a good meal".

          A creative use for spam? How about lurking in the supermarket "near the spam" .... waiting until someone with feeble judgement comes by and is reaching for it and then LEAPING out to save the day (and their arteries) and stopping them in the nick of time. Is that creative enough? :-)

          1. re: jkling17

            Nope, I wouldnt agree with you at all about our cuisine.

            1. re: Harters

              Oh that's ok ... I don't expect all the Brits to agree. I was making a joke, you know :-) And there must be a good reason that the grand tradition of eating out in the UK is hitting the pubs and then getting a curry. It's all good! I DO have to say that a pint of proper bitter is ... as close to liquid heaven as I have ever experienced. It's a crying shame that there isn't a single pub here that serves it.

              We American's invited the horrible spam stuff anyway. It's not the Brit's fault ...

              1. re: jkling17

                Hitting the pubs and then getting a curry is sooooo1980s. Sub-continent food has taken dramatic leaps forward, as has other aspects of British food, since then - upmarket regional Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi food is the "in thing".

                I'm surprised that you thought that the link I gave wasnt creative use of Spam. Of course, the whole point of the competition is the creative use of Spam. I see that you were thinking that "creative use" should mean something other than a dish you can eat - maybe using it to plug a leaking pipe or some such?

                1. re: Harters

                  Hahah. Well my friend who showed me around London is perhaps a wee bit older than you .... old habits die hard you see? We liked the 80s and still like a good curry. The best curry of course is here in Bristol, PA (US) - about 20 miles North of Philadelphia. We're just lucky that way.

                  And yes - I think a truly creative use for spam might perhaps best be something that doesn't involve ingesting it. :-)

          2. re: Harters

            You beat me to it! Before I even started reading the comments, that's exactly what I was gonna write. A can of Spam on the shelf brings thoughts of terror.

            1. re: ricepad


              Never considered buying Spam until a trip to Hawaii introduced me to this delightful snack. Now my husband and I love having Spam on hand to make this when we get a craving.

              1. re: ricepad

                You beat me to it. Hawaii also has its own Spam Cookbook and annual Spam cooking competitions. I used to get 2 Spam Musubi from our psychiatric patients once a week when they made and sold them for fundraisers (they had staff supervision). They were great if I couldn't get away from my desk for lunch that day!

                1. re: KailuaGirl

                  When my parents started spending winters in Hawaii they discovered the two great contributions of WW2 to the Islands were quonset huts and Spam. A dear friend of mine who was from Hawaii and Japanese/American used to make Spam sushi. My ex-MIL used to bring me cans of Spam on the train from IL to CA when they'd visit. That Spam went with the ex-husband!!

                2. re: ricepad

                  +2. My mom grew up in Hawaii and we used to have it pan fried with fried eggs, kimchi and japanese rice for Sunday Brunch. That's the only way I eat it, but it is delicious that way.

                3. Give it to the food pantry. :P I buy a few cans every year for the emergency supply, but DH refuses to eat it, so out it goes before it expires!

                  When I was a kid, mama used to buy spam and chop it into cubes to put on pizza and in fried rice. We also had spam and pineapple... that was before good ham was readily available in our area, and canned ham was pretty much all there was.

                  1. I love Spam! Slice it thin and fry for supper with eggs and biscuits. It's also great sliced thickly lengthwise and grilled on the BBQ for sandwiches.

                    1. spam tacos: chop it up, mix it with some eggs, canned diced tomatoes, a little bit of milk and cheddar cheese... scramble it all together and fill em in heated corn tortillas.

                      noodle soup: boil up some macaroni until al dente, strain. meanwhile, combine 2 parts chicken broth with 1 part water, add some chopped carrots, onions, tomatoes, bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are tender. chop up some spam, fry until done, set aside. fry an egg over-medium. put some of the macaroni in a soup bowl, ladle the broth over it, top with some chopped spam and your egg. tada... breakfast soup. (sometimes eat for lunch or dinner too).

                      1. Fried rice. Crisp/heat up some rice in pan with some hot oil..add diced Spam. Crisp/heat up some more...add some soy sauce and/or some sesame oil. Beat some eggs in a bowl..scramble in a corner of the the pan..then mix in. Pineapples( or peas) are optional.

                        1. I don't generally use spam.
                          I did buy one can a few year ago because while watching a foreign [to me] tv show on cooking in Hawaii, Sammy Kapu caught my attention as the cook on the show and made a tofu spam dish. Since I like spam enough to try it at home I did. It was only ok and didn't get made again but seeing Sammy Kapu on tv was the real fun part.

                          1. Put it in the emergency-preparedness box, and hope I never need it:)

                            Seriously! I didn't grow up eating it, but married a lovely man who had sailed most of the way around the world, and he would tell tales of eating it out on the open ocean, and get kind of misty-eyed. Once morning when out on our sailboat, I suprised him with spam and eggs for breakfast.... and we both got terrible stomach aches. It was so processed and salty! Agreed, no more Spam; it must have been sunstroke that made him think it tasted good back in those salty-dog days.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: gingershelley

                              We used to add it (or canned corned beef) to curry when we were out on long sails, usually races but sometimes leisure cruising, especially every summer. Served over hot rice, it's just great!

                            2. Leave it on the store shelf! Would rather have bread and water.

                              1. Chop up in a food processor. Mix with leftover mashed potatoes and maybe some cheese. Bread them and fry them for Spam croquettes.

                                But usually, I just have it sliced and pan-fried as a breakfast meat instead of something like bacon or kielbasa to go with fried rice or pancakes.

                                1. Hawaiians make Nigiri sushi with it. Koreans put it in Kimbap (Korean version of maki sushi) I use them as door stops.

                                  1. My first thought was I delete it without reading but then I saw the rest of it :)

                                    I haven't had it in years, but I recall it was pretty good wherever you could use very very salty ham, generally when camping because you could carry it without refrigeration and it had that handy key to open it.

                                    Often scrambled with eggs because back then we thought it was OK not to refrigerate eggs, but it was pretty good with shredded potato too. I stopped eating it because it was way too salty, maybe it's changed.

                                    1. I always keep a can nearby for a quick emergency meal: Spaghetti and Spam. Spam goes terrifically with Asian flavors (Musubi, to name one example), so I cube it, fry it with some garlic and green onions, and toss it with 8 oz. cooked spaghetti, black pepper, 1/2 T sesame oil, soy sauce to taste, and a little of the pasta cooking water to loosen. Everyone I've ever served it to has loved it and can't believe how well it works!

                                      1. I used to love spam sandwiches when the thin slices of spam were fried until crisp with some Sriracha and mayonnaise. Nowadays regular spam is far too salty for me, but the low sodium stuff can make a great pasta salad with a vinegar and yogurt dressing or the kind of comforting fried rice that Asian-American kids like myself would eat with ketchup.

                                        1. My husband, a real fan of the stuff, used to slide it out of it's lovely can and dot it with whole cloves and bake it in the oven.

                                          Ahem, I have never witnessed this, and I am a bit glad of that.

                                            1. Well, my husband told me last week that he'd only had Spam once, and that it was horrible. When I asked how eaten, he said, "Spread on crackers, from the can." I stared, and he said, "We didn't know any better!" (he's from one of those groups that doesn't eat pork except on weekends and Christmas Eve, at Chinese restaurants lol). I only had it during childhood, maybe 3-4 times in my life, pan-fried, as desperation food from mom's pantry.

                                              So to make sure he has lived fully, I went out today to Spam him up. I stood in the aisle debating ham vs turkey variants and decided on turkey (lower sodium, lower fat, lower chol, more acceptable to him, less likely to be wasted). Not authentic, but a gateway Spam.

                                              When I opened it, all 5 cats came running and yowling. One clawed my leg. One actually jumped on the counter (ABSOLUTELY verboten!). I saved them some for later.

                                              I sliced it into 1/8" to 1/4" slices and took the electric frypan, some peanut oil, and a glass of cabernet to the patio. (I know, cabernet with TURKEY Spam? what was I thinking?) Fried crispy and brown-edged, and back into the house after sweeping off a suicidal moth.

                                              And then a quick tasting, tiny bites of straight-from-can, plus fried. From can: cool, salty, not cat-food like (before you ask, yes, I HAVE tasted canned cat food, several varieties; kibbles and dog food also. Don't ask.). Fried and sliced into strips: "Well that's not bad." I asked if he'd sandwich it, and he said yes.

                                              Flavor: salty but not the remembered WALL OF SALT. This is a lower salt variant though. Moderately spongy, rubbery, giving texture, not unpleasant; chewy. Light chemical backnote (not unexpected, and frankly quite as remembered). Actually begging for some starch: bread or rice.

                                              Packaged up for weekend use with wax paper in between slices. Will we do again? Will not be on rotation, but I would stock a can or two for summer blackouts/grill use.

                                              (BTW: cats enjoyed the straight-from-can bit I gave them, even more than packaged wet food. I swear they're headed for Biggest Loser: Feline Version.)

                                              1. Slice it up, fry it to a crisp, add cheese until it melts, and plop it on bread/toast [with a generous dollop of mustard]. If you ever find yourself on Interstate 90 near Austin, Minnesota, the Spam Museum is a must see!