SPAM, Eggs, and Rice is very popular in Hawaii and is great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack! When Eric and I first started dating, he took me grocery shopping (I broke my arm on our first date and couldn’t drive) and as we walked in the store I shouted “SPAM!” My first reaction to the SPAM display was sticker shock, I remember it being much cheaper in Hawaii. My second reaction was “If that’s the sale price I’m getting 6 now!’ Eric laughed but quickly realized I was serious as I began using my good arm to drop cans on SPAM into the cart. He asked what on earth I would make with SPAM, and though I have lots of dishes I make with it, the first thing out of my mouth was “SPAM, Eggs and Rice!”
Every morning at Moanalua High School, I’d go down to our gym where the coach was cooking breakfast in the concession stand. I’d smell the fried SPAM and plunk down $1.50 to get a scoop of rice, a scrambled egg, and a slice of fried SPAM. (Sometimes, if I didn’t have money, I’d just get rice for 50 cents). Whenever I was heading out to surf, or making a long car trip (long is relative when you live on an island) I’d stop by a Loco Moco restaurant and get a big plate of SPAM, eggs and rice. So not only does this dish taste good, but I associate a lot of memories with it. It’s also really easy to make and Eric often chooses it if he’s the one cooking dinner.
Perhaps you’re wondering, “What is SPAM?” It’s a canned precooked meat, and yes it is pork so I can’t eat it more than a little once or twice a week, and while it’s perfectly safe to eat out of the can, to me it doesn’t taste good unless cooked. Although it’s high in protein, the recommended serving size contains 28% of your daily saturated fat and 1/3 of your daily sodium, so I never use as much as the recommend serving size. By combining it with other ingredients I’m able to stretch it to last longer (one can of SPAM makes 4 different meals for us) and be healthier. SPAM is a staple in Hawaii, it started during World War II when fresh meat was difficult to obtain. You’ll find SPAM, eggs and rice on the breakfast menu at many fast food restaurants in Hawaii like McDonald’s and Burger King. There are a lot of things you can make with SPAM including musubi, somen salad, and fried rice. I know it can be a little scary at first, but play around with this versatile cheap meat. Your wallet will thank you and so will your family (just maybe don’t tell them it’s SPAM until after they eat it, I do that to dinner guests all the time!) For more SPAM fun, check out Jaden’s Ode To SPAM!
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup Aloha shoyu (soy sauce)
1 TBS sugar
1 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 slices SPAM 1/2 inch thick
2 TBS milk
salt and pepper
Start your rice cooking first, I make 3/4 cup pre-cooked in my rice maker which takes 20 minutes, it’s the slowest part of this dish and yields 1 1/2 cups cooked rice.
Mix shoyu, sugar, fish sauce and rice vinegar in a bowl. Cut your slices of SPAM into 1/2 inch cubes and marinate in shoyu mixture. When rice has about 10 minutes to go, whisk eggs with milk, salt, and pepper.
Heat a skillet on medium high and pour eggs in. Scramble them and then put onto a plate. Place plate in the microwave to keep warm. Using a fork or slotted spoon, remove SPAM from marinade and cook in same skillet until a golden brown crust forms on the cubes. (Don’t dump marinade in, or as Eric discovered, it’s really salty!)
Scoop rice onto a plate and top with eggs and SPAM.
Approximate cost per serving: 1 Slice SPAM 15 cents, 1/2 cup cooked rice 15 cents, almost 1 egg 14 cents, marinade 2 cents TOTAL: 46 cents!