Friday, July 11, 2008

stuff yellow people like

Friends, let us talk for a moment about Spam.

Now, to be clear, I am not talking about e-mail Spam and I am not talking about musical Spam and I am not talking about kitschy Spam, the kind that you buy antique tin signs of to hang in your kitchen, or ironic vintage T-shirts of to wear around your frat house. I am talking about Spam the food. To eat. In your mouth. Further, I am talking about what I made for dinner last night. Spam with fried rice, to be precise.

Before people get all crazy up in here that OH MY GOD I WILLINGLY FED MY FAMILY SPAM, let me further clarify that 1.) Cal had his own, separate, non-Spam dinner, and 2.) I have been eating Spam all my life. Maybe the Asian folks that read this page can back me up on this one, but in Asian cultures (well, I shouldn't be so blanket--in Chinese and Korean culture, maybe others too, though I cannot personally attest to this fact), eating Spam is OK. I've heard some people call it "a delicacy," the likes of which you would eat on payday, and maybe I wouldn't go quite that far, but it is a common and accepted mealtime staple, quite tasty with a nice bowl of rice. I've had Spam in quite a few menu items in my day--I even had Spam sushi once, but I don't know if that was a serious effort or just a joke (it was a college thing)--either way, it was good.

Many of you white people out there (Joe included), may not have ever had Spam before. My friends, never say never. Just try it once. If you don't like it, you can blame me. But if you do like it, well, enter the world of Spam. Welcome home.


You will need:

Spam (duh)
Eggs x 3
Rice x 1.5 cups
Vegetable oil
LOVE (the secret ingredient!)

Get yourself a big thing of Spam. Not the little can, the bigger one. I don't know how big it is, but the one pictured above, that looks almost square in front profile. So easy to purchase! We got ours at CVS. There is no shame, no need to hide it in your basket under the dish soap. There you go.

Bring the Spam home. Unroof the Spam and free it from its metal prison. Do not mind the thin scrim of clear gelatin that has pooled up on the surface, nor the moist squelching noise that issues from the Spam block as you work it free. These are all features intrinsic to Spam. Embrace the goop. Love the noises.

Cut the Spam into slices. Some might prefer cubes, but I think slices are nice. Cut them thin if you can, 1/4" or less. The Spam will yield easily, like some sort of meat gel. Never you mind about that. It's going to taste good.

Heat up a pan under high flame and plop the Spam slices facedown. You will not need extra cooking oil, Spam has its own oils. See how easy it makes it for you? Spam loves you! Allow it to cook for a good few minutes on each side, until brown and crispy, kind of like bacon. This is why you cut it thin. It's going to start to smell good at this point.

When Spam is browned on each side, remove from the flame and let it rest. Just kidding. Spam doesn't need to rest, it's not fussy like those other meats. You can just eat it right away, hot off the griddle. But you'll want to save some for the rice.

Get your rice. Day old rice is fine. Put it in a pot with some vegetable oil. Add three eggs. This is an approximation--usually I use two eggs for one cup of rice, so let's just say three for a cup and a half.

"But Michelle," you may be asking, "can I use egg whites with my Spam fried rice?" Now picture me shaking my head ruefully. Give it up, YOU'RE ALREADY EATING SPAM. Just use the whole egg. You'll be fine. Note that fried rice is ideally made in a frying pan or a wok under high heat, but I made mine in a pot because the movers took all our stuff and sold it off the back of their truck on the streets of the Bronx somewhere, so now we have NOTHING. But you should use a frying pan if you have such finery.

Toss the rice and the egg around, careful not to let it burn. Well, a little burned is fine. You can add some salt if you like, but remember, Spam is already very salty. Some people like to cut their Spam up into little cubes and toss it in the rice as they're frying it, but I do not condone this method, preferring instead to lay the Spam slices on top like a katsudon. Also, some people (not me) add vegetables and stuff to their fried rice, but why bother? You're already eating Spam. Just eat some vegetables tomorrow.

Remove rice from flame. Spoon into a bowl, and place crisped Spam slices on top. Eat with relish. When your gringo husband notes that the Spam is "really salty," shake your head in sorrow and pity. Spam. The others will never understand.

(Serves four, or one really hungry person for dinner and, subsequently, breakfast.)


  1. hahaha! yes, I love Spam too! Had loads of them when I was growing up.

  2. Just discovered your blog. Love it! Also, confirming Spam is loved by Filipinos. It is its own food group. Amen.