Sushi styling gives Spam a new spin

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Spam musubi -- a Spamified version of sushi -- is wildly popular in Hawaii. So much so, even President-elect Obama was seen eating it while vacationing last year.

We on the Mainland might think it more an acquired taste than a delicacy. Really, though, if you can get your mind around eating sea urchin, canned meat should be easy, right?

SPAM MUSUBI

Start to finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes (30 minutes active)

Servings: 4 to 6

1 cup white sushi rice

1 1/3 cups water

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 can Spam, cut into 1-by-2-inch slabs about 1/4-inch thick

1 sheet nori seaweed (sushi wrapper), cut into 1/4-by-6-inch strips

Bottled teriyaki sauce, to garnish

In a mesh strainer, rinse the rice under cold water. Place the strainer over a bowl and let the rice drain for several minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 14 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and uncover. Drape a kitchen towel over the pan, then replace the cover. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Transfer the rice to a baking dish and sprinkle with the vinegar.

Use a wooden spoon to toss the rice with the vinegar until well mixed. Cover the rice with plastic wrap and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the Spam and lightly brown on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Use your hands to form the rice into 1-by-2-inch rectangles about 1 inch thick. Top each with a piece of Spam.

Place each piece of sushi on top of 1 strip of nori and wrap the ends of the nori up over the middle of the Spam. Use a finger dunked in water to dampen the ends of the nori and stick together.

Drizzle each piece with a bit of teriyaki sauce.


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