Classic Shoyu Musubi


This popular Hawaiian snack of soy-and-sugar-glazed Spam and sushi rice wrapped in nori is totally irresistible.

Classic Shoyu Musubi
Photo: Abby Hocking
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
20 pieces

This popular Hawaiian snack of Spam that's been glazed with musubi sauce and wrapped in nori with sushi rice is totally irresistible. Cook Allison Robicelli admits that she had hesitations about trying it, but now it's one of her favorites. "It's ridiculous how we have a national aversion to Spam. Shoulder is the best part of the pig, in my opinion," she says.


  • 1 cup sushi rice, rinsed

  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice wine vinegar

  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 (12-ounce) can Spam, cut crosswise into 6 slices, can washed and reserved (see note)

  • 3 sheets of nori, halved crosswise

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons furikake (Japanese seasoning mix)


  1. In a small saucepan, cover the rice with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 20 minutes.

  2. In a small microwavable bowl, combine the vinegar with the granulated sugar; microwave until warm, about 20 seconds. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour the vinegar mixture over the rice and toss to combine.

  3. In another small bowl, stir the soy sauce with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of water. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the Spam slices and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, turning the slices once, until the Spam is glazed, about 3 minutes.

  4. On a work surface, arrange a half sheet of nori with the longer side facing you. Set the cleaned Spam can upright in the center of the nori sheet. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the warm sushi rice into the bottom of the can. Using the back of a spoon that’s been dipped in cold water, pack the rice in an even layer. Top with one slice of Spam and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the furikake. Spoon another 3 tablespoons of the rice over the Spam and pack in an even layer. Carefully hold down the musubi and remove the Spam can, leaving the musubi on the nori. Fold one end of the nori up over the rice. Using your fingertips, wet the other end of the nori and fold it up over the other side of the rice, pressing to adhere. Flip the musubi so it is seam side down. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets, rice, Spam, and furikake.

  5. Using a moistened sharp knife, cut each roll crosswise into four pieces, wiping the knife with a damp towel between slices. Arrange the musubi on a platter and serve.

Make ahead

The musubi can be refrigerated overnight. It’s best eaten at room temperature You can also use a Spam musubi maker.


You will need the Spam can for this recipe. Using a can opener, remove both the top and the bottom of the can and remove the Spam. Use a spoon to push down any sharp edges on the side of the can. Wash and dry the can well before proceeding.

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