Spam-and-Kimchi Musubi

“This is the peanut butter and jelly sandwich of Hawaii,” says Roy Choi about the sushi-like musubi, a mix of seared Spam, sushi rice and pureed kimchi, all wrapped up in nori. “If you’ve been swimming, if you’ve been hanging on the beach, it’s the perfect snack. Something about it just hits the spot. And the best place to find it is at a 7-Eleven.”

Spam-and-Kimchi Musubi
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
1 hrs
2 dozen pieces


  • 2 cups sushi rice, rinsed

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup kimchi

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • One 12-ounce can of Spam, cut into 8 slices

  • Four 8-by-7 1/2-inch sheets of nori

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • Sriracha chile sauce

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, cover the rinsed rice with 2 cups of water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 17 minutes. Uncover and place a clean kitchen towel over the pot. Replace the lid and let stand off the heat for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice and let cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, add the kimchi and 1 tablespoon of water to a blender or mini food processor and puree.

  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the Spam slices and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

  4. Arrange 1 sheet of nori with the longer side facing you and rub with a little sesame oil. Mound 1/3 cup of the warm sushi rice on the bottom and pat into an 8-by-2-inch rectangle. Spread 1 scant tablespoon of the kimchi puree on the rice. Top with 2 slices of Spam and another 1/3 cup of the rice. Fold up the rice in the nori, pressing it into a rectangle. Repeat with the remaining nori sheets, sesame oil, rice, kimchi puree and Spam; there may be a little rice leftover. Using a sharp, moistened knife, cut each roll into 6 pieces, wiping the knife with a damp towel between slices. Arrange the musubi on a platter, dot with Sriracha, garnish with the sliced scallion and serve.

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