Spectacular Spam Musubi: Our Favourite Locations in Hawaii

Trust us. You haven’t really tried everything Hawaii residents like to eat until you had a Spam Musubi.

Photo: Getty Images

Trust us. You haven’t really tried everything Hawaii residents like to eat until you had a Spam Musubi.

It’s the perfectly portable Hawaiian snack – a slice of fried spam over a compacted block of sticky white rice wrapped in a band of dried nori (seaweed).

There are dozens of versions of this iconic local treat – from fried spam musubi to teriyaki-marinated spam to the spam and scrambled egg breakfast combo. Spam Musubi is everywhere in Hawaii, from sushi shops and okazu-ya (lunch shops) to convenience stores and drinks carts on golf courses.

How on earth did spam become part of the islands’ culinary landscape?

It turns out that Hawaiian residents first became acquainted with the pink canned meat product during World War II, when fresh meat was scarce on our isolated islands. In the years that followed, residents developed countless homestyle recipes using Spam, but Spam Musubi is the most enduring.

Since 1937, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods has sold 7 billion cans of spam worldwide. Currently, 100 million cans are sold in the US each year. Where is hawaii from Try an average of six cans per person per year, which equates to £ 5 million a year.

While you can buy a Spam Musubi at virtually any supermarket in the state, we thought we’d share some of our favorite spots that are worth the extra effort to find.

Hungry for spam? We are.

OAHU

• Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering is a little remote if you live or are in Honolulu. You have to drive to the town of Waipahu, Oahu, approximately 16 miles west of Waikiki to find them. But, oh, is Tanioka’s spam musubi good? A flavorful piece of spam on a generous pile of white rice barely in nori. You can make a meal out of it. Bonus? While you’re there, try taniokas more than two dozen types of sack.

Taniokas Seafood and Catering, 94-903 Farrington Highway, Waipahu, (808) 671-3779, www.taniokas.com

• Tucked away in the Kaimuki area of ​​Honolulu – a few miles from Waikiki, near Kapiolani Community College – is a mini-mart that serves some of the best poke and chicken long rice. But don’t miss out on some tasty spam musubi from Fort Ruger Market there. If you’re not in the mood for spam, you can also find musubi with Portuguese sausage, bacon and egg, mochiko chicken, teriyaki beef, or sliced ​​hot dogs. You can even choose your rice: plain white, seasoned with furikake (a Japanese rice spice), or fried.

Fort Ruger Market, 3585 Alohea Ave., Honolulu, (808) 737-4531

MAUI

• Upcountry Maui residents know that the island’s best food isn’t always served in trendy restaurants or even eateries. You can also find great restaurants in places like Pukalani Superette, a neighborhood mom and pop shop that regulars refer to as “Puk Sup”. Pukalani Superette offers a wide variety of prepared foods – including lumpia (filled spring rolls), fried tako (squid), and chilli chicken drumettes – that attract diners from across Maui. The fried spam musubi is popular with residents and visitors to nearby Kula and Haleakala.

Pukalani Superette, 15 Makawao Ave., Pukalani, (808) 572-7616, www.pukalanisuperette.com

BIG ISLAND

• Hilo Farmers Market (on the corner of Mamo Street and Kamehameha Avenue in downtown Hilo) has vendors selling all kinds of musubi, from salmon to hot dog to spam. However, we recommend going to the Kawamoto store. The shop is a hole in the wall okazu-ya that serves everything from cone sushi to shrimp tempura to Korean chicken. The Kawamoto Store also sells one of the best tasting spam musubis on the Big Island. So good, in fact, that the Kawamoto Store often sells out all Spam Musubi before noon. To go early. Getting hungry.

Kawamoto Store, 784 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, (808) 935-8209

KAUAI

Believe it or not, one of the best spam musubis on the Garden Island is in a large grocery store – the Kapaa store at Foodland Super Market in Hawaii. The nori on this is completely wrapped around the Spam-Musubi – not just a seaweed ribbon in the middle. It is big. It tastes good. And it’s less than $ 2 a piece.

Foodland Super Market Kapaa, Waipouli City Center, Kapaa, (808) 822-7271

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