So I’ll get straight to it- there is Spam in this recipe (Wait! don’t stop reading yet!) I know there are two camps of people. You either love Spam or you hate it. Well, maybe three camps. You think you hate it because you would never, EVER try canned meat. I grew up eating Spam and I am definitely in the “love it” camp. I was born on Guam, and according to some fun facts I found online, Guam is the largest consumer of Spam per person, per year. Now, I don’t think I eat that much Spam, but I do love it in this fried rice recipe. But, if you are not a Spam lover, you can easily substitute diced ham (or even cooked chicken) in its place and still have some delicious fried rice. An added bonus to Spam, is its easy storage convience in my pantry and the saltiness of it makes this rice so savory and good! I love to make this rice for dinner either as the main meal with an egg roll on the side, or we have it as a side with another dish like these lettuce wraps.
Fried rice at home is easier than you might think. There are two important tips I can tell you that will affect the taste of your rice. First, make sure to use the right type of rice- medium or short grain. Most of the white rice that is readily available in grocery stores is long grain. The short grain is a sticky rice and is what I prefer to use for fried rice. I usually buy a huge bag of Calrose short grain rice at Costco because we eat lots of rice, but I have found it is usually in the Asian food section at grocery stores. The second tip is to use a good quality soy sauce. There are a lot of different kinds of soy sauces, from light to dark, and Chinese to Japanese. Some soy sauces are chemically or artificially produced. These will not taste very good if you use them. I love to use Kikkoman soy sauce which is available in most grocery stores.
This is a simple recipe, and you can easily jazz it up by adding sesame oil instead of vegetable oil, some green onions, other vegetables like mushrooms, fresh ginger, or even some fresh garlic instead of powdered. I like it the simple way because it means I have usually have everything I need already in my pantry. This recipe is great for those weeknight meals when you aren’t sure what to cook. I use frozen mixed vegetables to make the meal quick (no chopping) and I also have a rice cooker which makes cooking the rice easy.
Spam Fried Rice
5 cups cooked Calrose rice (2 1/2 cups uncooked rice)
1 can Spam diced into 1/2 inch cubes or 2 cups diced ham
1 tablespoon vegetable oil*
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
In a large pot or pan, heat vegetable oil and add Spam, allowing it to brown for 5-7 minutes, stirring periodically. Add the garlic powder and black pepper and stir. Crack your eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Moving the Spam to one side, add the eggs and scramble them. (You can also cook the eggs in a separate frying pan if desired, I just try to save myself washing two pans). Add the frozen mixed vegetables and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes until warmed through. Add the cooked rice to the pot and mix to incorporate everything allow to cook for another 6-7 minutes. Slowing add the soy sauce and stir until incorporated. Add a few more tablespoons if rice seems like it needs more. Serve with egg rolls.
*You can also use sesame oil if desired.