Tag Archives: Spam

Hawaiian Food Trip: Food-venirs and Other Foods

Cans of Spam (front)

In every country I’ve visited, I’ve been fascinated by the food. Even before I started writing this food blog, I’ve visited countries and brought food home (items that are allowed 🙂 .) as souvenirs.

I believe Hawaii is the land of Spam. I’ve never seen so many flavours and varieties anywhere I’ve been to. In my Hawaiian Food Trip: Aloha!, I posted a photo of the “Spam Wall” from the grocery store. I wanted to buy every single flavour to taste them but alas, I couldn’t. It would’ve cost more for the overweight baggage fees to bring cans of Spam back to Canada. So I only got one Turkey and one Hickory to try out. It was a hard decision to make. Now looking at the photo, I should’ve gotten the Teriyaki one too! Darn it! I guess I’ll have to go back to Hawaii again soon 😉

Cans of Spam (front)

Cans of Spam (front)

Cans of Spam (back)

Cans of Spam (back) – Love the recipe ideas!

It was so cool to see the different flavours of syrup being sold at the grocery store. Out of all the tropical flavoured syrups that were sold, I decided to buy the guava syrup. I love guava! Again, I was tempted to buy all the other flavours as well—coconut and lilikoi (passion fruit) syrup but didn’t due to the luggage weight restriction.

Guava Syrup

Guava Syrup

Furikake—bought one bottle, ate it there and brought the rest home. I know we can get it from Asian grocery stores here but I never thought of buying it until eating it in Hawaii. (I actually bought two extra bottles when I got back home to test out other flavours 😛 .) Now, I’m obsessed with these rice seasonings! My plain white rice now yearns for a sprinkle of furikake to make it more exciting! Plain rice will never be the same again!

Furikake

Furikake

McDonald’s

Every time we visit different countries, we have to visit a McDonald’s. It’s funny that when I’m at home, I don’t even crave for McDonald’s. But when I’m abroad I think about it more. Maybe it’s because we’re out all the time and McDonald’s is everywhere. I love discovering specialty items that are available only at the local McDonald’s at a particular place or country.

Local Deluxe Breakfast – Eggs, Portuguese Sausage, Spam, of course, and Rice. Even when I had McDonald’s in Hong Kong and China, they didn’t serve rice for breakfast!

McDonald's Local Hawaiian Deluxe Breakfast

McDonald’s Local Hawaiian Deluxe Breakfast

Taro Pie – Your typical McDonald’s pie but with taro inside. Very interesting and delicious!

McDonald's Taro Pie

McDonald’s Taro Pie

My oldest son was the one who saw the Hawaiian Food Dictionary at the ABC store. He is so sweet and knows how much I love food and cooking. So he insisted that I buy the book for myself 🙂 . These ABC stores are everywhere. Don’t forget to save the receipts! You can claim prizes if you spend over $100 at any island on Hawaii.

Hawaii's Food Dictionary

Hawaii’s Food Dictionary

I would have bought more food items from Hawaii. But our luggage was full and it went over our 50 pound limit (I had to transfer some of my loot to my daughter’s portable crib bag 😛 )! Alas, this is the last post from my Hawaiian Food Trip. Our family had a really fun time exploring the islands and tasting all the Memorable Dishes. To quote the lady from the luau when the show was about to end, “Aloha is not a real goodbye because I know you will return…” Yes! I will return! Aloha for now!Aloha

Hawaiian Food Trip: Aloha!

Variety of Poke

Travelling with three kids is no easy feat. And feeding them is a whole other ordeal. Luckily my kids love to eat and they usually eat everything my husband and I do. We recently travelled to Hawaii (Oahu and Maui islands) and decided to rent condos because we found it more economical and easier with young kids. We prepared meals at the condo and the kids had more room to run around. As much as my kids love eating out, I know they would get sick of eating out everyday, three meals a day.

Coming from a food-obsessed family, I researched what and where to eat in Hawaii before I left. (When our family visits from the States, we discuss what to eat for dinner immediately after our bellies are full from eating lunch. Yes, our family loves to eat!) I even mapped out the closest restaurants in the area we stayed at and all the areas we were visiting. Not only did I read restaurant reviews, I also read reviews on which grocery stores were better in terms of size, variety of foods sold and prices. Perhaps, I did more research on food-related places than the places we visited? 😛

During our trip to Oahu and Maui, we hit Costcos on both islands plus a couple of grocery stores to feed our family. You might be thinking I’m getting paid by Costco to write this post – I’m not! Food is expensive in Hawaii and I found if you have to get some things in bulk, Costco is the way to go. Even if you’re Canadian, you can use your membership in the US.

One of the most Memorable Dishes I had was poke. I was so excited when I read about it and couldn’t wait to try it. Poke is basically a raw fish salad that’s mixed with seasonings. The traditional poke is made with tuna, soy sauce, sea salt, maui onions and a few other ingredients. I bought poke from different grocery stores and had some at restaurants too. I am the only one that went crazy over poke. My husband had a bit and only enjoyed the spicy version of it and the kids didn’t like it at all (not a surprise).

Variety of Poke

Variety of Poke

There were so many interesting food products in Hawaii. One of the things we found at the grocery store was taro buns. I should’ve taken a photo of the inside of the bun because it’s purple! I couldn’t really taste the taro in the bun but it was really cool to find food items you normally wouldn’t find in your own area. I also bought pineapple wine from the grocery store to try. It was a bit on the sweeter side and the taste was OK. I guess liking certain wine is subjective. But it was interesting to try something local from the area.

Taro Buns and Pineapple Wine

Taro Buns and Pineapple Wine

How could I forget about Spam? Hawaii is Spam haven! I couldn’t believe how many different variety and flavours of Spam they had at the grocery store. I was tempted to buy every flavour from the Spam wall and bring them home!

Spam Wall

Spam Wall

One thing I didn’t get to try in Hawaii was Spam Musubi. It’s basically Spam on top of rice wrapped in seaweed. Every place that sold Spam Musubi had it heated under a food lamp in a glass food display case. I was weary of buying something that was sitting there for hours looking like no one was buying them. I could easily create this Memorable Dish at home.

Hope this post piqued your interest in Hawaiian foods. For now, this concludes the introduction of our Hawaiian Food Trip. In the next few posts, I will write about some of our travel and food adventures in Hawaii. Take a journey with me, as I highlight some of the memorable places we visited and the Memorable Dishes we tasted.

Spam Fried Rice

Spam Fried Rice

Spam – what can I say about it? For some, it is a deceptively tasty can of meat. For others, it is the antichrist of meat products. Whether you love it or loathe it, Spam is a Memorable Dish for everyone because everyone has an opinion about it.

I never knew that Spam was a food to be made fun of until I moved to North America. In Hong Kong, we consider Spam a meat staple. There are Spam and egg sandwiches, Spam in macaroni soup, Spam on top of ramen noodles, and Spam fried rice. The list of food made from Spam is endless.

Even though Spam is the butt of many jokes in North America (except in Hawaii where they LOVE Spam), I think most people secretly enjoy eating it. Some of my friends always bring Spam when they go camping. They insist they only eat it when camping because it’s easy to pack and doesn’t need refrigeration. Perhaps they use camping as an excuse to indulge in their innermost desires of Spam eating without the guilt? 😉

What makes this a Memorable Dish for me is that my mom used to make us Spam Fried Rice as kids. North Americans have their macaroni and cheese and we have our Spam Fried Rice, or any fried rice for that matter. But I fondly remember her Spam Fried Rice. Now that we are more health conscious, she hasn’t used Spam for fried rice as much. She uses ham or chicken or whatever leftover meats she has on hand.

I am continuing the family tradition of making fried rice for the kiddies. Most of the time, I use real meat (not that Spam is not “real” meat…haha). But sometimes when I feel nostalgic and want to live life on the edge, I make Spam Fried Rice.

Just like me, the kids can’t stop eating just one bowl of fried rice. If you end up making this recipe, please enjoy and indulge! I don’t pig out on Spam all the time (pun intended). So, no guilt is allowed when eating Spam Fried Rice, ok? 🙂 On that note, here’s my recipe for Spam Fried Rice. Now that Spam Lite is available, I’m using that instead. Healthier Spam – how ironic!

img_Spam_Fried_Rice

Spam Fried Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of day-old Cooked Rice (2 cups of uncooked rice)
  • 1 can of diced Spam (I use the low-fat version.)
  • 2 cups of frozen Peas, Carrots, Corn (thawed)
  • 3 large beaten Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil (1 tsp for eggs, 3 tsp for rice)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • ¼ cup low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 sliced Green Onion for garnish

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick wok or large frying pan.
  2. Scramble the eggs and set aside.
  3. Using the same wok, fry up the Spam until lightly brown and crispy on the outside. (You don’t need to use oil because there’s enough fat in the Spam.) Drain out the oil and set aside.
  4. Heat 3 tsp of oil and stir fry the rice until it’s heated through.
  5. When the rice turns a bit crispy, add the salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce.
  6. Stir fry the rice a bit more until the soy sauce is mixed in the rice.
  7. Put the Spam, eggs, and vegetables with the rice.
  8. Stir fry all the ingredients until they are evenly mixed.
  9. Garnish with sliced green onions.

Notes

If you don’t have any day-old rice, cook the rice and cool it in the fridge before making the fried rice for best results. Basically, the rice has to be a bit on the dryer side.

http://www.memorabledishes.com/spam-fried-rice/

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