Spam Musubi… the ultimate comfort food.

Spam is such an underrated meat.  It really deserves more attention than how much credit it’s given.  It’s such a versatile meat, just like it’s salty counterpart, bacon.  If I could, I would eat it all day long.  I love Spam.  And I’m not afraid to admit it either.  I love the combination of white rice and Spam.  Yum.  But my most favorite way to consume Spam is when it’s pan-fried in a teriyaki glaze, pressed against white rice, and wrapped tightly with nori.  Double yum.

When we were in Hawaii, we spent an entire day driving and exploring the Big Island.  And by exploring, I mean eating our way through the Big Island.  Forget the beaches, give me the food!  I was determined to find the best Spam Musubi on the drive.  After a few disappointments, we stumbled across a little store that had the BEST fruit smoothies and Spam Musubi.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you where it was because I didn’t even think to write down the name.  I was too busy gorging myself on the Spam Musubi and chasing it down with a fruit smoothie.

Spam Musubi

1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons mirin
1 can lite Spam, sliced into 8 equal pieces
2 cups white rice, cooked
3 sheets of nori, cut into thirds lengthwise
Furikake
Spam musubi mold

In a small glass bowl, combine the sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. Microwave the marinade for about 45 seconds. Whisk to dissolve sugar completely.

In a shallow square baking dish, lay the slices of the Spam at the bottom and cover completely with the marinade. Set aside to marinate for about 1 hour.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, and lay the slices of Spam to pan fry. After about two to three minutes or until the bottom has caramelized, flip onto the other side to finish cooking. Repeat until all slices of Spam have been cooked. Transfer cooked Spam onto a plate.

While you are cooking the Spam, in a small saucepan, cook to thicken the marinade as a dipping sauce. Once it has thickened, pour into a small bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

On a clean cutting board, lay down one strip of the nori sheet. Lay the musubi mold on the middle of the nori sheet. Scoop a generous amount of the white rice into the mold. Press down hard on the rice with the handle of the mold. Remove the handle carefully, and gently lift the mold from the rice. Sprinkle with furikake, and lay a slice of the Spam on top. Wrap the nori tightly around the rice, and seal the edge with a little water.

Serve with dipping sauce and devour immediately.

Makes 8 Spam musubis.

Turkey Kielbasa, Potato, and Kale Soup

kale soup, turkey kielbasa soup, turkey kielbasa, kielbasa

I have a few shifts left before I change jobs.  It’s a bittersweet feeling… I’m sad to leave the people that I really enjoy working with, but I’m really excited and nervous about starting my new job.  I didn’t think I was ever going to leave this job.  Ever.  In.  A.  Million.  Years.  If you asked me a year ago where I was going to be with my career in five years, I would have immediately answered with “this job, of course!”

But something suddenly changed within the last six months.  I was feeling unsatisfied and unchallenged by my job.  I was bored.  I need to be stimulated, and my current job just wasn’t doing that for me anymore.  These new feelings about my job was difficult.  I was struggling because I thought that *this* was my dream job, and that it’s such a dynamic environment, so how could I be bored?  I thought it was something that would pass if I just gave it some time, and plus there was nothing out there for me when I did a quick job search.  But the more time I gave it, the more unhappy I was with my job.

Well, low and behold, I started doing some searching and came across a job posting, which I thought I could totally love, or totally hate and regret leaving my job.  I applied, interviewed, and got the job after a two month process.  So here I am, about to finish this job and move on to the next…. wish me luck!

Turkey Kielbasa, Potato, and Kale Soup

1 large yellow onion, cut into small dices
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 fresh bay leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 small-medium sized potatoes, cut into small cubes
14 ounces (1 package) turkey kielbasa, sliced
8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
6 cups fresh kale, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
Grated parmesan cheese

In a large dutch oven, heat extra virgin olive oil. When oil is hot, saute the onions and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add the bay leaves and sliced turkey kielbasa and saute for two minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the dutch oven and add the diced potatoes, and bring to a boil.

Reduce to medium-high heat. Add the kale, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the kale is tender. Stir in the cannellini beans, and adjust seasoning to your likings with salt and pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

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