Vegan Spam Musubi is a vegan version of a popular Hawaiian snack inspired by the Japanese Onigiri. It features vegan red lentil tofu ‘spam’ wrapped in a sushi sandwich with rice and nori sheet. It makes a quick yet delicious and filling snack or lunch option.
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What is Vegan Spam Musubi?
Spam Musubi is a popular snack or lunch option in Hawaii, often available at convenience stores. Spam Musubi has an interesting history – as Japanese people who immigrated to the United States were reported to invent this – using seasoned spam and thick slices of rice and wrapped in Nori seaweed. I have seen so many videos of Spam Musubi, but I have actually never had spam before. I thought the shape looks really cool and love the history behind it.
So here comes my attempt at veganizing the popular Hawaiian dish, with a Japanese-inspired sauce that is sweet, smoky and savory.
Why Red Lentil Tofu?
My Red Lentil Tofu and the Vegan Salmon recipe went viral recently, and a lot of people commented that the tofu looks like spam. So I made a few extra batches of red lentil tofu to create vegan salmon. This is completely optional, feel free to use regular tofu as well!
Ingredients and substitutions for this Vegan Spam Musubi recipe
The Spam Musubi has a smoky, sweet and savory sauce, similar to Japanese teriyaki. To re-create this taste this, the sauce ingredients of this recipe are very easily accessible:
Soy sauce: for a savory taste
Mirin: a Japanese cooking wine that creates an iconic sweetness taste. If you don’t have mirin, you can use rice vinegar and add 1 tsp of sugar, as mirin is slightly sweeter than rice vinegar.
Liquid smoke: essential for the smoky, BBQ taste that is similar to spam
Smoked paprika powder
To assemble the Vegan Spam Musubi, you’ll need:
Nori seaweed: I cut it into thirds
Rice: I recommend using sushi or short-grained rice, and season with rice vinegar and sugar
Why you’ll love this recipe
This recipe is:
Transportable: take it with you on a picnic, for lunch, or for travel!
Easy to make and requires pantry-friendly ingredients
Simple yet quite filling and nutritious
Versatile: there are many variations of Spam Musubi, you can, for example add cucumber or avocado slices to the roll!