A good friend, who shares an appreciation for spam, found a recipe on the Three Hungry Bellies blog for spam buns. In this evolution of the hot dog buns commonly found in Chinese and Japanese bakeries, a slice of spam is encased in a soft, fluffy bread. I saw the recipe and immediately wanted to “Hawaii-fy” it by combining elements of Hawaii’s popular spam musubi.
Spam musubi in bun form
For the uninitiated, a spam musubi looks like a very large nigiri where a large portion of rice is topped with a slice of spam and it is all held together with a strip of nori.
The slice of spam is often fried in a light teriyaki-style sauce (yes we fry a sodium-heavy processed meat in more sodium). The sauce is slightly sweet and sometimes, as in this case, has the addition of a little yellow mustard.
To “Hawaii-fy” these spam buns, I started with incorporating teriyaki flavor into the spam. The trick is to just heat the spam enough so it absorbs the flavor of the sauce. Since it will bake inside of the bun and you don’t want it to dry out from too much cooking.
To get the flavor of nori, rather than using full strips of the dried seaweed, I chose to use furikake instead. Furikake is sprinkled inside the bun and sprinkled on the outside for garnish. I use a simple furikake of nori and sesame seeds.
Enjoy as a portable snack
Furikake spam buns make a great grab-and-go option. While you could eat it at room temperature, a quick re-heat in a toaster oven (or even the microwave) will make all the difference.
Or a re-imagined pig-in-the-blanket
Why not introduce your friends to a new, fun version of a gameday standard? You will be a hit when you show up with a tray of these furikake spam buns. Cut them down to third- or half-size to make a perfect party treat.
Things to watch for
As I mentioned above, be careful not to over cook the spam. If you do, the flavor will be there but the spam itself will be dry and a little cardboard-like.
The second thing to watch for is to not overproof the dough, especially during the second rise. In warm weather, the dough will rise quickly. If you overproof the buns, they will deflate in the oven and the buns will turn out flat, not soft and fluffy.Print
These spam musubi inspired buns put a Hawaii twist on Three Hungry Bellies’ Spam Buns recipe. They are reminiscent of hot dog rolls found in Chinese and Japanese bakeries.
For the dough
1 cup water, room temperature
3 teaspoons dry milk powder
4 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of rapid rise yeast
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the spam
1 12-ounce can spam, cut into 8 slices (about 1/2″ thick)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons yellow mustard, optional
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons furikake, plus more for garnish
To make the dough
In a stand mixer, combine water, dry milk powder, sugar, rapid rise yeast, flour, and salt. Knead on medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until the dough comes together. Dough will be a little sticky. Let it rest in the mixer for 10 – 15 minutes.
Place dough on a floured work surface and shape into a ball. Lightly flour the top of the dough ball and cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap (the dusting of flour keeps the towel/plastic wrap from sticking to the dough). Let the dough rest for 1 to 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
To make the spam
While the dough rises, combine the soy sauce, sugar, and mustard (optional) – this can be done directly in the skillet.
Heat the sauce and add the slices of spam. Let heat for about 1 minute on each side. You are just heating the spam through so it will absorb the flavors of the sauce.
Remove from heat and let cool.
To assemble the buns
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Once the dough has doubled in size, on a well-floured work surface flatten the dough into a 6″ x 16″ rectangle, about ½-inch thick. You could use a rolling pin but it is not necessary.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized rectangles, about 3″ x 4″. Place a slice of spam in the center of each rectangle. For each bun, fold the long sides of dough over the spam, closing it like a book. Pinch the seam together. The ends of spam should peek out a little. Flip the spam bun and place on the baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Lightly cover the buns with a dish towel or plastic wrap. Let proof for about 25 – 30 minutes or until you see that they are visibly puffy.
About 15 minutes into the second rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. This ensures the oven is hot and the buns don’t overproof (which would cause the buns to flatten during the bake).
When the buns have completed their second rise, brush the tops with the beaten egg and sprinkle with furikake. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Inactive Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Hawaiian-American
- Calories: 174.62
- Sugar: 2.78 g.
- Sodium: 341.30 mg.
- Fat: 11.85 g.
- Saturated Fat: 4.29 g.
- Carbohydrates: 37.98 g.
- Fiber: 1.41 g.
- Protein: 11.02 g.
- Cholesterol: 29.92 g.
Keywords: spam, furikake