When you travel, do you get jealous of other tourists sampling all the local dishes? That’s what happened to me on my recent trip to Hawaii. Spam Musubi is a Hawaiian dish traditionally made with teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and often other ‘secret’ family ingredients — it is not gluten-free and celiac-safe. But it looks so delicious and I wanted to know what everyone was raving about…
So I asked locals for advice, took to the grocery store to find what I could, and came up with a Gluten-Free Spam Musubi-inspired bowl! My partner has been asking me to make it again, so spam may be a staple in our camper van pantry.
Related: Gluten Free Hawaii: a perfect day of food and sight-seeing on the Big Island and Gluten Free Weekly Wins & Losses (my Gluten Free Living on-the-go series)
What to know before you make this Spam Musubi Bowl:
- This recipe is in our new “on-the-go” category. That means the priority is fast, easy, and minimal ingredient recipes. While the other recipe categories are intended for sharing with friends and family, these would be best served a little ‘dressed up’ for special gatherings. I offer suggestions in the section below.
- Since I am not Hawaiian and this is the deliciously modified gluten-free version, I would never claim that this recipe is authentic. It is easy, delicious, and celiac friendly — I call that a win in my book!
How to dress up this Spam Musubi Bowl for sharing:
- Use good gluten free sushi rice. We actually made this with Minute Rice since we were in a hotel room with limited time, but at home we use sushi rice prepared in a rice cooker.
- Pro travel tip: The brown Minute Rice has a nicer texture than the white (though it still doesn’t quite compare to rice made in a rice cooker)
- Add a little gluten free rice vinegar to your rice for a more authentic twist. We add about 1 Tbsp of rice vinegar per 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice.
- Wrap the Spam Musubi traditionally. This requires creating a quick rice mold using the spam can — more details are in the recipe notes below.
- Dress up the bok choy with this easy Asian Garlic Bok Choy Recipe from Christie at Home to give it a little somethin’ extra (be sure to use Gluten-Free Soy Sauce for this recipe).
Ready for some quick cooking? Let’s go!
Easy Spam Musubi Bowl Recipe
- 3 tsp sunflower or canola oil (to prevent sticking to the pan)
- 1 12 oz can of spam
- ½ cup gluten-free soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 5 baby bok choy, ends trimmed and cut in half lengthwise (quarter if large)
- 5 portions white or brown rice
- Beforehand: Slice the spam cake lengthwise into 10 slices, about ¼ inch thick. Mix soy sauce and honey and stir until the honey is completely dissolved. Marinade the spam slices for at least 20 minutes, either in a ziplock freezer bag or a shallow pan (flip halfway).
- Add a small amount of oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Fry the spam slices for 2-3 minutes per side, or until they begin to brown but not burn. Remove spam from the pan.
- Add a small amount of oil (to prevent sticking) and the bok choy to the pan. Allow to cook on medium high heat for approximately 4 minutes per side or until the bok choy begins to brown. Add splashes of water as needed to deglaze the pan. Just before fully cooked (stalks will soften but remain crisp and the leaves will be wilted) add the extra spam marinade and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Serve spam, bok choy, and rice together with an extra drizzle of leftover marinade.
Variations: Try serving in traditional Spam Musubi form: create a rice mold by cutting down a spam can and pressing rice firmly inside to make a compact cake. Then top with a spam slice and wrap with a strip of nori seaweed paper.
Check out these other easy gluten-free recipes & blog posts:
- Thai Red Curry Soup
- Deconstructed Sushi Bowl: an easy no-cook (or low-cook) recipe
- Rice Paper Wraps with Tangy Peanut Sauce
Need to add Gluten-Free & Celiac-Safe ingredients to your pantry?
Check out our Shop, with 100% Gluten-free and Celiac-Safe products we use every day!
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Enjoy this super easy and delicious recipe, my friend!
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