On Saturday evening, we went to the Spam Jam in Waikiki. The what? Yes, Spam Jam. It’s a huge annual street festival on Kalakaua in the heart of Waikiki. Tents stretch for blocks with vendors selling their best recipes featuring Spam. I heard there were 25,000 people there. It was packed. Hawaiians love their Spam. I mean, you can get Spam, eggs, and rice for breakfast at McDonald’s.
This event also benefits the Hawaii Foodbank, an organization that is dear to me. I urge you to consider donating or volunteering with your local foodbank. Their work is absolutely vital to the community.
We decided to try the Hard Rock Cafe tent. I had the Spam mac and cheese, and Geoff had the Spam taco. When mine arrived, I was a bit… disappointed. It was not what I was expecting. This was my first time to try Spam, so when I had a huge scoop of ground Spam that looked and smelled like cat food on top of my mac, I was put off. I scooted most of it off to the side and just mixed a bit of the salty Spam into the mac. It was good enough, but I knew I could do better.
I switched out that soggy mess for crispy salty bits of Spam joy. It was a million times better. I also mixed the Spam throughout instead of just putting it on top. A hit of cayenne and garlic adds a lot of interest to the flavor. Spam is not a go to ingredient for me, and I’m not sure I’d work with it again, even if it is cheap. Yet I was pleasantly surprised that eating this Spam mac and cheese made me ridiculously happy. In fact, I ate it twice in one day. It was definitely awesome.
- 4 oz macaroni
- 1/2 cup Spam, diced to small cubes
- 1 egg
- 6 ounces evaporated milk
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- pinch of salt (go easy, Spam is really salty)
- 4 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 475
- In a medium pan, put your water on to boil. Add salt and macaroni to boiling water and cook for 6 minutes. Drain.
- In the meantime, cook your tiny Spam cubes in a small skillet over medium high heat. Once they are nice and crispy, they will start to jump and attempt to escape the pan. Transfer Spam cubes to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Beat the egg and evaporated milk together, then add the seasonings, followed by the cheese and most of the Spam. Finally fold in the cooked pasta.
- Spoon your mixture into two greased ramekins which are resting on a baking sheet to catch any possible drips. Sprinkle the last of your Spam on top.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes to avoid burning your face off.
- Dig in and learn to love the Spam.