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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Korean Cooking Experiment Number 1-And A Brief History of Spam

In January, I wrote a brief list of New Years Resolutions in this post. I'm not one for self sacrifice so these were enjoyable resolutions, one of which was to learn to cook more Korean Food.  When most people think of Korean food they think of the famous barbecue, and they are not wrong, but there are a lot of simpler Korean dishes that can be easily mad at him.  Many of them contain an ingredient that a fair amount of people view with disdain, Spam:

Now until recently I had never actually eaten Spam, though I wasn't against it, as it holds a certain kitschy appeal.  When I heard that Soam is considered a luxury ingredient in Korea, with people wrapping it up and giving it as a prize gift I decided I needed to give it a try.

Spam was first introduced by the Hormel corporation in 1937 and its cheap cost and long shelf led to it becoming very popular with the American military.  In the 1950s during the Korean war American troops introduced Koreans to Spam and it became an immediately popular food item.  Unlike in the rest of the world Spam is relatively expensive in Korea and it is included in quite a few popular dishes.  Today, spam consumption in South Korea is second only to the United States.

A good Spam beginner recipe is Korean Fried Rice, its a very simple dish and quite tasty.  Also is you really cannot stomach Spam you could substitute ham, though I think you should give Spam a try!

Korean Fried Rice With Spam

4-5 cups or rice
1/2 can of Spam sliced 
4 tbsp of butter, plus a tablespoon or so more for frying the eggs
3-4 eggs
2-3 tbsp Soy Sauce, use more if you like it really salty, but I prefer the lesser amount
2-cups kimchi
A bunch of scallions chopped

Put the spam, Kim Chi, and half of the butter in the pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the Kim Chi wilts.  Add the rice and soy sauce and stir everything to combine.  Keep cooking stirring frequently while you fry the eggs in a separate pan.  When the eggs are done place them on top or the rice and top everything off with chopped scallions.  Enjoy!

If you are really interested in the history of Spam there is a Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.  If I ever take my day dream kitsch road tour of the United States this place would definitely be on my list!

Finally just because it's cute a non spam or food related photo of Weasley watching the big game, by which I mean the puppy bowl. 


  1. I didn't know Spam is so popular in Korea. It was fun reading history about it.
    I had Spam & egg rice ball when I visited Hawaii. It was quite tasty!
    Weasley is so cute watching the puppy bowl :-)

  2. I don't like Spam but the rice looks yummy xxoxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  3. I spent a summer canoeing and camping on a high adventure trip with canned or dried food. I've never been able to even think about SPAM again. :)

  4. Wow, I had no idea about the link betwen South Korea and Spam! How very interesting. For someone of my age (a teenager in the 70's) Spam means two things - school dinners and Monty Python!
    Oh and for years after I left home my parents would arrive to visit me with what my father termed a 'Red Cross Parcel'. It always contained a tin of Spam. My big mistake was never to admit that I no longer liked the stuff, and in due course I had accumulated a whole stack of uneaten tins in the back of my food cupboard. If only I had known then about South Korean cookery!


  5. A Korean graduate student lived with us for awhile and MAN he could cook! I don't remember his using Spam, but lots of hot dogs. Never tasted like hot dogs when he was done. :)

  6. Our son is living in Korea, he says spam is in gift boxes and a popular new year gift!

  7. Aside from being pretty salty, I don't have any qualms with Spam. It's fun, versatile, and still relatively well priced. I think my favourite way to make it is pan friend in butter with pineapple chunks and green peppers.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. Even if I wasn't a vegetarian I don't think I could eat spam, blegh :)
    It is just the look and texture of it.
    Lynne x

  9. Mmmm Korean food, how I miss yooooou. I'll have to play with making raw vegan versions, they do exist. One of my fav raw vegan chefs is Korean (Ani Phyo). @ least Kimchi is vegan ;D

  10. Oh! we are familiar of Spam (from HI). Not a big fan, its interesting flavor. Eating with rice surely makes the taste better. Golden Thanks for sharing. Happy Tasty Tuesday. Golden Woofs

  11. Interested in other SPAM recipies? Try searching for SPAM musubi or Spam Sushi... Also, if you want some recommendations for Korean ice cream... try to see if you have Samanco sold in your local Korean shop... it's made of vanilla ice cream and red bean paste. Delicious!

  12. Not a great fan of Spam but we knew the Koreans go mad for it. LOL a Spam museum. Have a wonderful Wednesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  13. I had no idea that there was a Spam Museum - very interesting!


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