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Hawaiian Steak

During WWII the Hormel Corporation shipped 15 million cans of SPAM (SPiced hAM) per week to Allied troops. It had a very long shelf-life, did not require cooking, but was very high in fat and salt. Surplus SPAM quickly found its way into many Pacific Islander cuisines. It remains popular in Hawaii, is found on the menu of McDonald’s and Burger King, and is also popular as Musubi (SPAM sushi).

1 can SPAM Lite

1 can pineapple slices

Commercial teriyaki sauce, or homemade (recipe follows)

One Hawaiian I spoke with said that you must just keep turning it on the grill because of flare-ups. However, SPAM Lite is 1/3 less fat than the original and I did not have that problem. Prepare the teriyaki sauce if not using a commercial one. Open the can and cut the meat in half, cutting parallel to the long side. Open the pineapple can and drain the slices. Prepare the grill for high heat indirect cooking. Grill the SPAM and two or more slices of pineapple per SPAM slice directly over the fire for 4 minutes per side, then move them all to indirect.

Begin basting the SPAM and pineapple with teriyaki sauce until thoroughly heated and both have absorbed sufficient sauce. Approximately 5 minutes. The SPAM is cooked and only needs heating and seasoning. I have not eaten cold SPAM since I was in the Navy. Heated is definitely better.

Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

Pinch of cayenne (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

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