As a teenager I lived in a town not far from Austin, Minnesota, the birthplace of SPAM. I went to school with kids whose family raised pigs that were turned into SPAM. I went to SPAM days (a summer festival) with my friends. My kids loved the SPAM museum when they were little. SPAM is simply a fact of life for me. I like it. I eat it. It’s food with a sense of humor and it makes me laugh.
If you’re not familiar with SPAM then this is the perfect get-to-know-you recipe. SPAM is not mystery meat. It’s pure pig with a surprisingly short ingredient list: Pork With Ham, Salt, Water, Modified Potato Starch, Sugar, Sodium Nitrite. Hot dogs, baloney and most pork sausage have a lot more ingredients that are harder to pronounce. SPAM is good, wholesome stuff. Plus it’s gluten free! Store brand luncheon meats are more affordable if you’re looking to save some cash. They are not necessarily gluten free however. Great Value luncheon meat tastes a lot like name brand SPAM to me. If we weren’t gluten free I would use it instead of SPAM because of the lower price.
- 12 ounce can SPAM
- 1 or 2 tablespoons fat for frying (oil, shortening, bacon grease etc.)
This is the easiest way to prepare SPAM. Open up the can and remove the pink slab of meat. Place it on a plate or cutting board. Decide how many slices you want. If you’re serving 4 people, you want 8 rectangular slices or 4 square slices. If you’re serving 6 then you want 6 rectangular slices. If you’re serving 3 then you want 6 rectangular slices or 3 square slices.
Cutting SPAM is easiest with a thin sharp knife. Cheese slicers also work surprisingly well. I divide the meat into in half visually and then mark the spot by making a small cut with my knife. Then I make a mark in the center of each half, dividing it into quarters. Then I mark the center of each quarter, dividing it into eighths. After making the marks, then I do the actual slicing. You don’t have to be so precise if you don’t want to. Simply slicing it thinly with your knife is good enough.
Cut on the wide side to make sandwich sized slices. You can easily get four 3-ounce patties this way.
To prepare, heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Lay in the SPAM. Fry until lightly browned, flip and brown the remaining side. Serve with a side of plain cooked egg noodles and green beans. This is one of my family’s favorite storage meals. If you’re gluten free then break GF fettucine into small lengths and boil until tender. They make a nice substitute for egg noodles.