I've been filling some of my time by volunteering with an organization involved with foster children. I can't practice here in California because I don't have a license, but it's an area I'm passionate about and I wanted to keep my skills up even if it was only four hours a week. Anyway, that's how I found myself in a conversation with a group of mostly caucasian women. There was one other mid-twenties Korean girl, but her and I were it in regards to minorities in the office.
Somehow, the subject of Spam came up. I can't remember how it got mentioned, but I will never forget how one of the social workers exclaimed that it was gross! and that's she's never tried it, and can't imagine why someone would eat it.
I looked around at the other faces and saw that besides the other korean girl, the others didn't really disagree with her. After a short pause, the other girl and I confessed almost at the same time "I love spam." But I only felt embarrassed by it for a second before I realized that I had nothing to be ashamed of. Spam is GOOD stuff. Even the current President of the United States indulges in it.
It was obvious that this had become a cultural/ethnicity thing. The line was drawn as they looked at us with, not disgust, but sort of the beginnings of it, and we looked at them with pity because they did not know the oily rich goodness that we did. This particular portion of the conversation ended when I pointed out that Spam was enjoyed by many cultures around the world. Cultures that were touched by some sort of occupation by the American military, which is where the Spam came from in the first place, and was usually the only source of meat while the country healed and rebuilt. The yummy BuDae Chigae was a hearty stew filled with canned things from America. Then I wondered if this meant I should be a little more sly about buying spam in bulk at Costco. In Hawaii, everyone has spam in their pantry. It's a staple. But I guess not so much here.
I came home that day with visions of spam and kimchi in my head. I couldn't resist and made my self a huge pan of spam and kimchi fried rice. Here's my korean style (where there really isn't much measuring) super easy, spam and kimchi fried rice recipe.
half a can of spam chopped. 1-2C kimchi chopped (the more sour and old, the better...). a quarter stick of butter. soy sauce...oh i'd say a couple of table spoons. an egg for each person. and rice (however much is left over in your rice cooker from dinner last night, or about one and a half scoops per person.)
1. Put the spam, kimchi and half of the butter into a large frying pan. Cook while occasionally stirring until the kimchi wilts.
2. Put the rice, rest of the butter and the soy sauce into the pan and mix well while the whole thing cooks.
3. In a separate pan, cook an egg (sunny side up is a favorite at our house) for each person eating.
4. Scoop the rice onto plates in equal portions, set an egg on top on each and ENJOY!!
Seriously easy, but seriously delicious. Do you have any spam recipes to share too? Come on, be proud you love spam too and share it with your fellow Kimchi Mamas!
-Jooliyah who was often sad to not find spam musubis at Seven Eleven or Mcdonald's this past year during her stay on the mainland.