This flavorful, easy spam fried rice recipe is incredibly delicious and simple to put together. It makes a wonderful quick one bowl cozy dinner when you're short on time.
Table of Contents
- What Is Spam?
- Why You'll Love This Easy Spam Fried Recipe
- Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Spam Fried Rice At Home
- How to Make Fried Rice with Spam (Step-by-Step)
- Joyce's Tips For Making the Best Spam Fried Rice Every Single Time
- Spam Fried Rice Variations
- How to Store Leftover Fried Rice
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Recipes to Use Up Leftover Spam
- More Fried Recipes You Make Like
- Did You Make This Recipe?
- Recipe Card
Spam fried rice is honestly one of the most tastiest fried rice you can make because of how much umami and saltiness spam brings to the dish.
The best part is its simplicity. It's essentially just leftover day old rice with salty bits of pan fried spam and frozen vegetables.
It's also not limited to just being a side dish as well! Since this spam fried rice is loaded with ingredients like eggs and vegetables, it's essentially a completely meal!
If you want to take it another level, you can make it an Hawaiian spam fried rice and add pineapple to it! (I highly recommend using fresh pineapple, but canned pineapple works just as well.) If you want a more savory fried rice, I also have a kimchi spam fried rice recipe for you as well.
If you're looking for a quick lunch or dinner, I this is it! It's my go-to dish when I don't know what to make, and I hope it will be your favorite fried rice too.
Are you ready to dive in to make this incredibly easy spam fried rice recipe? Let's start!
What Is Spam?
At its core, spam is essentially pork and ham ground together with salt, sugar, potato starch and water, and formed into a terrine-like shape in a can.
The potato starch gives spam it's trademark soft texture and the sugar and salt gives it that delicious salty flavor we all love.
Spam is already cooked, so you can eat it straight out of the can but it tastes best when it has been fried on a skillet.
Canned spam come in many different flavors now (bacon, maple, tocino, hot and spicy, hickory, jalapeno, mala spicy Szechuan, teriyaki and garlic) and for those that are health conscious you can even but low sodium versions. I definitely recommend switching up your spam flavors to create brand new spam fried rice dishes!
Spam is an important ingredient in Asian cultures especially in Hawaii where it is used to make spam musubi (a very loved spam and rice snack!)
In the Philippines, it is used in their garlic fried rice, and in Hong Kong we love to use in breakfast dishes like macaroni in soup with an fried egg and ramen. It is also used a lot in Korea in kimbap (which is a delicious Korean sushi roll), and in Korean stews like budae jjigae, kimchi stew and kimchi fried rice.
Why You'll Love This Easy Spam Fried Recipe
- Quick and Easy to Make - If you have leftover rice, this literally takes 15 minutes or less with minimal prep of just cutting the spam and breaking up the day-old cooked rice.
- Delicious and Loaded with Umami - Adding spam to this fried rice adds a lot of delicious salty and umami flavors, especially when you render out some of the fats and toast it to bring out the flavors.
- Comfort Food In A Bowl - The best type of comfort foods, warm you up and are served in one bowl so you can cozy up in front of the tv or a book. Since this fried rice is heartier with spam, and veggies this is the perfect, easy to eat, one bowl meal.
- Simple Ingredients - All the ingredients in this spam fried rice is found in your pantry or freezer, so you don't need to make a special trip to the grocery store for this fried rice. We always have a can of spam, and rice in our pantry, onions in our fridge, and frozen vegetables in our freezer.
- Uses Up Leftover Rice - If you have leftover rice, this is the perfect way to transform it to a brand new dish.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Spam Fried Rice At Home
- Rice - I like to use Japanese medium grain rice like Calrose for all my fried rice, but I also use jasmine long grain rice or short grain rice as well and it turns out just as good. If you have basmati rice, that will also work as well, just keep in mind that basmati rice is a drier rice so it will produce drier fried rice. You must use day-old rice for this recipe for the best results. If you don't have any leftover cold rice, you can make freshly cooked rice but you must make sure you use a lot less water to cook it, and it needs to be fully cooled (put it in the fridge or freezer) before you use it.
- Spam - The star of this recipe is spam but if you don't want to use spam, you can also substitute it with bacon or ham but you will need to increase the amount of sauce you use for the fried rice since spam is a lot saltier and give the fried rice a lot of flavors. You can also use canned luncheon meat if you cannot find spam. In a pinch, you can even use hotdogs! If you're worried about sodium, you can use the low sodium version of spam.
- Frozen Vegetables - To make this a quick and easy fried rice, I like to use frozen veggies (frozen mixed veggies and frozen peas or corn work well). That being said, you can also use freshly diced carrots, green beans, bell peppers and peas in this recipe as well.
- Garlic and Onions - These 2 ingredients give the fried rice another layer of flavor. Especially after you brown the onions with the spam. Don't skip this if you can.
- Soy Sauce and Oyster Sauce - To give this spam fried rice a bit more savory and umami flavor, I like to use a mix of oyster sauce and low sodium soy sauce. You can also substitute the soy sauce with fish sauce for even more flavor!
- Butter & Oil - Instead of using just oil for making fried rice, I like to add salted butter into it as well to give it even more flavor. Butter is optional, so you can skip this and use just oil if you like. I like to use avocado oil for all my cooking including making fried rice.
- Sesame Oil (Optional) - If you are looking to add a bit more flavor, I like to add ½ teaspoon of sesame oil at the very end and mix it together for a nuttier flavor.
- Green Onions and Sesame Seeds (Optional) - Green onions and toasted sesame seeds make a great, simple garnish but is completely optional.
How to Make Fried Rice with Spam (Step-by-Step)
Prepare the Rice
Use your lightly oiled hand and break up the day old rice into smaller individual grains, and set it aside.
Prepare the Spam and the Rest of the Ingredients
Cut the spam into small cubes and set this aside for later.
Finely dice the onion, mince the garlic and portion out the frozen vegetables. If you are using fresh veggies like carrots, and canned pineapple, cut them into small pieces and set it aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the sauce for the spam fried rice and set this aside as well.
In another small bowl, add the eggs and 2 teaspoon of oil together and beat the eggs together until it is scrambled.
Pan Fry the Spam, Vegetables and Eggs
Set a large skillet or wok onto the stove and set it to medium heat and add in the butter with 1 teaspoon of oil. Once the butter has melted, add in the diced cubes of spam. Toast the spam until it becomes a darker red and until some of the fat has rendered out. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
Add in the diced onions and soften it for about 4 minutes.
Then add the minced garlic and frozen vegetables and toast it for 4 minutes to soften it.
Push the spam and veggies off to the side and add a bit of oil into the pan. Add the beaten egg and cook it until it is about 50% done for 30 seconds.
Add the Leftover Rice
Then add in the leftover rice on top of the eggs and cook it for about 2 minutes until all the eggs are fully cooked and the eggs and rice are dry. (doesn't look mushy or wet)
If there are still small chunks of rice, use the back of your spatula to break it up.
Add the the Sauce Evenly Over the Rice and Stir Fry
Drizzle the sauce evenly over the rice and mix it until it has distributed evenly throughout the rice. If you added an egg to your spam fried rice, make sure you cook it a bit longer to cook the egg all the way through and dry out the egg so that the fried rice isn't mushy.
That's it! Your spam fried rice is done! Enjoy!
Joyce's Tips For Making the Best Spam Fried Rice Every Single Time
Use Leftover or Day Old Rice - To prevent soggy fried rice, it is important to always use leftover rice to make fried rice because it is drier than freshly made rice. If you don't have leftover rice, you make fresh rice but make sure you use less water to cook it than you normally do (I normally use about a 1:1 water to rice ratio to make 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker, so if I'm making fresh rice to make fried rice, I would subtract about 3-4 tablespoons instead.) and let it fully cool in the fridge or freezer, spread out on a cookie sheet or tray, before using it.
Rub Your Hands With a Bit of Oil - To prevent the rice from sticking to your hands, when you are breaking up the rice, I like to rub a bit of oil on my hands before I start.
Add Oil to The Eggs - Adding a teaspoon of oil into the eggs will make them fluffier.
Toast the Spam with Butter - Although butter is not a traditional fried rice ingredient, adding it to toast the spam will give it a lot more flavor because the milk solids from the butter will brown and become brown butter. It will also give the spam fried rice a richer taste. Remember to add a bit of oil to the butter to increase the smoking point which will help prevent it from burning too quickly.
Use A Large Skillet or Wok - Overcrowding the pan will cause the rice to be mushy because it won't have proper airflow and everything will 'steam', so it's best to use a very large pan to make fried rice.
Spam Fried Rice Variations
- Spam Fried Rice with Pineapple - To give it a more sweet and savory flavor, you can make it into a Hawaiian spam and pineapple fried rice by adding chunks of pineapple in it as well. If you are using canned pineapple, make sure you drain the liquid before you use it. Diced pineapple works best for this.
- Add Chinese Sausage (Lap Cheong) - To give this spam fried rice even more flavor, you can also add one Chinese sausage to it and toast it right along the spam to render out the fats. If you do this, then do not add butter because it will make the fried rice too greasy.
- Spam Egg Fried Rice - To make it more hearty, you can also add beaten scrambled eggs to it. Stir-fry the egg right after you finish toasting the spam, right before you add the rice.
- Change or Add Additional Meat - If spam is not enough, you can also add bacon or ground chicken or pork to this fried rice while you are toasting the spam. If you use ground meat, make sure you cook out all the liquid before you add in the rice.
- Spicy Spam Fried Rice - To make this spicy, I like to drizzle or add a few squirts of sriracha in!
- Add More Veggies - To make it more healthier, you can also add in additional finely chopped vegetables like cauliflower, bell peppers or broccoli.
How to Store Leftover Fried Rice
To store this spam fried rice, put it in an air tight container or put it in a bowl and wrap it with plastic wrap. It can keep for about 4-5 days.
To re-heat it, put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 1 minute to ensure that it is evenly heated.
Alternatively, you can also re-heat it in a pan over medium heat and a bit of oil as well, and stir fry it until it is evenly heated. If you find the rice a bit dry, sprinkle a bit of water over it while you are stir frying it.
You can also freeze this fried rice in a freezer bag with all the air pressed out for up to 2-3 months. To defrost it, put the rice in a bowl and defrost it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good substitute for Spam in fried rice?
A good substitute for spam, in spam fried rice is bacon or Chinese sausage (lap cheong).
To make pineapple fried rice with spam, simply add diced canned pineapples to the pan after you finish toasting the spam. Make sure you drain the pineapple well before you use it. Alternatively, you can also use fresh pineapple as well for a more sweet and intense flavor.
Spam fried rice originated from Hawaii, where spam is a very common and popular ingredient.
Absolutely! To reheat spam fried rice, you can either toast it in a skillet again until it is warm, or you can microwave for 1-2 minutes stirring every 60 seconds to ensure that the rice is warmed evenly throughout to bowl.
They are essentially the same thing with the main difference that spam is the name brand version. They both can be used interchangeably but some will argue that spam taste better.
Recipes to Use Up Leftover Spam
More Fried Recipes You Make Like
- Kimchi Fried Rice with Spam
- Cumin Beef Fried Rice
- Thai Basil Turkey Fried Rice
- Simple Egg Fried Rice
- Filipino Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag)
Did You Make This Recipe?
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Spam Fried Rice
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- Great Way To Clean Out Fridge - This is my go-to recipe to clean out any old vegetables I have in my fridge!
- Use A Large Skillet or Wok - Overcrowding the pan will cause the rice to be mushy because it won't have proper airflow and everything will 'steam', so it's best to use a very large pan to make fried rice.
- Use Leftover or Day Old Rice - To prevent soggy fried rice, it is important to always use leftover rice to make fried rice because it is drier than freshly made rice. If you don't have leftover rice, you make fresh rice but make sure you use less water to cook it than you normally do (I normally use about a 1:1 water to rice ratio to make 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker, so if I'm making fresh rice to make fried rice, I would subtract about 3-4 tablespoons instead.) and let it fully cool in the fridge or freezer, spread out on a cookie sheet or tray, before using it.
- Rub Your Hands With a Bit of Oil - To prevent the rice from sticking to your hands, when you are breaking up the rice, I like to rub a bit of oil on my hands before I start
- Add Oil to The Eggs - Adding a teaspoon of oil into the eggs will make them fluffier.
- Toast the Spam with Butter - Although butter is not a traditional fried rice ingredient, adding it to toast the spam will give it a lot more flavor because the milk solids from the butter will brown and become brown butter. It will also give the spam fried rice a richer taste. Remember to add a bit of oil to the butter to increase the smoking point which will help prevent it from burning too quickly.
- 3 cups rice
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 can spam (cut into ¼ inch cubes)
- 1 cup frozen vegetables
- 1 small onion (approx. ¼ cup diced)
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 stalk green onion
- Oil your hand and break up the day-old rice into small pieces. Try to get them to small individual pieces if you can.
- In a small bowl, beat 3 large eggs with 1 teaspoon oil and set aside.
- In another small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon oyster sauce and 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce) and set aside.
- Finely mince or grate 1 clove garlic and set it aside.
- and dice 1 small onion and set it aside.
- Finely mince 1 stalk green onion and set aside for the end.
- Remove the spam from the can and dice them into ¼ inch cubes and set it aside.
Make the Spam Fried Rice
- Set a large skillet or wok over the stove and set it to medium heat.
- Add a bit of oil and add in 1 tablespoon butter
- Add in the spam, and toast it for 5 minutes until some of the oil renders out and it becomes a darker shade of red.
- Add the diced onions and soften it with the spam for about 4 minutes
- Add in 1 cup frozen vegetables and minced garlic and cook it for about 4 minutes until the vegetables have soften
- Push aside the vegetables and spam, and add a bit of oil again to the pan and add in the beaten egg and let it cook for about 30 seconds until it is about 50% cooked.
- Add the rice on top of the half-cooked eggs.
- Mix just the rice with the egg and cook it together until the egg is fully cooked and the rice and eggs look dry (not mushy). Approx 2-3 minutes.If there are still small chunks of rice, use the back of your spatula to break it up.
- Push the spam and vegetables back together and mix everything together.
- Drizzle the sauce evenly over all the rice and stir everything together, until everything is evenly seasoned.
- Turn off the heat, mix in the green onions.
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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