I have early memories of Saturday morning breakfasts of SPAM. Salty, meaty, fried and curled up around the edges. I liked it then, but years later, out in the wilderness, I tried again and almost choked at the salt content. It drowned out any flavor the meat particles once had and made me thirsty for an entire day. Still, I couldn’t help but appreciate the survivalist capacity of SPAM and that iconic can-well traveled, dust covered, nostalgic, and dinged in ways that suggest a storied past.

Years later, I was in a gas station in Hawaii and very hungry. Under the heat lamp were the usual choices-hot dogs, burritos, and then SPAM, served over sushi rice and with a sliver of seaweed holding it together. I had heard about this this East- -meets-tinned-meat staple known as masubi. It seemed like the safest choice of the light bulb- cooked buffet. It had a sweet teriyaki sauce that balanced out the salt, and despite my biases, I enjoyed it. SPAM utilizes pork trim that normally goes to waste, so it was an early adaptor in our growing awareness about food waste. I set out to make my own SPAM, with less salt, but still using parts of the animal that are normally wasted. So I made one out of pig trotters, and a salmon SPAM from collars, bellies and tails.

Step 1: Buy Pig Trotters

This is not as easy as one might think. Using trotters for SPAM was first suggested to me by a butcher at the Ferry Plaza Market. However, the butcher told me they were out, as all the chefs wanted them. I felt a little smug. I was out there sourcing alongside top chefs in San Francisco. When I was finally able to get some, the butcher advised me: “Just cook them for a good, long time until the meat falls from the two bones going through the hooves.”

<p>maybe try simmering the pigs feet longer to really get them fall off the bone tender. I would do a 12-48 hour slow braise in a sous vide at 150-160, with herbs and spices included but not the salt. that will render out all the collagen, and the bones will really fall out, then you just discard skin and bone and grind up the meat plus salt and maybe additional binder like egg or flour, then form and cook the loaf the way you did. these &quot;garbage&quot; cuts are best served by a very long and low braise, four hours just isn't enough time, as you saw</p>
also, to shape the rice if you don't have a mold we use a rectangle can and cut the bottom out of it, pack it with the nori and rice and spam and after we seal and press it we push the whole thing out the bottom of the can. You can also make a nicer mold later.
In Hawaii we call it musubi not masubi. Slight error but thanks for this variation of an island staple.
<p>It was SO good. Thanks for the treat.</p>
Looks like hogs head cheese.

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