“Hunger is a hidden ordeal that the pandemic has made visible, a persistent crisis that the pandemic has exacerbated,” my colleagues wrote in January. Although the number of adults facing a food shortage (those who report sometimes or often not having enough to eat over the past week) has declined in recent weeks, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, the last figure always includes 18.5 million. adults, nearly 9 percent of the adult population.
There are a myriad of reasons for the food shortage; among them, access, or rather its absence, to grocery stores or delivery. As such, many regularly rely on a well-stocked pantry to provide their meals, and it is with that intention that I will now be sharing pantry-focused recipes in this space every month. The basis of these recipes will be frozen and shelf-stable foods – items you might find in the middle of the grocery store, among the aisles, and outside of fresh produce, meat, seafood, and dairy products. along the outskirts. Feel free to swap out fresh ingredients if they are available to you, but be aware that these recipes are meant to work without them.
For starters, I’m sharing a recipe for fried rice – a great dish to always keep in your back pocket that can use just about anything you want – that includes spam and pineapple as a nod to pizza. Hawaiian.
Spam may be new to some, but I remember eating it as a kid, sliced, fried, and put in a sandwich. The salty umami punch it brings is unmatched – a true culinary wonder. Unfortunately, canned meat often has to compete with the stigma of being just that – canned meat – when trying to win over new eaters. “For years, Hormel Foods Corporation has fought against the maligned reputation that its star product is something of a ‘mystery meat’ when in reality it’s just six ingredients plus water,” he said. Eric Kim writes in Food52.
However, this is not the case for a number of communities. Spam is extremely popular in Hawaii, the Philippines, South Korea, and other places where American soldiers were stationed during World War II, in which Hormel shipped over 100 million pounds of it to the foreigner to feed the Allied troops.
“We love this stuff with all our hearts,” writes Sheldon Simeon in his new cookbook, “Cook Real Hawai’i”. “The porcine salinity, the incredibly emulsified texture, the infinite shelf life – these are the reasons we add this humble king of canned breakfast meat to fried rice, saimin, wontons or somen salad. It is even considered a luxury item in South Korea, where it is sometimes given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. That same reverence isn’t always found in the continental United States, but those who embrace spam do so with pride. “For many in the Asian-American diaspora, openly loving the canned meat product also means openly loving its culture, history and skin,” Kim wrote.
Spam comes in a number of flavors and varieties, such as hickory smoke, teriyaki, and jalapeño. In this recipe, I recommend the “Lite” version for its reduced sodium, fat and calories, but anything you have will work. Likewise, with rice and vegetables, any type of cooked cereal can be used with any canned, frozen or surplus vegetables you wish to add. When buying canned pineapples, I prefer fruit wrapped in thick syrup juice for less added sugar, but again, either will do. (If it’s wrapped in juice, keep it to mix with a cocktail or garnish with seltzer to accompany fried rice.)
This recipe takes a few minutes to prepare: fry the spam and the pineapple chunks (feel free to cut them into small pieces if you prefer) until the meat begins to brown and the fruit begins to caramelize. , then add the rest of the ingredients, and you’re pretty much good to go. I like to fry the rice longer than some recipes suggest, it cracks a bit and adds a contrast in texture, but as long as it’s warmed up dinner is ready.
Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or another neutral oil
- Two (8 ounce) cans of pineapple chunks, preferably in pineapple juice, drained
- One can (12 ounces) of Spam Lite, diced
- 4 cups of cooked rice, preferably one day old
- One can (15 ounces) mixed vegetables or vegetables of your choice, drained
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it sparkles. Add the pineapple and Spam and cook, stirring occasionally, until the Spam begins to brown and the pineapple begins to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the rice, vegetables, soy sauce and garlic powder and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice begins to crunch a bit, 5 to 7 minutes. Divide into bowls and serve hot, accompanied by soy sauce.
Calories: 333; Total fat: 13 g; Saturated fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 42 mg; Sodium: 754 mg; Carbohydrates: 40 g; Dietary fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 4 g; Protein: 12 g.