The week before last, if you remember, I was writing about the joys of tinned sardines. Little did I know that such a seemingly innocuous feature would elicit so many vociferous responses.
First of all, a friend text me on publication day to suggest I should, “Stick my sardines…” I can’t repeat the remainder of that sentence but suffice it to say, he’s not a fan of tinned fish.
Another man, Mark, with whom I am yet to make personal acquaintance, remarked, “You should be on the mackerel, lad. They’re far superior in every way. Better than sardines anyway.”
And another lady named Linda acerbically quipped via email, “Sardines? Why don’t you just eat Spam you minger?”
“Jeez, Linda!” thought I. That’s a bit strong and I don’t even know you.
Refraining from asking Linda for her address so that I could land round and put her windows in, I decided I would do the next best thing and feature a recipe using Spam.
Back in the day I remember Spam being much more common around our house than is currently the case. In particular, I remember my grandmother frying up slices before lumping them onto buttered pan bread and dousing with tomato sauce. They were, let’s say, an acquired taste – although I never remember complaining.
Back in another day, as I was sitting in our university digs contemplating the transience of youth, a knock came to the door. It was the day before Halloween and I remember realising immediately what was happening: Kids had arrived for trick or treating.
Lurching zombie-like across the living room, I cast around for any chocolates or jelly beans which might be conveniently to hand. There was none. I checked my pockets for change only to remember that I was a skint student. And it was then that I noticed the tin of Spam sitting astride the mantelpiece. It had been placed there on the first day of term by someone with more Spam than sense as a kind of avant-garde ornament. I pocketed the tin and hurried to the door prior to any forthcoming ‘tricks.’
“Trick or treat!” came the chorus as I opened the door.
To this day, I can’t remember what other ghouls or monsters had come to the door although I can still see in my mind’s eye the look of scorn on a young vampire’s face when I offered him the tin of Spam.
“I’ve nothing in the house, lads,” I might have said. “I’m as broke as a joke.”
And that was the truth and perhaps it was the veracity of the statement which prevented and ‘tricks’ from materialising.
These days though, whilst I’m still not exactly diving in mountains of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck on his day off, I don’t always have tins of Spam adorning the mantelpiece. Which is why, in order to fulfil my mission to Linda and to all of those who would adopt a similar look of vampiric scorn, I had to head out one’s errand to buy a tin.
I also took the executive decision to check www.spam.com to see if there might be anything else I might try other than frying slices and lumping them onto pan bread.
Spam.com offers a whole range of Spam-inspired recipes, not to mention to oodles of varieties of Spam, which are probably only available to customers Stateside. Spam-lite, Maple Flavoured Spam, Oven Roasted Turkey Spam, Spam Jalepeno and of course, Spam Classic.
But what to cook? What did I fancy? And more to the point: What would Linda like?
I lingered over Spam and corn chowder. I dallied over Spam Classic Burnt Ends. I tarried over Spam and Potato Salad. Then I had to decide: Spam Fried Rice or Spam-chiladas?
Ultimately I opted for the Spam Fried Rice seeing as how the little humans love fried rice and so they’d be more than happy to scoff the lot.
This recipe for Spam Fried Rice is adapted from the one on spam.com as I’ve added and subtracted a few things.
I have to say too: It was most delicious and alongside some curry sauce, it went down a bomb with all concerned.
1 tin of Spam Teriyaki (I couldn’t get Teriyaki so I used classic) diced
2 tbsps of veggie oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 big garlic clove, sliced
3 spring onions, chopped
1 small carrot, finely diced
Half a red bell pepper, finely diced
Handful of frozen peas
1 pack of microwave rice
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tbsps of soy sauce
1 tsp of sesame oil
In a large frying pan or wok, add in one tablespoon of veggie oil and the two beaten eggs. Stir fry until just cooked and then remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same frying pan, add in the second tablespoon of oil and fry up the garlic, carrot, bell pepper and most of the spring onions for a minute or two on a high heat. Next add in the chopped Spam and fry for another 30 seconds.
Stir in the rice and give it another minute or two and then add in the peas along with the oyster sauce, soy and sesame oil. Stir to combine and then return the egg to the pan and stir to combine.
Give it another 30 seconds and it should be done.
Finally divide between bowls, topping with the remaining spring onions and that side of curry sauce.
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