Leftovers Musubi is a lunch box favorite around our house, and not just because they’re tasty and filling! They can be made in a snap by both kids and adults, and they USE. UP. THE. LEFTOVERS. Win-win-triple win! Read on below the recipe to use how versatile and creative these easy snacks can be!
Whether you call it onigiri (in Japan) or musubi (in Hawaii), one thing is clear: it’s delicious. The compact rice balls are readily available at nearly any corner market or convenience store in both locales, with various options on the filling and typically covered in nori (dried seaweed). Salmon, pickled plum, smoked tuna, and kelp are common inclusions, and Hawaiians have put their own spin on it with the ever-popular Spam musubi. Yep, you read correctly: SPAM! Hawaii’s love affair with Spam bloomed during the second World War, and has spawned a number of dishes. From the ubiquitous gas station Spam musubi to high end fare from award winning chefs, it’s everywhere and available at every meal. Have a little Spam and eggs for breakfast, Spam fried rice for lunch, and Spam loco moco for dinner. (Spanish speakers: no, loco moco doesn’t mean “crazy snot”! It’s a local dish of meat, rice, an egg, and gravy. Hawaiian poutine?) If you aren’t Spam-ed out, head to the annual Waikiki Spam Jam! I will admit that despite being the butt of many jokes during my childhood, it’s actually pretty tasty!
I don’t often have Spam at home, but we do have sticky rice with dinner about once a week. My kids love it, partly because they know that sticky rice for dinner often means Leftovers Musubi in their lunches the next day! Whether left plain or filled with a bit of leftover veg or protein from dinner, they’re easy enough to throw together while cleaning up after a meal. They travel beautifully, too. Leftovers Musubi is the perfect snack to take along wherever you’re going!
The Table For Six family enjoyed some delicious baked salmon with sticky rice last night, served with sauteed bok choy and our zingy watercress cream sauce. Follow along as I put our leftovers to use in less than 10 minutes!
Smash and compact the rice into whatever you’re using as a mold. Deep cookie cutters and biscuit cutters work well, or you can use your hands to press the rice into the traditional triangle shape. I use a broad, flat spatula, my hands, or the back of a spoon. Dip whatever tool you’re using in salty water to keep it from sticking.
Press a divot into the center.
Add a surprise in the middle! We’re using leftover salmon.
Smoosh and smash more rice on top until it’s smooshed and smashed together.
Press it out of the mold, and you’re done!
Now that you have the basics, you can get a little creative. Roll your musubi in black sesame seeds. Cut some cute shapes out of a nori sheet and “glue” them on with salty water.