Spam Fried Rice

published Apr 6, 2024
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Spam fried rice in a wok with a spatula.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

I always have a can of Spam in my pantry because I love it, whether it’s sliced and simply pan-fried or served over a bed of steaming white rice and cabbage kimchi. The unique salty, meaty flavor works well in so many recipes, such as Spam pigs in a blanket and Spam hash, which are just a couple of my favorites.

But, in my opinion, one of the best ways to enjoy Spam is in fried rice. With a handful of additional pantry staples (scallions, eggs, and oyster sauce, to name a few), you can make one of the most delicious fried rice dishes in about 30 minutes. With just one bite, you’ll fall in love with Spam (if you aren’t already). 

Why You’ll Love It

  • Mashing half of one can of Spam and cubing the rest adds two different textures to the fried rice. This way its deep, meaty flavor fully penetrates the dish. 
  • Spam fried rice is a fantastic way to repurpose leftover cold rice.

Key Ingredients in Spam Fried Rice

  • Canned Spam: This is the main ingredient that makes this fried rice so special! You can use other types of luncheon meat or different flavors of Spam for this recipe, but I highly recommend using the original.  
  • Cooked rice: The secret to amazing fried rice is using cold, leftover cooked rice. You can use either brown or white rice for the recipe. If you don’t have leftover rice, you can quickly chill the rice by spreading it out on a small baking sheet and placing it in the fridge while you prepare your other ingredients.
  • Oyster sauce: There’s very minimal seasoning in this fried rice because Spam is already quite salty by itself, but adding slightly sweet, umami-packed oyster sauce brings everything together beautifully.
  • Scallions: Be generous with your scallions — especially when making fried rice. It makes the dish taste and look even better!
  • Eggs: Instead of making them in a separate pan, scramble the eggs in the center of the rice. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

How to Make Spam Fried Rice

  1. Prepare the Spam. Cut 1 can of Spam in half first. Cut half into small cubes, and then smash the rest using either the flat part of a chef’s knife or the palm of your hands to create pasty, irregular, craggy pieces. 
  2. Mix the smashed Spam with rice. The craggy pieces get mixed with cold rice so that each grain of rice absorbs the flavors of Spam. Use your hands preferably to make sure that all of the pieces are mixed with the rice evenly. You can either do this in a large bowl or a baking sheet.
  3. Fry the cubed Spam in a wok. Lightly fry the cubes in a wok (or a large skillet) with a little bit of oil until they are golden-brown.
  4. Cook the rice. Cook your Spam-seasoned rice in a wok, and vigorously stir everything, preferably using a spatula. Focus on breaking apart any rice clumps while folding the pieces into the rice. Season with oyster sauce and sugar.
  5. Make the scrambled eggs in the center. Push the rice to the side to make a well in the center. Add a little bit of oil, and add the scrambled eggs. Cook the eggs until almost set then mix the rice into the eggs. Take your time to scramble eggs so that the rice doesn’t get mushy. Garnish with the reserved scallion greens and a few cracks of black pepper.

Helpful Swaps

  • You can substitute oyster sauce with other salty, umami seasonings like hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce, or fish sauce. When substituting, don’t use a full 1 tablespoon as the recipe says — start with 1 teaspoon to taste, then adjust accordingly.
  • You can substitute granulated sugar with light or dark brown sugar.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: James Park

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips 

  • You can keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to four days.
  • You can also freeze this for up to one month. When ready to heat up, place a wet paper towel or an ice cube on top and microwave for two to three minutes — it will taste like you just made it.
  • Cook your rice ahead of time. 

What to Serve with Spam Fried Rice