Tag Archives: spam

Roy Choi’s SPAM Bánh Mì

Roy Choi’s “L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food” is a heartfelt immigrant story AND it includes a fantastic recipe for SPAM Bánh Mì (step-by-step photos below).

L.A. Son by Roy Choi About the book (via Amazon):

Abounding with both the food and the stories that gave rise to Choi’s inspired cooking, L.A. Son takes us through the neighborhoods and streets most tourists never see, from the hidden casinos where gamblers slurp fragrant bowls of pho to Downtown’s Jewelry District, where a ten-year-old Choi wolfed down Jewish deli classics between diamond deliveries; from the kitchen of his parents’ Korean restaurant and his mother’s pungent kimchi to the boulevards of East L.A. and the best taquerias in the country, to, at last, the curbside view from one of his emblematic Kogi taco trucks, where people from all walks of life line up for a revolutionary meal.

Filled with over 85 inspired recipes that meld the overlapping traditions and flavors of L.A.—including Korean fried chicken, tempura potato pancakes, homemade chorizo, and Kimchi and Pork Belly Stuffed Pupusas—L.A. Son embodies the sense of invention, resourcefulness, and hybrid attitude of the city from which it takes its name, as it tells the transporting, unlikely story of how a Korean American kid went from lowriding in the streets of L.A. to becoming an acclaimed chef.

The book is co-written with Tien Nguyen and Natasha Phan. Available at bookstores and Amazon.com

Roy Choi’s SPAM Bánh Mì Recipe (posted with permission). Enjoy!

Spam Bánh MìINGREDIENTS

For the pickles:
1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup natural rice wine vinegar (not seasoned)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup of water

For the sandwiches:
4 demi baguettes
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning
1 tablesppon Sriracha
Butter, softened
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 can of SPAM, cut into 8 thin steaks
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Fresh Thai basil or opal basil leaves
Fried Shallots (store-bought)
Limes

INSTRUCTIONS

Daikon and Carrot Quick Pickle for Spam Bánh Mì
Place the daikon and carrots in a small bowl. Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in a small pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it cool until it’s warm. Pour over the daikon and carrots and let it sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Note: The second time I made this, I added fresh chiles from my garden.

Frying Shallots for Spam Bánh Mì
Instead of store-bought shallots, I made my own. Just thinly slice shallots and fry in 350º oil until brown, then drain and lightly salt.

MaggiMayCha Sauce for Spam Bánh Mì
Cut the baguettes in half but keep them intact. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the Maggi seasoning and the Sriracha. I’m calling this Roy’s MaggiMayCha and I’ve been slathering it on EVERYTHING!

Slather the cut sides of the baguettes with softened butter and toast them in your toaster oven or in a pan over low heat until they’re nice and crispy. Set aside.

Frying Spam In Brown Butter
Heat the oil (I used brown butter) in a skillet, add the SPAM, and cook over medium heat until it’s golden brown in color. Transfer to a paper towels and reserve.

Ready To Assemble the Spam Bánh Mì
Slather the buttered sides of the baguettes with the spicy mayonnaise. To build the sandwiches, place the SPAM on the bottom half of each baguette, then top with the pickled daikon and carrots and add a layer of cilantro and basil (I used regular basil).

Spam Bánh Mì
Top with the fried shallots and a squeeze of lime and close up the baguette. CRUNCH!

11BanhMi
Not a fan of SPAM? Try it with grilled provolone instead!

About Roy Choi

Follow Roy on twitter

More photos

Bánh Mì

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District On Sunset

District has closed, but luckily we now have Township!

George Abou-Daoud’s District On Sunset is my kind of hangout. A casual, friendly bar with killer food including a raw oyster bar, SPAM (woot!) Sliders and a Venison Relleno with Goat Cheese, that recently made GQ Magazine’s “Best New Dishes in America” list.

District on SunsetL.A. Times Food Critic, S. Irene Virbila wrote: “It’s a little bit steampunk, a little bit West Village back in the day. First of all, there’s the bar, a glorious hunk of mahogany that stretches from the front to the back of the long, narrow space. It was built in 1913 in France; you can’t help but wonder at all the changes and characters it must have seen in its many years.”

I think the space is a lot like its proprietor (who also owns several other eateries including the Mercantile next door). District is elegant yet so welcoming, with a surprising bit of sass on the menu.

Guess where I’ll be celebrating this New Year’s Eve?

Photos from District:

District on Sunset
Venison Relleno with Goat Cheese, Corn Puree & Cotija Cheese

District on Sunset
Spam Sliders with Quail Eggs, Bibb Lettuce, Tomato and Soy Mayonnaise

District on Sunset
Chris manning the Raw Bar

District on Sunset
Oyster Porn

District on Sunset
Blistered Shisito Peppers, Ponzu, Black Sesame

District on Sunset
Best Fish Sandwich in town: Wild Rock Cod, Tartar Sauce, Butter Lettuce, Pickle on House-Baked Roll & Fries

District on Sunset
The Beautiful bar

District on Sunset
Josh Goldman (guest bartender)

District on Sunset
Josh Goldman’s B.L.T. Cocktail: Bacon-infused bourbon topped with tomato water foam, served with a ceramic-spoonful of romaine lettuce granita.

Note: This restaurant is now CLOSED.

District On Sunset
6600 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 962-8200

Website

More photos on flickr

S. Irene Virbila, L.A. Times

GQ’s Alan Richman’s Best New Dishes in America 2010

George Abou-Daoud George on Twitter

Josh Goldman Josh on Twitter

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Animal’s Loco Moco

ilikai hotel, MyLastBite.comI first tried Loco Moco back in 2003 while on vacation with my husband in Hawaii. It was Peter’s first visit to the islands, and I insisted that we stay at the Ilikai Hotel on Oahu. I’ve always been a huge fan of  “Hawaii Five-O”, and if you remember the opening credits with the cool, balcony shot of Jack Lord (aka the legendary Steve McGarrett!), then you’ll recognize the Ilikai Hotel. We had such a fun time visiting random locations from the show, and we definitely made an effort to eat like the locals.

Loco Moco Hawaii 2003, MyLastBite.comOur favorite dish was (of course) the Loco Moco. The traditional version is made with white rice, hamburger, fried eggs and brown gravy. We first ordered the burger version for breakfast at our hotel, and also tried a SPAM version (instead of beef) that I loved.

It’s been almost six years since I enjoyed that first plate of Loco Moco and I guess I just never thought about searching it out in Los Angeles. So when I read about Animal’s version on TastingTable last week, my heart skipped a beat and I sent Peter a text: “WE NEED TO GET TO ANIMAL NOW!”

Animal’s Loco Moco (below) is anything but “traditional”, and should probably be called “Beyond Loco Moco”, or simply “WHACK”! The dish exemplifies the reason I love Animal so much… because chefs Vinny and Jon are absolutely FEARLESS. Their version doesn’t come with just the burger or a piece of SPAM. It comes with BOTH, and they top it off with an insanely decadent piece of seared foie gras and a fried quail egg.

Foie Gras Loco Moco! MyLastBite.com

It was so good that Peter and I couldn’t stop laughing while we ate it! You know, that guilty “we should be ashamed but we’re NOT” sort of laughing. I can still taste the runny egg yolk spilling over the seared foie gras, through the crispy spam and tender beef, then down to the bottom of the gravy soaked rice. 

Foie Gras Loco Moco! MyLastBite.com

Of course it was rich… and I admit that I made sure Peter and I both took our 81 grams of heart-healthy aspirin afterwards. A few days later, I’m pretty certain I still haven’t worked off the calories, but it was SO worth it! Foie Gras Loco Moco, Quail Egg, SPAM, Niman Ranch Burger, Anson Mills Gold Rice, $35

Crispy Hominy and Lime, MyLastBite.com

I try to order only new things when we eat at Animal, but Peter insisted on getting his favorite Crispy Hominy and Lime! $5

Fluke Crudo, MyLastBite.com
Along with the Loco Moco we did select a light and healthy dish (above) that we loved. The palate-cleansing and refreshing Sliced Fluke, Citrus, Mint, Sea Salt & Jalapeno, $12. (See? They make healthy dishes too!)

[Visit #11)

Animal Restaurant
http://www.animalrestaurant.com
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Mentioned Above:

Tasting Table

Opening Scene of Hawaii Five-O

Ilikai Hotel

More SPAM

Loco Moco on Wikipedia

A few more Hawaii Photos:
Hawaii 2003, MyLastBite.com   Hawaii 2003, MyLastBite.com

< Animal Visit #10

Written by Jo Stougaard ©MyLastBite.com All Rights Reserved.
No usage allowed including copying or sharing without written permission.

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Canned Joy

Nothin’ says lovin’ like a case of SPAM. I’ve loved it ever since I was a kid in Okinawa, and for my birthday this year, my adoring husband got me a case of assorted (I call it “gourmet”) SPAM. Peter also got me a pair of green, platform sandals that I’d been pining for, but I was more excited about the SPAM. Flavors in the case include: Hot & Spicy, Cheese, Smoked, Garlic, Turkey and BACON. That’s right… bacon flavored SPAM!

Birthday Spam! MyLastBite.com

Most of the expiration dates on the tins read “Mar 2012″, so it’s safe to say I won’t be powering through them anytime soon, and I wouldn’t want to. For me, these are high sodium childhood memories that mustn’t be eaten regularly, only as an occasional treat. I’ve learned my lesson in the past, so moderation (however difficult) is an absolute must.

This morning I set up a “wall of SPAM” behind my huge chopping block in the kitchen. It sort of reminds me of a tiny “Warhol Pop Art” installation and it just makes me smile. Now all I have to do is come up with some new spam-a-licious recipes!

Birthday Spam! MyLastBite.com
After unpacking the case.

My Mini Wall of Spam, MyLastBite.com
Part of my mini wall of SPAM


SPAM in my childhood

SPAM.com

Warhol

Me and Andy (on my birthday in 1986)

Pretty SPAM

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Delicious, Recession Proof SPAM!

Lovely SPAM, MyLastBite.comAdAge.com recently listed SPAM as #9 (out of 10) in a list of “Recession-Proof Businesses”. Soup is listed as #1 which makes sense because it’s relatively inexpensive, but I was startled to see that SPAM came after Guns (#8) and even after Laxatives (#6).

Seriously? In these tough economic times… Ex-Lax, Glocks and Winchesters are more important than SPAM? I have to say, this sort of made me worry about the state of our fine country.

So to cheer myself up, I broke out a tin of my favorite canned meat (it has to be CLASSIC SPAM… never low-fat or low-sodium) and then fried up a few slices of “spacon”. By slicing the SPAM paper thin, you get crispy mouth-watering pieces of “spacon” that taste like bacon chips!

SPAM doesn’t have to be just a cheap alternative during these tough economic times. In our house we even bring it out for special occasions (like when my niece and nephew stay over), and it will ALWAYS and forever be at the top of my list… in good times or bad.

Recipe for Crispy “Spacon” Chips

Instructions:

1. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice SPAM into paper-thin pieces.

2. Heat up a skillet and cook until each side is nice and brown. The browner they get, the crispier they will be.

3. Drain on paper towels.

4. Cool and Enjoy!

Makin' Spacon Step 1, MyLastBite.com  Makin' Spacon Step 2, MyLastBite.comMakin' Spacon Step 3, MyLastBite.com
Above: Crispy “Spacon” Chips

Below: Thicker cuts of grilled SPAM served in my vintage English toast holder.

Lovely SPAM, MyLastBite.com
Lovely SPAM, MyLastBite.com

AdAge’s Top Ten “Recession-Proof Businesses”

1. SOUP
2. MOUTHGUARDS
3. BANKRUPTCY LAW
4. WALMART
5. THRIFT STORES
6. LAXATIVES
7. CABLE TV
8. GUNS
9. SPAM
10. CHEAP BEER
Read complete AdAge Article


Crispy Grilled Spam

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Porn Sliders

Recipe for my Porn Sliders (cuz they’re so naughty good)!

Porn Sliders by MyLastBite.com

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons of roasted garlic (must be done in advance, link below)

1 cup fresh bread crumbs (pulverized in food processor)

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 pounds ground beef chuck

1 can of original SPAM

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

1 teaspoon of grated fresh nutmeg

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced (to grill as a topping)

1 egg

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup mayonaise

1 tablespoon drained prepared horseradish

12 small pieces crisp iceberg lettuce

12 Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls, toasted or grilled

Your favorite cheese, sliced to top sliders

DIRECTIONS

Chop up then grind up the cold spam in a food processor.

Gently fry until browned. Cool.

In a small bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the heavy cream for 10 minutes.

In a another bowl, combine the ketchup, mayo and grated horseradish and season with salt.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, egg, garlic (raw and roasted), crushed red pepper, thyme, rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Add the spam and bread next, then mix gently with your hands. Do NOT overmix.

Pat into 12 ( 2 +1/2 inch) burgers

Grill the beef burgers on a preheated grill pan until they are just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer burgers to another pan or plate.

Add onions to hot grill pan and fire up on stove top. Cook until browned.

Heat the broiler.

In the broiler, lay the small rolls open and grill until lightly browned.

Add cheese to one side of the roll and grill until melted. Remove from broiler.

Put a lettuce leaf on the bottom half of each bun and top each with a burger. Add the grilled red onions onto the burgers and cover with the horseradish-mayo ketchup. Close the sandwiches and serve.

The SPAM mixed into the ground beef bastes the burgers from the inside. Yes. Totally decadent… and naughty good!

Link to How to Roast Garlic (with beautiful photos)


Porn Sliders (cuz They're So Naughty Good) on Foodista

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The Key to Red Meat

By Jo Stougaard

I love SPAM.

There… I said it. The salty mystery meat has been an absolute favorite my entire life.

With my big sister Janet, MyLastBite.comFrom 1964 to 1972 I lived in Okinawa, Japan. This was during the Vietnam War, and our family struggled through the usual war food rationing. We rarely had fresh meat unless we were visiting our Obachan (grandma) in her village. She slaughtered pigs in the same area as she bathed us, which was out back behind her kitchen. Obviously this should have made me uncomfortable eating pork, but it didn’t.

Back at our home near the Navy base, my older sister Janet did a lot of the evening cooking since both our parents worked nights. I used to jump for joy when she would pop off the key from a can of “red meat” (as I called it). I would wait impatiently as she would slowly wind the sharp metal around and around… as gelatinous SPAM juices would squeeze over the top and onto her little fingers.

Sugar cane in the backyard, MyLastBite.comJanet usually fried up thin slices and served them with white sticky rice. Our house was next to a beautiful sugar cane field, and dad had built a little picnic table and chair near the edge of our property. I remember being so happy with my bowl of “red meat” and rice, listening to the workers chopping the cane in the distance. Sometimes, before it got too dark, Janet and I would jump the small concrete fence and steal a sugar cane or two. We would laugh as the workers chased us with their machetes! Out of breath we’d hide in our garden shed and hurriedly slice the ends of the cane, chewing and sucking out the sweetness.

Dinner time wasn’t always so perfect. I remember one evening when Janet wasn’t home and I was left alone. I tried to open a can of SPAM by myself but the little key BROKE. There was nothing to grab the little “starter” tin ribbon. I remember smashing the can against the edge of the kitchen counter, but only the juices escaped. My fingers were cut from the sharp edges. Thank goodness we had our friend Chef Boyardee in the cupboard that night.

Throughout my adulthood, when I felt a little blue or wanted to recall those days in Okinawa… I would simply go to the market and grab a can of SPAM. Not the “light” or low sodium version. It has to be original “classic” SPAM. The problem with this was that I would eat the entire can of SPAM in one or two sittings. I mean heck, it’s opened in front of me (no more darn key!). It’s crispy, greasy and just so tasty!

So along with my Okinawa memories of Moon Beach, Naha and Koza Village, I would also become flush with a sort of sodium overdose, burning eyes and severe bloating. As I got older, of course, I cut back on my beloved SPAM. Maybe eating it once a year, usually with my sister’s kids on a special occasion.

Spam Single!Then a few weeks ago, as I walked up the canned meat aisle…. I stopped dead in my tracks. There next to my beloved cans of classic SPAM were individual portions of my favorite mystery meat! Bless you Hormel for embracing moderation in your packaging! One easy open pouch of a “SPAM Single” has a 3 oz. slice (instead of the 12 oz. can). Just zip off the top and toss into a hot frying pan.

The single portion is just enough for me to savor my childhood… without bloating until my eyes burn.

So is the key to red meat the key to my happiness?

Whatever brings you joy, don’t you think?

==============

My Recipe for Spam Baked Pasta (It’s a family favorite and the kids love it!)

Ingredients:

1 can of Spam, sliced into thin pieces and fried

1 lb of pasta cooked (in unsalted water) and drained

5 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

3 cups milk

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped red onion

1 teaspoon each hot red pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, pepper

Instructions:

Spam

Slice spam and grill or fry until browned.

Bechamel Sauce
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted.

Add flour and stir until smooth.

Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil.

Add milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth and bring to a boil.

Cook 10 minutes and remove from heat.

Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mayo Onion Sauce

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon each hot red pepper sauce, Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, pepper
Mix all ingredients together and place in a pie plate or any baking dish.

Bake until golden brown on top, approximately 30 minutes.

Lower heat to 250

Mix Mayo Sauce with Bechamel sauce and add spam & pasta.

Bake in oven to warm through, then add cheese to top and broil top for a few minutes.


Okinawa – The Island of Pork

http://www.spam.com

http://www.okinawa.com

“The Key to Red Meat.” Written by Jo Stougaard ©MyLastBite.com All Rights Reserved. No usage allowed including copying or sharing without written permission.

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