EAT This Week: Sam Choy’s Ohana Diner’s Spam Musabi
To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.
In Hawaii, spam musubi might be the mainland equivalent of the peanut butter and jelly — it’s that comfort food that reminds you of home and you can find just about anywhere. But, before you look at the main ingredient and do your best impression of my kids (ewww, I don’t like that), I want you to hear me out. Because just like I tell my kids, you can’t say anything until you actually taste it; and in the hands of legendary Hawaiian heritage chef Sam Choy, this dish gets elevated to the top floor.
Starting with the elephant in the room, yes, this dish contains Spam — more exactly, teriyaki Spam. Say what you will about it, but Spam gets a bad rap. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, you’ll know it’s about as abundant there as palm trees and Hula dancing, so it makes complete sense in this dish. It’s combined with a furikake (rice seasoning) egg scramble and hapa rice then rolled in nori (seaweed).
All that is topped with dueling sauces of aioli and a dark unagi sauce (sweet soy) then topped with green onions and black and white sesame seeds. It has the look of sushi, and some of the flavors, but I assure you it is not. For starters, if it were a sushi roll, it would be the King Kong of sushi rolls — it’s massive.
If you’re looking to explode all your senses, this is your dish. It’s a sweet, creamy, salty, sticky, super playful delight to eat. There’s a depth of flavor here that Jacques Cousteau would be jealous of. If you know some of the ingredients mentioned, you can get an idea of all the flavors, but it’s an experience that needs to happen in person.
Sam Choy’s Ohana Diner is located inside Bowl Incline at 920 Southwood Boulevard in Incline Village. For menu, hours, or general information visit them online at bowlincline.com/ohana-diner or via phone at 775-831-1900.
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