During a Hawaii family vacation a few years ago, my younger son kept going back to the convenience store to buy a Spam – rice concoction. His love for Spam and rice in any form never waned. In fact for most Filipinos, Spam has been a go-to comfort meal especially when combined with rice.
I was guilty as charged. I knew my sons’ passion for the canned Spam was my doing. Purists and health food crusaders can blame me for my family’s addiction to the Spam. Canned foods were introduced to the Philippines when the United States colonized our 7,100 islands for half a century. American canned goods became a staple in most Filipino pantries post war.
While growing up, I remember seeing my mom reverently open a cabinet full of ‘imported’ canned meat in the kitchen. My mom always kept the canned goods supply fully stocked. There were rows of canned soups, vegetables, corned beef and Spam, shiny and gleaming on those shelves. My palate was trained early on to enjoy Spam. No apologies. Soon, I passed on the Spam-love to my sons. So on unusually busy weeknights when I need supper swiftly, I reach for the Spam and make a huge pot of fragrant, steaming white rice.
This is why I knew this Loco Moco recipe would be perfect for anyone in a rush to make dinner or breakfast. It’s also delightful way to entice the kids for any meal in between.
So get dinner or breakfast going. Make them a large Loco Moco pronto. It can’t get any more fun than this!
This is another fun meal. It is also a delightful breakfast-style dish for dinner. Serve the family a cheerful set of sunny side eggs, nestled next to slices of pan-seared Spam on a bed of sweet coconut sticky rice, all drizzled with a syrupy soy sauce blend. This easy dish was adapted from the “Breakfast for Dinner Cookbook” by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth (Quirk Books). The dish I made serves 2.
- white sticky rice - 1 cup, for the coconut rice (from Asian markets)
- coconut milk - 1/2 cup, canned
- soy sauce - 1/4 cup
- brown sugar - 2 Tablespoons
- sriracha - 1/2 teaspoon
- Spam - 1 can, sliced
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- black pepper powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- vegetable oil - 2 teaspoons
- eggs - 2 large
- green onions or scallions - 2 stalks, sliced thin, for garnish
- Mix the rice with a cup of cold water to soak. Cover this with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours up to 8.
- When ready to cook, pour rice and any remaining liquid into a deep saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil over medium heat in about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover the rice and lower the heat to a medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes more or till rice granules are soft and most liquid is absorbed. Flake the rice gently with a fork so that grains do not stick to bottom of pot. Keep the saucepan covered and set aside while you prepare the rest.
- Mix together the soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, brown sugar and sriracha in a small saucepan. Simmer this mixture over medium heat. Stir a few times till the sauce is thick and amount is reduced to half. This should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
- In a separate non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, start cooking the spam topping. Add the vegetable oil. Then add the Spam slices and pan sear for 5 minutes till the pieces are slightly brown on the edges. Remove Spam from skillet and set aside.
- Using the same large non-stick skillet, add a tablespoon more of vegetable oil. Add the eggs one at a time and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, covered.
- Arrange on a platter : a layer of coconut rice in the bottom, top with Spam and fried eggs. Drizzle the soy sauce reduction over the entire dish. Garnish with scallions. Serve hot.
- Cook's Comments: The sticky rice I used in this recipe is also labeled 'sweet rice' if you look for it in Asian groceries. Filipinos refer to this type of rice as "malagkit" (translates to 'sticky'). If you're in a bind and don't have sticky rice available, use regular white rice and it is just as delightful.
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