Hawaii Spamfest

Hawaii Spamfest

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Hawaii and Spam go together like,...well, they just do, and Amy Shuster is in Honolulu to try its many inceptions at the 14th annual Waikiki Spam Jam.

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- Beautiful Hawaii. Friendly natives, breathtaking views, a surfer's paradise, and delicious food. Yep, that's me eating a piece of spam. Let me explain. Hey, guys, aloha. I'm Amy Shuster and I am at the 14th Annual Waikiki Spam Jam. I cannot wait to see all the different concoctions they make with spam here. So much spam and only one night to try it all. You ready to do it with me? Let's go. Come with me to discover festivals big and small from all across the globe, where people indulge their senses in a celebration of local treats and time-honored traditions. You with me? Let's do it. Hawaii is one of the most stunning places on earth and Honolulu is home to some of the friendliest people in Oahu. I have some time to check out the city before the fest begins, so I'm meeting up with the founder of the Spam Jam, Bitsy Kelly, to find out how this whole spam craze got started. - Welcome. - Thank you. - Welcome to Hawaii. So great to have you here. - Yes, thanks for having me. Oh my gosh, you're awesome out there. - I'd like to share that fun with you and take you out on a canoe ride. - Oh my God, I'd love to. So tell me, how did you think up this concept for a festival all about spam? - Well, spam has a big history here in Hawaii. A very long history all the way back to the war era. It was a canned meat that was be able to preserve for a long time. Military brought it in for their troops and then it got infused with the different types of cultures and their foods here in Hawaii. So it's been around for a long time. Waikiki Spam Festival is actually a street festival. We close down the main street in Waikiki, we line it with all top chefs and restaurants from around the islands who bring out their top spam recipe for the year, and then we cap it with incredible stages of different types of local music, and then we weave in there retail and arts and crafts. - It's funny, I didn't grow up eating spam on the mainland, but when I first had it I had it as a musubi. You know, wrapped up with rice and seaweed, and it was delicious and I was really surprised at how much I really liked it. - Mhm, and you can find it anywhere here in Hawaii in any store. It's kinda like on the mainland when you go for a hot dog. - Yeah, oh, sure. - You always find a spam musubi. - Okay, awesome. - [Bitsy] I think we eat around seven million cans of spam here in Hawaii just alone. So, a lot of spam. - Oh my gosh. Well, I'm really excited to try all the different spam recipes that they have at the festival and get to a musubi. - [Bitsy] Well, we brought some musubis. - [Amy] Oh, awesome. - So, this is a classic spam musubi. Nice and warm, you feel how they're warm? - Yes, they're nice and warm. - They're actually kept in a warming container. I went to my favorite place literally right here in Waikiki is a grocery store called Foodland. - Foodland, I've heard of that. - And they're part of the shops of Hawaii. - It's a perfect snack. I'm so excited to dig into these. Shall we? - Yes, absolutely. - Alright. - I'm starved after that kiddy - I know! - paddle and that canoe ride. - That's a perfect snack, thanks for bringing it. - Cheers. - Cheers. - Mm. - Mhm. - Warm, it's savory. - Sweet and salty. - Mhm. - Yeah, I love the teriyaki with it 'cause it just makes it that much more sweeter with the saltiness of the spam. - Right. - It's like, when you come from the ocean you kinda crave... I'm falling. You're craving a little bit of salt when you're coming from the ocean. So this is a perfect snack. - And there's different ways to kick it up. You can put some scrambled egg in there. You can put a little bit of mayonnaise and sriracha sauce in it. There's a million different recipes that you're gonna get to try tonight at the Waikiki Spam Jam. All the different recipes. - What's your favorite way to eat it? - Always the classic, and then pretty much we eat it all the time for breakfast with scrambled eggs and rice - Awesome. - just on a plate. And, as I said, you can get this in a lot of drive-thru restaurants right here in Hawaii. It's on the menu. - That's awesome, I love that. - [Bitsy] Can't wait to get you in the water. - Yeah, let's do it. There is nothing like working up a salty appetite from playing in the ocean. I'm heading to Hawaii's beloved market, Foodland, to meet up with chef Keoni Chang to learn how to make a popular spam snack. - You ready? You wanna just dive in here? - I just wanna dive in. - Okay. - These look delicious. - The first thing we're gonna do is... We have this awesome tool - What is this? - that is made just for cutting spam, and then we're gonna sorta guillotine it. Boom, perfect. See, and now you have all these very beautiful slices. And now we're gonna lightly brown them, caramelize them, 'cause it's gonna give you a little crust, right? - Yeah, a little crispiness. - And texture's so important. - I know Hawaiians eat a lot of spam. How did that all begin and how did the musubi kinda become the staple food? - Japanese culture is very important for us in Hawaii and the spam piece actually came in during the war, Japanese were put in the internment camps. And what everyone was eating was spam. It was a canned item, it lasted forever, it was inexpensive. - 'Cause food was scarce, it was hard to get. - And so in the internment camps we developed to the taste for spam and it's stayed with us ever since. - And now it's just like an everyday thing that Hawaiians eat. - It's everyday in everything. - Breakfast, with lunch. - Spam and eggs with rice, spam musubi, spam by itself, spam mac and cheese. I mean, you name it. Spam burger, and the list goes on and on and on. Let's see. We're gonna see if we got that nice golden crust on there. Oh, there you go. See that? - Nice. - [Keoni] See how that looks nice and crispy? That's what you're looking for. Oh, that one's even better, see that? The whole thing. - I like it. - And now we're gonna go ahead and make the musubi, right? - Okay. - Now we have these cool tools here. - That is cool. Can I see this? - It's such a big deal that... - Look at this, guys. - Yeah, we have tools. It's acrylic spam musubi mold. So the important thing about this mold is that you dip it in water because that water's gonna help keep the rice from sticking to the mold. - [Amy] Got it, it's like a trick. - We're gonna fill it with rice. This is medium grain Calrose rice we're using. - That's a lot you put in there. You fill the whole thing up. - I filled it all the way up and this is gonna push it down just about here. One third of the way. - So it kind of coagulates together. - So, I take it out just like this and we have our perfectly shaped mold, right? And then I'm gonna go ahead and put a piece of the spam on. - Awesome. - See how it perfectly fits right on top of there. I have just about the right amount of rice and the right amount of spam so that, when I'm eating this, it's not all just rice. Now, this is the teriyaki glaze. We're gonna put a little bit on there. If you're a purist, you're gonna have it without the sauce, but a lot of people put sauce these days. So this is a little teriyaki glaze you're gonna put on here. - [Amy] Oh, so a purist would not have sauce. It'd just be rice and spam. - Rice and spam. Now we're gonna put a little nori to wrap it. So here we have a spam musubi, a finished one. - Look at that, guys. - This is what it looks like. - [Amy] Perfect little snack. - We sell them in the saran wrap so they're easy to eat, right? Why don't you go ahead and do something that you think would be fun and I'll go ahead and do something that would be fun. - Sounds good. - We'll see where we end up. How's that? - That's good. I'm doin' a double decker. Let's get saucy, guys. I'm all in. - Do you get points for finishing first? Keep going, keep going. - You get points. - That's looking good. - He's like a little spam burrito. Alright, guys, I present to you the Spamy. - You wanna go in for a bite? - I would love to taste this concoction. - Here we go. - Alright. It's really good. I'm into it. Now that I know how the locals like to cook up one version of their beloved spam. - Local superstars that'll be joining us on the stage. - I can't wait to see what other unique dishes Spam Jam has to offer. - Oh yes, this is the spam fritter and this is the ahi spam katsu. - Okay, cool. Yeah, I'll take a fritter. That looks amazing. It's amazing, oh my God. So this is a spam fritter with fresh pineapple. It's so beautiful looking. Twist. Anything on a stick. I mean, come on. Clearly spam is more than just a festival here in Hawaii, it's a way of life. - [Woman] Can you get the dog in the picture with us? - I'm here to meet Chef Matt from Hula Grill and find out what his unique take on spam is. Hey, Chef Matt. I've been hearing a lot of stuff about this spamwich. - I see you're in the right place. - I wanna know what this is all about. - Absolutely, so we've got our sweet and spicy mustard that's gonna go on both sides of the pretzel rolls, and then put a little bit of bacon onion slaw on top. It's a warm slaw, so it's gonna be a nice mild crunch to it. - Not spicy or anything. - Not spicy, kind of vinegary. It'll help cut a little bit of that fat that's in all this spam. - Yeah? - [Matt] And we've got breaded and fried spam. - [Amy] Awesome. - [Matt] And we're ready to rock and roll. - Wow. That's spam-tastic. - That is spam-tastic. - This looks gorgeous, I can't wait to dig in. - Awesome, thank you. - Thanks. - We've got a full lineup of mega stars on this stage. You're not gonna wanna go anywhere. - Savory flan guys, it doesn't get better than this. - Okay, now this chef is on to something that no one has ever thought of before. Layers and flavors, bright ingredients, all resulting in a creative spam flan. Lucky for me, Chef James is taking some time out of his day to show me how this wild creation comes together. - Welcome to the Bake Shop. What we're gonna be doing is our savory Kahuku Filipino-style corn spam flan. Yes, I said savory. - Sounds wacky. - And you thought you were gonna come in here and just get a taste right? - Yeah. - You're gonna help me make it. - Yay, awesome. - Go ahead and pour that coconut milk right in here, then we're gonna take the evaporated milk. Go ahead and pour that in. What makes a dessert flan is sweet and condensed milk, which we're not doing that, so we're gonna go a savory and spicy... - You're not using the sweet, you're using just the regular evaporated. - We're keeping it Hawaiian and a little bit local style. You've got the egg yolks in there. Now we're gonna go a little exotic. So what we did is we took Kona Coffee, we reduce it down. I have that bad boy right there. Go ahead and drizzle just a little bit in. - Kona coffee? - Kona coffee. - It's like a shot of espresso. - Reduction. Don't put it all in there, just a drizzle. - Okay, it's kind of like the vanilla, right? Like a little flavor. - Yep, that's the exoticness, and that's perfect. And you just said vanilla, didn't you? Well, instead of putting the sweet one in we're gonna go with the big island vanilla. - Cool. - Smell that. Nice and fresh, right? Picked right from the big island. Let's scrape that off, yeah. Awesome. - Cool? - That is perfect. So now, here in Hawaii we have the Kahuku corn. That is the sweetest corn ever. I want you to go ahead and take that knife and what you're gonna do is just shave it off right into the bowl. - Like that? - Perfect. - Alright, alright, alright. - Wow, look at this. We got a pro at the table, I love it. - So, am I just gettin' that guy in there? - And notice how we didn't cook it. We're keeping the integrity of the corn. - It's raw. - Yep, and that's what gives it that pop and that sweetness. Throw that in that bad boy right there. - Okay. - Perfect. - Voila. - Awesome. And because I love it so much we're gonna go ahead and - Corn and flan. I'm already - put a little bit more. - mind blown right now. - We're gonna take the red jalapeno from the island. Put a little bit in there. Not all of it. - Not all of it. - Just maybe half. - This is like two jalapenos. - Perfect, awesome. Just gives us that little bit of heat. Go ahead and throw in a little bit of salt in there. So the spam is half your salt, we just wanna enhance it, and a little bit of white pepper. Remember, we wanna keep that savory going. And we're gonna whisk that together and we don't wanna overmix it. So, just a little bit more. See the integrity of that? - So it's really just a stir, it's not really a whip. - Just a stir, yes. We wanna break up the egg yolk, but we don't wanna flop it and we don't wanna get that thing. That's the secret to a rich, decadent, savory flan, or a dessert flan. How do you like cardamom? - Love it. - Okay. - Let's go for it. - I am gonna scoop it up. Go ahead and put that in there. And then we're gonna go with a little bit of coriander. We're going exotic here. - Alright. - [James] Go ahead and put that in. - Havin' fun, cool. - Awesome. So we're gonna leave this right here and I'm gonna take you to my deep fryer and we're gonna go ahead and fry that. - Alright, be right back, guy. - Alright, so here's the fun part. That spam by itself just isn't appetizing, doesn't look as good as crunchy spam caramelized, right? - Well, anything deep fried is good. - Ah, I like that. Drop that in there and let the magic begin. - Awesome, how long is it deep frying for? - Its gonna go about two minutes. Just enough to get that caramelized crusty on the outside, but that nice meatiness on the inside. - [Amy] I can't believe this is going inside of flan. It's crazy. - And you can see it's starting to caramelize - It's coming together? - and get a little crunchy, yep. So go ahead and pull that out of there. - Okay, yeah. - Shake it off. - How do we... How do we dump, how do we dump? - You just go ahead and put it in there, there you go. Come on spam, yeah! There we go, awesome. - Cool. - And that's it. - Voila. - Let's go make our spam. - Awesome. - Smell that. - It smells great. - You understand why we had to deep fry it now? - Yes, yes, I get it. - Keep the integrity of the spam. - I get it. - Go ahead and put that into our flan. - Just take one. Yeah, I get it, I get it. - Oh la la? - Alright, so that goes right in. - Right, it's been initiated now. It's officially spam savory flan. Great job. Go ahead and whisk that up. So the next step we're gonna do, we're gonna put it in a steamer. Grab than pan right there and we are gonna take some tropical coffee Hawaiian Buzz Honey that's been made locally here in Hawaii. - Wow, honey coffee? I need to have a moment with that. - This is outrageous. Awesome. - You can take that, just drizzle a little bit down at the bottom. Awesome, drizzle a little bit more and we're gonna take the brush and just kinda wipe it around. We just want a nice essence, and then we're gonna take a little bit of our spice rub magic. - Yes! - Remember that cardamom, remember that coriander? Don't share my secret with anybody. This is Mama Sita Achuete. - Mama Sita, what? - This has that beautiful color. - Oh, of course. Yeah, of course. - A little bit of flavor . We're bringing it back to Hawaii. And then we're gonna take our flan, and the trick is to only pour it halfway. - [Amy] 'Cause it's gonna rise, yeah? - Not so much, but again, we don't wanna steam it too long so the eggs don't curdle. And you want that nice, smooth, decadent richness. - There's a lot going on here. You've got the spiciness from the jalapenos, the sweetness from the honey, the coffee, the sazon. It's great. - And we're gonna go ahead and put this in our steamer. - Cool. - Slide that in there. - Slide it right in? - Yep, just slide it right in. Go ahead and shut the door and that's all. - Magic happens. - Magic happens. - We go get a cup of coffee. - Lets go get a cup of coffee. - Come back, alright. So what are we doing right now? - Okay, so while the flan is now doing its magic I'm gonna take you through something really cool. We wanted to do a candied spiced spam. Sounds a little nutty, right? - Yeah. - Okay, it is. So we want to start off with a nice pot. You wanna put your sugar in. You wanna put your cherub syrup in. And then we activate that with a little bit of water. And if we have 45 minutes, we want that to go, and this would be the 45 minute stage. And there we go. So that's gonna be our final product right there. - It's all coagulated into kinda like a maple syrup. - That's the ooh la la of the yumminess. But I'm gonna pull this caramel and make it really easy for you. I'm gonna have you pull these chopsticks out of my apron right there. - Okay, chopsticks, sure. - Oh, you made me blush. Go ahead and take a handful of this spam. Yep, go for it. - A handful of spam. This has been deep fried, yeah? - Absolutely. And you go ahead and drop that into our simple syrup caramel. - Drop in, smells good, salty. - Go ahead and let's see your chopstick skills, and then we just drizzle off that sugar string and go ahead and put that on there. - One by one you guys do this. - One by one. Look, it's the labor of love, and the best part about this, honestly, is that you could leave it in the caramel for up to 10 minutes or even 15 minutes and the more it coats the better it is. So here we go. We got the flan right out of the steamer. - Wow. - Wow you've done this before. - Fancy. - I love it. I want you to go ahead and torch the top. Look at that. We went ahead and we made a salsa. Go ahead and just drizzle that over the top. Let's put a little bit of arugula right there. That's our bottom base. We went ahead and did pickled Maui onions. Go ahead and just take a little sliver out of there, and then we're gonna take these beautiful pea sprouts right there that grow from the island. - This is probably the dish of Spam Jam. Oh my gosh. - Aloha. - Wow. - Insane. - You would think with all the flavors something would be standing out, but everything just kinda works really nicely together. - You know what worked the best though was your aloha in helping me make this dish. Awesome. - Thank you. Mahalo. - Thank you. - What's the primary flavor I'm gonna get? - It is like the experience of eating scrambled eggs and spam as a dessert. - That sounds good. - And I really hope you enjoy it. - I'm so curious about this one, thank you. I don't know how I feel about this, we'll see. I don't even know... I don't even know what to say. I was excited about coming to a spam festival in Waikiki to show me to expect the unexpected. With the creative and the explosive flavors the locals have created with spam, I can't wait to come back again. Well, I had a fantastic time here at the Spam Jam. It's such a uniquely Hawaiian experience, so much fun. Until the next time, we'll see you later. Aloha. Hey, everybody, what's up? I'm Amy Shuster and I'm excited to be here in New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival. They say that the music and the food here are the heartbeats of the city, and I'm so excited to explore and see what it's all about. You ready? - Are you ready? - Let's do it.

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