Even Spam Needs Space In The Pan To Cook

So many people turn their noses up at Spam. Yes, it comes in a can, and yes, it looks unappetizing when you first take it out — but never judge a book by its cover. An inexpensive form of sustenance, Spam is more popular than ever all over the world and didn't just get there on value alone. Spam is well-seasoned, satisfyingly savory, and becomes more texturally pleasing when handled properly, which is why it deserves the same care in the frying pan as any other protein.

Spam is pre-cooked meat comprised of pork, ham, sugar, salt, and other preservatives, and is technically edible right out of the can. However, the texture has a uniform chewiness and the color of the meat is pale and unappealing. The best solution to fix this is through a simple pan fry, which adds much-needed crispiness and color. And just as some tasty proteins like chicken skin, duck, and bacon are able to achieve above-average levels of crispiness thanks to their high fat content, so too is Spam. Just be sure to avoid the cardinal sins of browning meat in a pan: Don't overcrowd the pan and be sure to cook your meat at a high temperature. Whether sliced or diced, cooking too much Spam at once — to the point that some pieces can't even touch the surface of the pan — is a guaranteed way to end up with oily, soggy Spam.

The best ways to enjoy crispy Spam

The two most optimal ways to cut Spam so that browning can be evenly achieved are slicing into patties or dicing into cubes. When given ample room in the frying pan, patties get maximum surface contact and can get a beautiful crispiness on both sides, while still retaining some springiness in the center. One delicious way to enjoy slices Spam is how Hawaiian diners often do, which is with a side of over-easy eggs and some freshly steamed rice. Spam is super popular in Hawaii and we can see why: everything in this dish complements each other, as the runny yolks act like a natural sauce and plain white rice helps to counteract the rich, salty Spam.

If you want to try cooking Spam via the diced method, remember the rule and don't put too much in the pan at once. But instead of starting at a high temp, heat it progressively, starting with lower heat and working up to medium. By doing this and stirring constantly, the oil gets released at a more controlled pace, which helps to almost deep fry the cubes of Spam when it's finally reached a higher temperature. A tasty way to enjoy it this way is by making Spam fried rice. The fried rice cooking process can even be done in the exact same pan that was used to brown the Spam — just be sure to deglaze the bottom to release the caramelized bits from the pan and into the rice.