Spam, Eggs, and Rice is the trio that makes up the classic local Hawaii breakfast! Here's where to get it in Hawaii, and how to make it at home.
Spam, Eggs, and Rice! Do you know about this magical trio?
It is a very popular breakfast in Hawaii. The Spam is pan-fried, the eggs are scrambled, and the rice is steamed.
Tip: Spam, Eggs, and Rice is sometimes called Hawaiian breakfast, but that is not correct. This dish is local, not Hawaiian (here's the difference). Spam, Eggs, and Rice is a local breakfast.
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Ahh Spam! In Hawaii, we eat more Spam than the average person. To be a tiny bit more "healthy," I often eat Spam Lite instead of full sodium and fat Spam. I don't know if that actually helps though ^_^
Rule of Spam
To prepare Spam, you must first know the Rule of Spam. What is the Rule of Spam? The Rule is: 1 can of Spam should be cut into 8 pieces.
If needed, you can cut into 10 pieces (example is if you have five people at breakfast but don't want to open an entire second can of Spam for just the fifth person), but 8 slices is ideal. Any more than that is considered stingy.
Cooking the Spam
For this dish, the Spam must be pan-fried and served hot. Put the Spam slices in a pan, turn the heat to medium-high and fry for two minutes on each side (no need to grease the pan). After both sides have taken on a little color, turn the heat to low.
Quickly mix equal parts sugar and shoyu / soy sauce in a small bowl. Pour that over and around the Spam. Mix things around, and cook for another minute. Now your Spam slices are both crispy AND saucy.
Note: this shoyu / soy sauce is also used for making Spam musubi. It is not a "must do" for Spam, Eggs, and Rice (my parents skip it because they don't like to add extra sodium and sugar to their breakfast), but it does make breakfast feel more special.
Most restaurant that serve Spam, Eggs, and Rice let you pick between sunny-side up or scrambled eggs. But there is really only one real way to order this: scrambled! If you were eating this with toast or even hash browns, then get it sunny-side up. But because we're eating this with rice, the eggs should be scrambled.
You don't need to worry about making the "perfect" soft scramble or anything fancy. Just beat the eggs (we do this with chopsticks which I'm convinced makes it tastier), add a pinch of salt, and scramble away.
The eggs should be served with a little black pepper and dash of shoyu / soy sauce or Maggie seasoning. When you eat this dish at local restaurants, they provide shoyu / soy sauce (even McDonald's does this). But when we make it at home, we use Maggie seasoning. Either option works, they are both delicious.
When serving this dish, we "finish" the rice with a sprinkle of furikake. You can use as much or little as you wish. My dad only likes a sprinkle for color. While I like to really load up on the furikake (we love furikake on everything).
Common questions about rice:
We usually estimate about 1/2 cup uncooked rice per person for this breakfast. This equals to 1.5 cups cooked rice because rice triples in volume when cooked.
Yes!! We often make this with a mix of half-brown and half-white rice. People call that "hapa rice." Spam, eggs, and rice is a hefty (though delicious) dish, so any extra healthy factors you can add there is surely welcome. Many local restaurants actually now allow the option of white or brown rice (this was definitely not a thing growing up) ^_^
Where To Eat Spam, Eggs, and Rice In Hawaii
So many great places! Here are a few great spots:
You must visit McDonald's if you come to Hawaii, even if it's just to see the wide variety of local foods featured on the menu. Their Spam, eggs, and rice plate is a "classic" (you can also add Portuguese Sausage, another local favorite). I ate this for breakfast a lot as a kid. We'd order it through the drive thru on the way to school and I'd wolf it down in the car! Note: post about Hawaii-only menu items at McDonald's here.
Diamond Head Market & Grill
This is a popular spot among both locals and visitors. On the Bakery side, we love the blueberry cream cheese scones and pumpkin crunch. On the Grill side, we often order Spam musubi, loco moco, or Spam, egg, and rice plate to-go! It comes with fruit and a slice of cornbread.
Order the "Breakfast #2" for the Spam (and Portuguese Sausage), scrambled eggs, and rice breakfast. Like the McDonald's breakfast, this one from Zippy's is a local favorite and also perfect to take to the beach/hike/school. Full post on Zippy's here.
Liliha is a classic Hawaii institution. Part bakery, part dinner, and very delicious. Make sure you visit the original location in Liliha (second choice location is the one at Ala Moana Shopping Center). The Spam, egg, and rice breakfast also comes with a side of their famous grilled butter roll and "radioactive jelly." Full post on Liliha Bakery here.
Spam, Eggs, and Rice Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- Prepare the Spam. Slice the Spam into ½-inch thick pieces. Pan fry Spam on medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side (just until they start to brown/get a bit crisp). Turn the heat to low. Mix sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl. Pour it over and around the slices. Mix it around a bit. Let the Spam absorb the sugar-soy sauce mixture for a minute. Remove to a plate.
- Prepare the eggs. Beat the eggs. Season with a little salt. Scramble.
- To serve: assemble the cooked rice, scrambled eggs, and Spam on a plate. Sprinkle furikake over the rice and soy sauce (or Maggie seasoning) over the eggs. Eat and enjoy ^_^