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Product Review: SPAM® Teriyaki


SPAM® Teriyaki Musubi

Hormel debuted the new Teriyaki flavored SPAM® to the Hawaii market in September of 2013, stirring hype by driving a brand new Ford Flex emblazoned with SPAM® Teriyaki graphics around Oahu, filled in the cabin with cans of the stuff.


The New SPAM® Brand Guess & Drive Away

Whoever guessed the closest to how many cans of SPAM without exceeding the amount were in the Flex, then went through a “key-off” process, winning a one year lease on the car, plus the infamous canned meat filled in it.


Ford Flex filled with SPAM Teriyaki (guess how many and win the Flex contest is over). Image courtesy of HawaiiNewsNow.com

Ironically, now after 7 months since its debut, other than a couple of consumer Amazon reviews, there’s yet any bloggers or mainstream media online that’s done a full-on review of Hormel SPAM® Teriyaki. Until now!


SPAM® Classic

To keep my taste buds in check, I included the original SPAM® (not the 25% less sodium version) with this review for comparison’s sake.


SPAM® Teriyaki 

First let’s get with the technical info’:

Hormel® SPAM® Teriyaki
Net weight 12 oz. (340g)

FULLY COOKED, READY TO EAT-COLD OR HOT.

Ingredients: Pork with Ham, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Sugar, Water, Soy Sauce Powder (Soy Sauce [Soybeans, Wheat], Maltodextrin, Salt), Modified Potato Starch, Salt, Flavoring, Sodium Phosphates, Potassium Chloride, Soybean Oil, Oleoresin of Paprika, Sodium Nitrite.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 2 oz (56g)

Servings: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 670mg28%
Total Carbohydrates 5g2%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 4g
Protein 7g

Purchase date: March 2014. Expiration date: September 2016

All of that information is frankly, SCARY. Add to that the fact I’ve been “naughty” lately, I’m scheduling a doctor’s check-up after this review, stat!


SPAM® Teriyaki Musubi

I don’t know about Bacon in that musubi. Sounds too busy, unless  you’re one of those “Bacon makes everything taste better” folks.


SPAM® Classic

Let’s de-can them…


SPAM® Teriyaki

Notice the Teriyaki flavor has lots of that “mystery goo”. Whatever you do if you get this flavor, DO NOT attempt to taste the mystery goo. It tastes like what I imagine liquified dog food would taste like. Seriously.


SPAM® Teriyaki Musubi and Classic

The fully incorporated sweetened soy sauce in the Teriyaki SPAM clearly gives it a distinctively darker color tone compared to the classic. Perhaps fitting for the Hawaii market, looking appropriately like it’s got a sun tan, not so “pasty” like the classic version out of blizzard cold Minnesota. “Get some sun, boy!” lol

While the can says this is “fully cooked, ready to eat hot or cold”, everyone knows SPAM should be pan-fried in a little oil to taste good….


SPAM Classic pan-fried golden brown

That’s the perfect amount of pan-fried golden brown “crustification”, as Guy Fieri would say.


SPAM Teriyaki pan-fried golden brown

As I expected with the sugar content incorporated in the Teriyaki SPAM, it burns much easier than the regular SPAM, so you must definitely keep an eye on it in the frying pan and turn it more frequently.

Blot off the excess oil, slice ’em up and let’s try it…


SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Classic pan-fried and sliced up for tasting

And? No question this is Teriyaki-flavored SPAM from the inside out. There’s also this very subtle hint of what I think could be garlic powder. You’ll know what I’m talking about when/if you try it. Not enough garlic taste to detract the Hawaii style teriyaki flavor, which usually traditionally doesn’t have, but it’s there. It would be nice if there was little ginger flavor in it.

Overall flavor wise, by itself with no rice as a buffer, in my opinion it’s very good. Not excellent. Not mind blowing, but very good.


SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Classic pan-fried and sliced up for tasting

The biggest problem I have with this new SPAM Teriyaki that takes away points is the TEXTURE. It’s too “mushy”, sort of like a cheap hot dog, if you know what I mean. Or like TREET, if you’ve ever tried that version of luncheon meat. In fact, it would be right at home if Hormel were to fill this stuff in a hot dog casing. Hey, great idea! Go for it Hormel! SPAM Teriyaki Hot Dogs…. and remember, you heard it here first!

SPAM Classic and 25% less sodium flavors have an ever so slight fibrous texture to it, giving it at least some “meat realism”, whereas SPAM Teriyaki comes across more like Teriyaki Mystery Meat, mainly because of that funky texture. Speaking of less sodium, man this regular Classic SPAM is SAL-TY! I tell you, I needed a steady flow of drinking water to keep this tasting session going. So salty, I had to deduct a point from the Classic.


SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Classic pan-fried and ready for tasting

Adding up the grades straight up by itself, not served with rice or cooked in a dish:
SPAM Teriyaki – 3 SPAM Musubi
SPAM Classic – 4 SPAM Musubi

Now, you know what’s coming next…


SPAM Musubi Maker and SPAM Teriyaki Musubi under construction

Ah yes, SPAM and RICE makes everything NICE. As in SPAM Teriyaki Musubi. Now to make this proper, we must also give the SPAM Classic a bath in homemade pan-thickened Teriyaki sauce…


SPAM Classic pan-fried, then glazed with simple homemade Teriyaki Sauce (Shoyu & Mirin)

This teriyaki sauce is simply equal amounts of Yamasa Shoyu & Mirin, thickened in the pan then glazed over the SPAM Classic. I wanted to add ginger in there but didn’t have any on-hand. Shucks.

Voila…


SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Classic Musubi

Let’s try each one…


SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Classic Musubi

And? MUCH BETTER! When it comes to salty, bold-tasting SPAM, nothing is better with it than RICE! Now suddenly the Teriyaki flavor has come into its own, where I enjoyed it equally as much as I did the SPAM Classic with Teriyaki sauce on it.


SPAM Teriyaki and SPAM Classic Musubi

Regardless of the rice slightly masking it, I still had “issues” with the mushy texture of the Teriyaki version which still takes away a point. However the fully-permeated teriyaki flavor was a big asset for it (no pun intended), as every bite of that with the rice was well-balanced. The SPAM Teriyaki was also enhanced quite well by the earthy tones of the Nori.

Ultimately pointing out the obvious, the SPAM Teriyaki tastes like it’s been marinaded in Teriyaki sauce vs. the SPAM Classic which taste like the classic, that’s just coated with Teriyaki Sauce. The sum of it all, when applied to rice and nori, both those attributes had their own merits.


SPAM Classic Musubi

The rice was ticket for the Classic SPAM as well, helping to cut the impact of the high sodium content. Where now that extra saltiness helped boost its porky flavor to enhance the neutrality of the rice. Add to that, the goodness of the wet Teriyaki sauce seeping into the rice for extra kick, and ‘das da’ winnah’.

For SPAM Musubi “Purists”, the definitive question to answer might be, “Is the SPAM Teriyaki a good, convenient way to make SPAM Musubi without having to mess with making Teriyaki Sauce on the side for regular SPAM Musubi?” To which I would answer by saying it depends whether you want some seepage of wet sauce permeating the surface of the rice (see photo right above). Out of the fry pan, the SPAM Teriyaki isn’t very “saucy”, however it’s deeply permeated within of Teri’ flavor, which again, has its merits.

Adding up the grades as SPAM Musubi (SPAM with rice and Nori):
SPAM Teriyaki – 2 SPAM Musubi
SPAM Classic – 5 SPAM Musubi


SPAM® Teriyaki Musubi

Wrapping it up, I say the new SPAM Teriyaki flavor is definitely worth trying. I Would I personally buy it again? Probably not, only because I’m admittedly not a big teriyaki fan (yet still enjoy it every now and then), and also that nagging mushy texture. Nothing can beat SPAM Classic, or better yet the SPAM Classic 25% less Sodium version.

P.S. Since they were on sale for just $1.69 a can (regular $3.99) a few weeks ago, I picked up one of each flavor the store carried…


Hormel SPAM®: Chorizo Seasoning, with Cheese, Black Pepper and Hickory Smoke Flavored

To make things interesting for each flavor in a follow-up review, I’ll prepare the recipe Hormel suggests on the back of each can…

With the leftover can of SPAM Teriyaki, I must may try Hormel’s Suggested use of it in Asian Noodles…


SPAM Teriyaki & Noodles

All that said, this review comes with good timing, as tonight is the 12th Annual Waikiki SPAM JAM!

12TH Annual Waikiki SPAM JAM
Kalakaua Avenue, Hawaii
Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
4:00pm – 10:00pm

PARTICIPANTS & BOOTHS

  • ABC Stores: SPAM & Macadamia Nut Sundae $5; SPAM & Corn Chowder $4
  • Aloha Plate: Award Winning SPAM Burger
  • Atlantis Seafood and Steak: SPAM Lau Lau $8; BBQ Chicken $7; BBQ Ribs $7; Combination SPAM BBQ $8
  • Cheeseburger Beachwalk: Sugar-shoyu Furikake SPAM Slider $3
  • Chibo Okonomiyaki Restaurant: SPAM Okonomiyaki $8; SPAM Yakisoba $8
  • Curry Cafe: Crispy Fried SPAM and Curry Rice $8
  • Duke’s Waikiki: SPAM Fried Rice $5; SPAM Loco Moco $7; SPAM Loco Moco w/Fried Rice $9; SPAM Katsu $4; Kanak Attack $12; Hula Pie $8
  • Eggs ‘n Things: SPAM Pancake Sliders w/SPAM Fries $8; SPAM Pita Pockets w/SPAM Fries $8; SPAM Fries $6
  • Gordon Biersch: Kama`aina SPAM Street Tacos $7; Sicilian SPAM Pizza $3; Chinatown SPAM Won Tons $5; Mango BBQ SPAM Sliders $5; Garlic Fries $5; Dessert Samplers $3
  • Hard Rock Cafe: SPAMburrito $6 – Pulled Pork, SPAM, 3 Beans, Shredded Cabbage, Lime, and Sour Cream wrapped in a Flour Tortilla. Candied Spam Caramel Crème Brulee $4 – Candied Maui Onion, Spam, Vanilla Custard in a Dark Caramel Sauce.
  • Hula Grill: SPAM Fried Rice $5; SPAM Loco Moco $7; SPAM Loco Moco w/Fried Rice $9; SPAM Katsu $4; Kanak Attack $12; Hula Pie $8
  • Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber: 2014 Award Winning SPAM recipe – SPAM Philly Sandwich $10, SPAM Chili $8, SPAM Nachos $8
  • Kau Kau Grill: Krazy BBQ SPAM Fried Rice $5; Kau Kau SPAM Snackers $2 or 3/$5; BBQ Baby Back Ribs $12; Garlic Shrimp $12; Pulehu Shortribs $12, Garlic Ahi $12; Shoyu & Spicy Poke Bowls $8; 2-Choice Combo $15
  • MAC 24:7: Truffle SPAM Ramen $4
  • Mahaloha Burger: Loco Moco SPAM Burger $7; Teriyaki SPAM Burger $7; SPAM Cheese Burger $7; SPAM Hot Dog $5
  • Olay’s Thai Food Express: SPAM Pad Thai Plate, Green Curry Chicken, Pumpkin Curry Chicken, Panang Curry Chicken, Yellow Curry Chicken, Thai Basil Chicken, or Lemongrass Fried Chicken $9; 2 Choice Plate $10; Small SPAM Pad Thai $5; Large SPAM Pad Thai $8
  • Ono Pops: Peanut Butter Ice Cream w/Candied SPAM $4; Brown Sugar Pineapple Sorbet w/Candied SPAM, Brown Spice & Cherries $4; Assorted Gourmet Hawaiian Frozen Popsicle Treats $4
  • PF Chang’s: SPAM Lo Mein $8; SPAM Lettuce Wraps $8
  • Seafood Village: SPAM Siu Mai $4; SPAM Manapua/Spring Roll $3; Salt&Pepper Shrimp $5; Tangerine Chicken $5; SPAM Jam Plate (SPAM siu mai/spring roll/manapua, S&P Shrimp, Tangerine Chik, Steamed Rice $9
  • Buenos Antojitos: Mom’s Puerto Rican SPAM Flan $4

LIVE PERFORMANCES

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Stage (fronting Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach):

  • 4:30 p.m. Ka Hale I o Kahala Halau
  • 5:30 p.m. Kaiao
  • 6:30 p.m. Kapena
  • 7:30 p.m. Germaine’s Luau
  • 8:30 p.m. Manoa Madness

Shops of Hawaii Stage (fronting Royal Hawaiian Center):

  • 4:30 p.m. Hula by Malu Productions and Wanna Hula Productions
  • 5:30 p.m. Johnna Padeken Parel
  • 6:30 p.m. The Wreck
  • 7:15 p.m. Legends Waikiki
  • 7:45 p.m. Pocket
  • 8:45 p.m. Emke

For more information, please visit www.WaikikiSpamJam.com

Related Tasty Island Links:
2010 Waikiki SPAM JAM
2009 Waikiki SPAM JAM
2008 Waikiki SPAM JAM
2007 Waikiki SPAM JAM
TULIP vs. TREET vs. SPAM Musubi Showdown!
Honoring Hawaii’s SPAM Musubi
Hormel SPAM® Hawaii Lebel Design Contest
SPAM® Spread
Hormel Goteborg Kauai Label Design
The Goteborg Musubi Project
Macadamia Nuts with SPAM® Classic Flavor

16 thoughts on “Product Review: SPAM® Teriyaki

  • May 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm
    Permalink

    What’s up with all the drum covers lately?

    Genius thought: They should increase the price of lisinopril by like 1000%. That would keep everyone with a good eye on their sodium intake. (not that I’m one to talk this week, my normal healthy-foods self ate a full bag of funyuns in 2 days this week).

    Reply
  • May 4, 2014 at 12:44 am
    Permalink

    If I won that contest, I would just start cruising in that Flex, and popping those cans of Spam for sustenance and tossing the empties into the back. I’d video it, sorta like “Supersize Me”. At the end of the lease, they could pry me and umpteen empty Spam cans outta the back hatch. That would be a great movie.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2014 at 2:29 am
    Permalink

    My cousins still unable to new Spam Teriyaki yet in supermarkets in the mainland. So they got regular one and cooked it with teriyaki sauce just as good.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2014 at 4:37 am
    Permalink

    @ Richard – I’m curious what markets outside of Hawaii are carrying the new SPAM® Teriyaki flavor. I take it Teriyaki wouldn’t sell well in Mexico. In turn, we’ll see how long Chorizo lasts in Hawaii.

    @ Marcus – totally brilliant!!! LOL!!!

    @ h – If you read Maytel Cohen’s bio, her father died of a tragic accident when she was in the second grade, leaving her mother alone to successfully raise 7 children – several of whom became doctors – while she served two years in the Israeli Defense Force. Quite an amazing story, on top of which, she kicks @ss on the skins! It doesn’t hurt that she’s pretty smokin’ hot looking as well! I think the cover she did on Tool’s Forty Six & 2 in this video is by far her best one, and up there with any professional, including the likes of highly acclaimed drummers such as Neil Peart, Dave Weckl and Billy Cobham. I also believe if they apply themselves, great drummers make great musicians, as is evident by Phil Collins (Genesis) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters/Nirvana). The AMAZING Bruno Mars also proved he’s got drums chops in the intro’ of his epic Super Bowl half time performance. Great songs are all about rhythm and TIMING… knowing when to hit that hook.

    As for the price of Lisinopril, my HMO plan charged just $15 for a 90 day supply. Thankfully my blood pressure is back to normal (just checked it the other day again), so no need.

    @ Everyone

    The Poll results thus far are interesting:

    SPAM® Teriyaki
    Not interested. 28.57% (4 votes)
    I tried and it’s good. 21.43% (3 votes)
    I tried and it’s OK. 21.43% (3 votes)
    I tried it and it sucks. 14.29% (2 votes)
    I haven’t tried it yet. 14% (2 votes)
    I tried and it’s SUPAH ONO! 0% (0 votes)
    Other (I’ll elaborate in comments) 0% (0 votes)
    Total Votes: 14

    Safe to say not many SPAM fans here. lol

    Reply
    • July 16, 2014 at 8:53 am
      Permalink

      I just tried the Teri Spam, taste wasn’t bad but didn’t like the texture, too mushy, reminds me of generic canned meats like TREET. don’t think I’d buy it again. I’ll stick to Classic Spam. Less sodium is OK

      Reply
  • May 4, 2014 at 5:38 am
    Permalink

    Well Safeway so far carry the turkey and bacon ones in San Francisco but not so far teriyaki. I know favor of teriyaki is very popular in many things so it will do well.

    Reply
  • May 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    Permalink

    I’m in northern Colorado and get Spam Teriyaki. Made a Sriracha and Spam fried rice with it. The sweet from the Spam played well with the heat from the Sriracha.

    Reply
    • May 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm
      Permalink

      Andy,

      EXCELLENT FYI. At least we now know SPAM® Teriyaki is being distributed nationwide (in certain markets).

      Not a big Sriracha fan myself, however I’m sure however you prepared your SPAM Teriyaki fried rice using all said ingredients was ono.

      Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 5:16 am
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    Aiyah, Pomai! So much Spam, so little time! I’m getting my sister to grab some Teri, chorizo and black pepper spam for me so that I can try it when I visit home later this year! Just in case the flavors leave the market before I get home! By the way, here in AL, the most exotic Spam I’ve come across is the Turkey Spam, but I’ll be on the lookout for the hickory flavor, as that seems a natural one for the South, as their BBQ centers around pork. Wonder if Spam will come out with a BBQ flavor like on BBQ chips? Might be tasty….

    Reply
    • May 5, 2014 at 6:11 am
      Permalink

      Keith-San,

      Good idea. SPAM flavors can be fleeting in the supermarkets, depending on sales. I’m surprised how short-lived the TULIP brand (from Denmark) lasted in Hawaii. We have the Turkey flavor here, however Diner E said it sucked, so I didn’t it. Along with Hickory Smoke, our market also carries a Bacon flavor. I need to get that one too. It’s really good. Hormel should definitely come out with said flavored snack chips. They already have the powder formula, as is applied to the onolicious SPAM flavored Macadamia Nuts. I’m thinking using the same type of chip “dough” they use to make Funions. Something that’s really porous.

      Reply
  • May 5, 2014 at 6:16 am
    Permalink

    Here in Illinois, we have regular and 25% less sodium. That’s it. My mom sent me the black pepper one. Being a huge black pepper fan, I loved it. I have to remind her to send me the teri to try!

    Reply
    • May 5, 2014 at 6:41 am
      Permalink

      Shevon,

      I’m going to take pics of every brand of luncheon meat our stores in Honolulu carry and blog that. It will blow you folks away how many brands we have. Okinawa is the same way. They’re huge fans of luncheon meat for the same reason as Hawaii, being the influence of US soldiers from WWII. Also, luncheon meat has traditionally been cheaper than fresh pork in their markets. So I’ve been told by the late great food blogger Nate, a.k.a. HWN Pake in Okinawa, who served many years there as a Civil Engineer.

      Reply
      • May 6, 2014 at 9:35 am
        Permalink

        Awesome. I’ll be waiting to see those. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had luncheon meat, but from what I remember, I don’t think I liked the texture. It always seemed to have more gritty pieces of mystery meat in it than Spam.

        Thanks for providing us locals far away from home (insert sad, teary face here) with an insight into the food scene back home. I have not found any other site that I enjoy as much. I think you used to post stuff on Alohaworld a super long time ago, too.

        Reply
  • May 7, 2014 at 1:06 pm
    Permalink

    Shevon,

    Yeah, I used to be active on AlohaWorld’s discussion board (excellent local recipes on that site!), then I migrated to Hawaiithreads.com. Now with so many social media outlets, everything’s so scattered. Maintaining this blog alone occupies what little spare time I have.

    Looking at the poll here’s the results thus far:

    SPAM® Teriyaki
    I tried it and it sucks. 33.33% (11 votes)
    I haven’t tried it yet. 27.27% (9 votes)
    Not interested. 21.21% (7 votes)
    I tried it and it’s good. 9.09% (3 votes)
    I tried it and it’s OK. 9.09% (3 votes)
    I tried it and it’s SUPAH ONO! 0% (0 votes)
    Other (I’ll elaborate in comments) 0% (0 votes)
    Total Votes: 33

    Looks like that funky mushy texture really is an issue.

    I also wanna’ say I’m really bummed I missed this year’s 2014 Waikiki SPAM JAM. The event coverage photos on some other sites looks like it was again super packed and had lots of interesting food booths. Shucks. ;-(

    Reply
  • May 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks again for your dedication to this site! I love it and enjoy reading and longing for all the goodies back home. We always count on at least a 5 pound weight gain when we visit.

    Reply
  • May 23, 2015 at 7:11 am
    Permalink

    Pomai-san… finally scored me some Podagee sausage and Teriyaki Spam  – you can order it online directly from spam.com. Made me a batch of spam musubi as my potluck contribution for a recent test launch. Used the newfangled Sumo Musubi maker (www.sumomusubi.com) to whip up to 27 musubi at a time. Suffice it to say, ‘serious piggination’ occurred. Former Kwaj ‘range rats’ love their spam musubi and the plate was demolished by the time we were released.

    My review of the Podagee sausage Spam: nice flavor, good companion for spam musubi. Granted it’s hard to find outside Hawaii nei but at least  you can order it online.(about $3.50 a can).

    Agree with you on the texture of the Teri Spam… it’s not as firm as the regular/less sodium (perhaps the seasoning softened the texture?)

    Both are worth getting, even if we mainlanders hafta jump thru hoops to mainline our fix! :)

    Reply

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