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.
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!
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.
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.
Serving Size: 2 oz (56g)
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value|
|Total Fat 12g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||20%|
|Total Carbohydrates 5g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
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!
I don’t know about Bacon in that musubi. Sounds too busy, unless you’re one of those “Bacon makes everything taste better” folks.
Let’s de-can them…
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.
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….
That’s the perfect amount of pan-fried golden brown “crustification”, as Guy Fieri would say.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
Let’s try each one…
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.
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.
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
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…
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
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
• Hormel Goteborg Kauai Label Design
• The Goteborg Musubi Project
• Macadamia Nuts with SPAM® Classic Flavor