I love spam musubi...basically spam sushi. It is made with some rice(some people use sushi rice)' a 1/4" slice of spam, and some teriyaki sauce...it is wrapped with a sheet of nori. This is the basic recipe.

How was this first conceived? I know that the Hawaiians are the biggest consumers of spam (chicken/egg problem? Did the creation of spam musubi help the Hawaians become the second largest consumers (Guam is first) of spam? :) ). There's also a large presence of Japanese on the islands. You can see that the environment is essentially set up for some sort of fusion of the two cultures.

Who was the first to conceive this dish?

  • I've noticed a good amount of Hawaiian cuisine is similar to Japanese cuisine Commented Jan 24, 2012 at 15:56

3 Answers 3


Spam became prevalent in the US occupied Pacific islands during World War 2 since fresh meat was difficult to procure at the time. Since it was a primary food staple, it was incorporated into various dishes, and has remained a popular food. Spam musubi is just an an extension of this. Making do with the meat available to create a tasty dish, obviously influenced in this case by Japanese culture.

  • I think you provide some good background information but it doesn't answer his question per se.
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 25, 2012 at 14:37
  • 3
    Answers the part of why Hawaii and Guam are such large consumers of Spam, and why it was conceived - Milesmeow's answer definitely tackles the actual origin of the dish.
    – DHayes
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 20:43

I've found some good info here.

According to author Ann Kondo Corum, Mitsuko Kaneshiro first made spam musubi for her children, but then started selling them out of City Pharmacy on Pensacola Street in Mo'ili'ili. By the early 1980s, she was selling 500 a day


The garden island news paper Kauai has a story about a lady named Barbara Funimura that first made them over 30 years ago for her restaurant Joni-Hana. They later with friends created what we call "musubi makers"

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