Comfort food in to-go form. The ever-popular island classic that is musubi is quite elusive on the mainland, but quickly gaining its rightful place on the Instagram feeds of stateside foodies.
Simple, unassuming and straightforward. Hailing from the 808 state, musubi is as much a part of the modern food culture of the Hawaiian islands as shave ice. While musubi may not be for the vegan-minded, there’s something about it that makes it a food for the people, by the people–an inclusive meal, if you will.
The Hawaiian Power Bar, as it’s sometimes referred to, is an island classic made for beach days, work days, hike days or lazy days. When it comes to musubi, there are numerous combinations, but the most popular and widely recognized of the bunch is Spam musubi.
Originating from Japanese onigiri, the components of Spam musubi are few, but complimentary–a fried slice of Spam placed on top of packed down, rectangular shaped rice–sometimes sprinkled with furikake or teriyaki sauce–all wrapped up in a strip of nori (seaweed).
In Hawai’i, Spam musubi, as well as other musubi variations, can be found in convenience stores, grocery stores, cafes and restaurants all over the islands. On the mainland, however, finding Spam musubi is limited to Hawaiian barbecue chains and a few restaurants here and there. But, musubi’s growing popularity on the mainland may just put it on the map of every Insta-foodie in the loop, much like its ahi poke counterpart’s rise to trending status.