(BPT) - Can you believe the SPAM® Brand is celebrating its 85th birthday this July? It’s a classic ingredient with a proven track record of making delicious dishes, which explains its continued popularity worldwide. More than 9 billion cans have been produced around the world and sold in 48 countries, where it is known as the SPAM® Brand, no matter the language!
From the late 1930s to today, the brand has made an iconic evolution from a wartime delicacy to a trending ingredient on TikTok, a 16,000 square foot museum, a celebrity chef staple, an annual Hawaiian street festival and so much more. During its 85-year reign, SPAM® products have consistently been used to create delicious meals and snacks from home cooking to fine dining – all while inspiring, celebrating and connecting consumers around the world.
If you haven’t prepped SPAM® products before or if it has been a while, check out these four tips for cooking with this beloved ingredient.
1. Choose a flavor
While you might be most familiar with SPAM® Classic, there are eleven SPAM® varieties to complement and elevate any dish.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet yet savory, try SPAM® Teriyaki. If you’re in the mood for something spicy, SPAM® Jalapeno may be just what you’re looking for to make an afternoon snack like nachos really pop.
Other flavors include bacon, turkey and hickory smoked. No matter what you’re craving, there’s a flavor for you. Try a few out and see which ones you prefer based on your tastes and preferences.
2. Decide on a dish
Now that you’ve chosen a flavor, it’s time to decide on a dish. The great thing about SPAM® products is that they’re incredibly convenient so you can throw together a quick meal or snack for your friends and family.
An excellent and easy recipe for a midweek dinner or as a utensil-free meal for an outdoor gathering is SPAM® Street Tacos. This creative take on the classic street taco takes only 20 minutes to make, so you can enjoy this tasty treat in no time.
SPAM® products are such a flexible and creative ingredient that you can even make it into a cake. Check out this SPAM® Musubirthday Cake recipe, a creative spin on classic Musubi that is ironically perfect for the brand’s birthday celebration.
3. Don’t slice it too thin or thick
One of the most common mistakes people make when cooking with SPAM® products is not knowing how to slice it to suit a dish. While you may be tempted to create thin slices like a cold cut, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the flavor in your sandwich. On the other hand, you don’t want to slice it too thick either or you might overpower the other sandwich ingredients.
For making stir-fry dishes or adding it to a casserole, it’s a good idea to chop the product into small cubes that are easy to fry or bake quickly. The more you cook it, you’ll discover your preference for how to prepare the meat to suit your meal or snack.
4. Decide how to cook it
While SPAM® products are known for their signature sizzle in the pan, your favorite varieties can be cooked just about any way- frying, baking, boiling, grilling and more. How you cook the product will depend on your chosen recipe and the texture you prefer, but moist and crispy is a fan favorite. A trending and simple way to make crispy SPAM® products is to use an air fryer. All you need to do is cube or slice it, add it to the air fryer basket with some oil, and cook it for about 10 minutes. Once it’s done, you can eat it on its own as a snack or add to a salad or as a breakfast side dish.
No matter what flavor or recipe you choose or what preparation and cooking method you use, it’s easy to get creative when cooking with the SPAM® Brand. To find some inspiration and recipes for your next meal, visit SPAM.com/Recipes.
SPAM® Street Tacos
1 (12-ounce) can SPAM® Classic, sliced into strips
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package WHOLLY® Guacamole Classic
1 small onion, diced
1 small Serrano pepper, seeded and diced
1 (10-count) package taco size flour tortillas
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
In a bowl, combine the SPAM® Classic, cumin, garlic powder, salt, chili powder, paprika, and black pepper, then set aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil and cook the SPAM® Classic until lightly browned. Add seasoning and continue to heat for 1-2 minutes.
Place the SPAM® Classic in tortillas with guacamole, onion, and serrano pepper. If desired, garnish with cilantro sprigs.