For many people, the word “SPAM®” first brings to mind all the junk email cluttering up our inboxes rather than the canned meat product created by Hormel Foods back in 1937 (via SPAM®). For others, the association they have of SPAM® is of a low-quality food product not well-suited to use in any decent dish. But for many more folks out there, SPAM® is a beloved foodstuff that is welcome in just about anything, from sushi to soup to sandwiches and beyond.
One such tried-and-true SPAM® aficionado is celebrity chef Chris Oh, who extolled his love for this classic meat product in no uncertain terms during a recent interview with Mashed. “SPAM® has played such a huge part in a role in my life, just growing up,” Oh said. “It’s been a staple food throughout my whole life. And as a chef, you look at ingredients, SPAM® kind of hits every note of one of those perfect ingredients. It’s so versatile. You can deep fry it. You can pan-fry it. You can steam it. You can boil it. You can put it into soups. You can put it into sandwiches. You can put it in tacos. It’s just one of those ingredients that you don’t get with other ingredients and whatnot.”
And Oh went on to compare SPAM®to foods most of us may never have associated with the canned meat, saying: “You can easily take like a good piece of meat or a good piece of fish and just let that kind of speak on its own. I really feel like SPAM® is kind of very similar stuff because you have the salty notes, you have those textural differences and whatnot. And, personally, every culture that I’ve seen has definitely used SPAM®. Whether it’s Korean or Japanese or Mexican, the Hawaiian. Obviously, Hawaiian food has got a big staple with the SPAM®. So it’s just a versatile product. And on top of that, it’s very delicious.”