BETTY SHIMABUKURO / BETTY@STARBULLETIN.COM|
Duke's Spambalaya combines Spam with andouille sausage, chicken and Cajun spices.
Keith Steel Kong grew up in Hawaii and filled up on Spam. "My dish was fried Spam and egg sandwich on Wonder bread, with mayonnaise and ketchup. And the Spam had to be perfectly browned."
Waikiki Spam Jam
Schedule of events:
Friday: Construction of world's largest Spam musubi, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center
Saturday: Street festival, 4 to 10 p.m., along Kalakaua Avenue. With food and craft booths, entertainment, Spam-eating contest and scavenger hunt. Free.
Also: Special events will be held at individual hotels. Visit www.waikikiimprovement.com for full schedule.
And now that he's a chef? "Same. The traditional classic is the best."
But that won't stop Kong, executive chef at Duke's Waikiki, from fancying it up a bit, serving a Spam-ized version of an American classic, Jambalaya, at Saturday's Waikiki Spam Jam Street Festival. His Spambalaya subs Spam for the usual ham in a hearty rice dish.
The Spam Jam, in its second year, is a two-day event. Day 1, Friday, is devoted to building the world's longest Spam musubi. Last year, a 132-foot-8-inch musubi was constructed, but this time around the aim is a 325-foot beast to surpass the 300-foot musubi made at the Kauai County Fair.
Leading the effort is a professional musubi-maker, Matt Bowden, whose company, the Pizza Shop, makes 3,000 of the snacks daily for stores around Oahu. Bowden plans on using more than 275 pounds of steamed rice, 1,650 slices of Spam and 600 feet of nori.
Once the feat has been accomplished -- and verified by a surveyor from the Hawaii State Measurement Standards Branch, no less -- more than 1,200 servings of musubi will be handed out free.
The Spam Jam culminates Saturday with a street festival on Kalakaua Avenue, with food booths representing various Waikiki restaurants serving up Spam specialties.
Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add sausage. Cook until browned on both sides and remove to a strainer. Repeat process for Spam, then chicken. Set meats aside.
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
1 can Spam, in 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, in 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper (mixture of red and green)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Cajun spice
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups long-grain rice
8 ounces canned crushed tomatoes with purée
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Heat oil and butter in a 3-quart saucepan. Add garlic, onion, celery and bell peppers; sauté over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until light brown. Reduce heat, add spices and rice; cook 1 more minute.
Add chicken stock and tomatoes. Return to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning on bottom. Lower heat to a simmer, add meats, cover and cook 20 to 30 minutes.
Fold in fresh herbs, season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 670 calories, 38 g total fat, 13 g saturated fat, 130 mg cholesterol, greater than 2,000 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 34 g protein.
Nutritional analyses by Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S.
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