Spam… Aka scientifically processed animal matter. Otherwise known as square-shaped mushy meats made from undisclosed ingredients from undisclosed locations. Sounds like the food of a super spy!
This globally well-known, budget-friendly, convenient food has been satirized and celebrated since 1937, and you can grab it in 44 countries worldwide, and now, vegan spam exists too!
If you are a fan of spam this is great news, if you’re not then you at least know about its history. But, today, we want to talk about vegan spam, introduce you to it and let you know all you will ever need to know about it.
What You Need To Know About Spam
It is unlikely that you will ever need to answer questions about spam at gunpoint, but on the off chance you do, here are some handy details that will open your eyes to spam.
An Explanation of What Spam Is:
Spam is basically just processed luncheon meat that is made out of 6 things:
- Sodium nitrate.
- Potato starch.
- Ground pork/ham.
How Popular Is Spam?
Spam has had a bit of a rollercoaster ride in the past. It went from being distasteful, gross tripe, to a nostalgic indulgence that has actually made an appearance on menus at fine dining establishments.
Its strange volatility can only really be understood when we see how it became ubiquitous in the 20th-century English diet.
Its Use In WWII Rations
You see, in WWII, food rationing began in Britain. Things such as butter, biscuits, jam, sugar, tea, and meat were all controlled. Spam was an American product, and was, for some reason, one of the few types of meat that was available in Britain.
Spam was used as a meat alternative for some years and eventually grew a bit sick at the right of it. And this is generally why it is not featured very much on menus in Britain these days.
Is It A Food Icon?
All of this is why it is a bit of a shock when you find out that spam is actually something of a food icon in some places. For example, with America introducing spam into South Korea during the Korean war, it is actually now something of a staple in some Korean dishes.
Yet, most of us do not hate it because we ate too much during the war, but more because it’s a tin containing dead animals, and honestly, most of us prefer our food fresh and unprocessed, even if the whole dead animal thing is not a deal breaker!
Is There Any Vegan SPAM?
There is vegan spam, in the form of OmniPork Luncheon, however, there is no branded vegan spam. While OmniPork is a vegan version, this is the only version of vegan spam currently available.
What Is Vegan Spam?
Okay, so what about vegan spam? What is it? Vegan spam is a healthy plant-based alternative to normal spam. It is technically called OmniPork luncheon, and it is available in the United Kingdom and other select countries after its debut in Asia in 2021.
It is made with beets, soybeans, and coconut oil, and it (thankfully) has a much lower sodium content than the original spam.
The founder of OmniPork, David Yeung, the Asia-Pacific region makes up around 39% of luncheon meat sales, and pork is actually the most consumed, and this is why making vegan spam was chosen as one of the first choices for a plant-based alternative.
Let’s be honest too, OmniPork looks ten times more palatable and appetizing than Spam ever did, and I think we can all be happy to see something similar in use, but more appealing to the appetite.
Where To Buy Vegan Spam?
If you really fancy trying vegan spam, you can only get it in the United Kingdom, United States, or Asia at the moment.
Live in the UK? If you want to try OmniProk’s vegan spam you can get it online. It is not yet available in supermarkets, but you can buy it online at shops such as ‘Mighty Plants’. OmniPork strips and mince used to be in Sainsbury’s, but they seemed to get pulled from shelves.
If you have a hankering, check online for restaurants near you that serve OmniPork.
If you are in the United States, however, head to Sprouts to get some vegan spam, it is not available anywhere else just yet, though.
OmniPork has seen a great deal of success in Asia. China, Korea, Thailand, and Japan are all clearly very big fans of this plant-based spam.
In Asia, you can buy OmniPork Spam in supermarkets, online shops, fast-food locations, independent retailers, and restaurants alike. You can even get some at Mcdonald’s in Hong Kong!
Grab yourself a Luncheon meat Jumbo Breakfast or Luncheon Meat McMuffin!
Vegan Spam Recipe
Because it’s still hard to find where exactly you can buy vegan spam from, it’s best to just make it yourself!
Here’s an epic vegan spam recipe you have to try.
Vegan Spam Recipe
- 1 Block Extra-Firm Tofu
- 4 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- 2 Tbsp of molasses or other liquid sweetener of choice
- 1 1/2 Tsp Liquid Smoke I used this one
- 2 Tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/3 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/3 Tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tbsp of oil to fry
- Drain the tofu to ensure you get all the water out.
- Mix together in a bowl all the ingredients except the tofu, and set aside.
- Cut the tofu into 6 slices: to do this, stand the tofu up, cut into 3 sections to make block thinner, and then cut each of those in half.
- Marinade the tofu by either adding it in a bag, or a deep dish with the marinade ingredients. Let it sit in the fridge for 1 hour or overnigh.
- Heat a pan with the oil and add the tofu over medium to medium/low heat, carefully shake off any excess marinade, and place slices in the pan. Cook until both sides are golden brown (a minute or two each side, but just watch it), you will need to do this in batches.
- Brush with extra sauce durin and at the end of the cooking.
Consume them within 3 days.
Is Vegan Spam Healthy?
We cannot technically call any version of spam healthy. It’s not like having a good salad, smoothie, or meal high in antioxidants and superfoods, but it is certainly much better for you than the alternative.
It is not as high in salt, however, which is a plus!
Can You Buy Vegan Spam From Amazon?
Sadly at the moment, you cannot buy vegan spam on Amazon.com, if you want to buy vegan spam you need to shop around online with other retailers.