Friday, June 24, 2011

Food Memory: Baked Beans and Spam

Crisp caramelized slices of luncheon meat (or Spam) with baked beans in a light tomato sauce.
Can it sound any better?

Food memories aren't always all happy and good. Some of you might be cringing at the thought of "baked beans and spam??". Well, at least I did when I first came across this dish which was served to me (meaning "plonked onto my compartmentalized food tray alongside some rice and other dishes") when I was staying at a hostel during my high school days. I was thinking "Gee, does throwing together two types of canned food really count as a dish?". It reminded me of dog food. It was a chunk of luncheon meat (the kind in the cylindrical Maling can) that had been quartered and mixed through with baked beans in tomato sauce. I must say I had never seen anything like it before, but then of course, it was my first time being away from home, and having been pampered with delicous home-cooked meals until then, this was pretty alien to me. My roommate, on the other hand, thought that it was "nice" and couldn't understand why I didn't think so. I was still skeptical about it.

It didn't take more than a few weeks of hostel dinners before I realised that I would be eating it more often than I expected. Or maybe the cooks figured that baked beans and luncheon meat would be a treat for us. After all, they are imported ingredients, and maybe to them, fusion food. Literally. I guess I sort of got used to it after a while. It started to grow on me and I actually kind of liked it. Anyway, I always looked forward to the "Friday Dinner Specials", especially the chicken rice which was always such a treat for us. There's my one and only positive food memory from hostel life.

Well, if you're a fan of baked beans and spam, then you will love this dish. Being two of Z's favourite foods, his face and eyes lit up with joy when I showed him what's for dinner. Perhaps this is a good way to prepare him for life in boarding school if or when it happens.

Supplemented the meal with stir-fried chinese cabbage and oyster mushrooms.
Sprinkled some crispy fried diced spam over the top for colour :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

♥ "Crisp caramelized slices of luncheon meat (or Spam)" Never had caramelized spam before. Makes it sound all the more delicious. I love caramelized onions, carrots etc. To cook Spam that way is pure genius!

"Crisp caramelized slices of luncheon meat (or Spam) with baked beans in a light tomato sauce. Can it sound any better?" NO. ♥