Glazed pork musubi (Hawaiian sushi)

Adam Liaw
Glazed pork musubi - or use Spam.
Glazed pork musubi - or use Spam. Photo: William Meppem

Musubi is one of Hawaii's many versions of sushi. This one is filled with Okinawan glazed pork belly known as rafute.


750g pork belly, skin-on, ribs removed

½ cup sake (or ¼ cup brandy)

½ cup soy sauce

¼ cup dark soy sauce

¾ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

3 thick slices ginger

½ onion, thinly sliced

3 cups short-grain sushi rice

4 pieces nori


1. To make the glazed pork, place the pork belly in a saucepan just big enough to hold it and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, discarding the water, and rinse the pork under cold water to remove any scum clinging to the outside.

2. Cut the pork into 5cm-wide strips and return to the pot. Add the sake (or brandy), soy sauces, sugar, salt, ginger and onion. Top with enough water to cover the pork, bring to a simmer and simmer for about 1½ hours, until the pork is very tender. Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. To cook the rice, place in a small saucepan and rinse a few times. Add cold water to a level around 2cm above the top of the rice and place over high heat. Bring to the boil and boil uncovered until the water reaches the top of the rice (about 5 minutes). Reduce the heat to very low and cover the saucepan. Cook for 12 minutes, then turn off the heat and let stand for a further 2 minutes. Uncover the rice and fluff it up using a spatula in a cutting motion, cutting into the rice with the edge of the spatula rather than the flat, so as not to squash the grains.

4. To make the musubi, cut each piece of nori into quarters. Cover the rough side of each nori piece with a layer of rice about ½-cm thick, then add a piece or two of sliced pork. Fold the nori in half.

Tip: The classic Hawaiian musubi filling is Spam. If you want to make that version, just cut the Spam into ½-cm slices and fry it on both sides. Add to the musubi as you would the pork in this recipe.

Also try: my Hawaiian banana spring rolls

Find more of Adam Liaw's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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