Hong Kong Spam spaghetti bowl, a comfort food? Chinese fusion? No matter how you want to categorize it, it is just one great recipe.
When I was a kid, I love my mum cook the spaghetti in soup. She made it in many different ways. This is one of them. To me, it is absolutely comfort food.
In this noodle bowl, my mom always added either the Chinese "Choi Sum" or "Kai Lan". They are both vegetables which are very popular in Asia.
However, I find that it is very difficult to find in any supermarkets in the States, except the Chinese stores. But I always find substitutes. Nothing can stop me, especially making comfort food to think about home. (If you are interested to find out where Hong Kong is, my home town, click here.)
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 30-40 Minutes Serving: 4
Broccoli Rabe (a.k.a. Rapini) has the texture and taste of Chinese “Choi Sum”, although both of these vegetables look very different. The leafy Broccoli Rabe looks more like regular broccoli which has a bitter taste while "Choi Sum" doesn't.
You can easily find “Choi Sum” during summer time. So, if you happen to be in a Chinese store, make sure to look for it and check it out.
The other vegetable my mom would add into this Hong Kong Spam spaghetti bowl is "Kai Lan". It is very seasonal. It looks a lot like "Choi Sum". But the texture is much heartier than "Choi Sum". Kale is a very close match of "Kai Lan". Their textures are very, very close to each other, too, but their looks.
To prepare the kale, stripe the leaves from the stem in the middle and give it a rough chop.
Both "Choi Sum" and "Kai Lan" and their substitutes have one thing common. When "Choi Sum" or broccoli rabe is cooked, it wilted down a lot. On the other hand, when "Kai Lan" or Kale is cooked, it doesn't shrink as much as the original volume.
If you plan to pair broccoli rabe with this spaghetti bowl, make sure to cook the vegetables separately. It has a slight bitter taste from it. Salt is a must to neutralize its bitter flavor.
The water used to cook the broccoli rabe will be discarded and never re-used. If you plan on using the same pot later for completing this recipe, make sure to rinse the pot thoroughly with dish detergent.
1 pound Spaghetti
4 Cups Chicken Broth
1 Can (12oz) Spam Lunch Meat (sliced about ¼” thick; you can get up to 8 slices out of it)
2 pounds Broccoli Rabe (cut in florets) or kale (removed from stem and roughly chopped)
2 teaspoon Salt (divided)
2 tablespoon Canola Oil (divided)
2 Pots of Water
1 Splash Superior Lite Soy Sauce (optional)
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