Cooking at the Science Museum

The Science Museum of Minnesota’s upcoming adults-only Social Science event Aug. 1 will include a cooking demo by cookbook author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard ( Given the event’s theme of Mayan culture, she’ll be showing how to prepare Jocon-Mayan chicken stew with tomatillos, bell peppers and chiles, green onions and cilantro; mole de platano, which is a sweet plantain stew with roasted dried chiles and cinnamon, tomatoes, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and chocolate; and Guatemalan hot chocolate. Activities run 6-11 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include admission to “Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.” Tickets are available at the door, or in advance via the Science Museum’s Call Center at 651-221-9444. For more details, visit

Spam you can eat

After World War II, musubi became a popular snack in Hawaii. Never heard of it? Yes, you have, sort of: It’s a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of sushi rice, wrapped together with nori dried seaweed. (Find a recipe for it below.) To note its 75th anniversary, Hormel has two new Spam flavors, jalapeño and black pepper. It’s partnering with Minneapolis grocer United Noodles to see what twists its Japanese sushi chef, Kosuke Zaworski, can do with the beloved snack. From July 29 to Aug. 10, you can taste the results as part of the UniDeli menu (and help donate to Second Harvest Heartland with your order). United Noodles, 2015 E. 24th St., is considered among the largest Asian grocery stores in the Midwest.

Final call for Bake-Off

The Pillsbury Bake-Off is now accepting entries for its final category, “Quick Rise & Shine Breakfasts,” with an entry deadline of Aug 8. As with the other categories, fans will vote among the semifinalists to choose the final 100 recipes that will vie for the $1 million grand prize. The voting period will run Sept. 12-26. For entry details, visit

Kids cook at the co-op

According to a survey by appliance maker LG Electronics, the vast majority of parents confirm that after cooking with their kids in the kitchen, their children know more about healthy foods and eating. Six in 10 also said cooking is a great way to occupy young minds in the brain slump of summer. So it’s a nice coincidence that the Mississippi Market Natural Food Co-op on W. 7th Street in St. Paul is offering a series of classes geared for kids ages 5-14. The choices include “Local After-Dinner Treats,” “Local Taco Turnovers” and two classes on “Taste & Bake Apples.” For the schedule and details, visit




Makes 8 to 10.

Note: Nori is dried seaweed; find it in your supermarket's Asian section. Furikake seasoning is made of dried fish and more; find it at Asian specialty stores. This recipe uses a musubi press (ranges in price from $2.50 to $11 on Amazon). But you could try anything with a small, rectangular well (about 2 inches by 4 inches, like a butter dish). You can also shape the rice with your palms; just wet them first to keep the rice from sticking. Kokuho Rose brand rice works well with this. From "Hawai'i Cooks With Spam," by Muriel Miura.

- 2 c. short-grain sushi-style rice, uncooked (see Note)

- 1 (12-oz.) can Spam, cut lengthwise into 1/2-in. slices

- 1 to 2 tsp. sugar

- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar

- 1 tsp. black pepper

- 3 to 4 sheets nori, each sheet cut into thirds (see Note)

- Furikake seasoning, optional (see Note)


Cook the rice according to package directions (about 1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups water), either in a rice cooker or on the stovetop. Set aside cooked rice.

While the rice is cooking, fry the Spam slices in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes on each side. Set aside.

In a small pan, dissolve the sugar into the vinegar. Pour over the cooked rice and thoroughly combine to season the rice.

Lay one piece of nori shiny side down horizontally and set the musubi mold down vertically in the center.

Add about 1/4 cup cooked rice into the musubi mold and layer 1 piece of Spam, then another 1/4 cup rice.

Use the press to push down and shape the rice and meat together, then pull up to remove the mold. Press together again.

If you're using the furikake seasoning, sprinkle it on top of rice, then pull up both sides of the nori and wrap the rice completely. You may want to press a few grains of rice on one side to help "seal" your little bundle. Repeat until you run out of rice or Spam.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 180, Fat 10 g, Saturated fat 4 g, Sodium 450 mg, Carbohydrates 15 g,  Calcium 7 mg, Protein 6 g, Cholesterol 21 mg, Dietary fiber 1 g.

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch, 1/2 high-fat meat, 1 fat.