Spam Musubi and Kimchi Croissant

Croissants are my top ranking weakness when it comes to sweets. Their buttery and crispy layers are just begging for a giant bite. From the Baklava croissants at Gjusta in Venice to the “everything bagel” and cream cheese croissant at Primo Passo, I’m loving all the varieties of classic croissants. A coffee shop down the street from my apartment, Demitasse, has a croissant from Sugarbloom Bakery that I fell in love with because of how different it was – you guessed it -- a spam croissant with kimchi. The croissant begins with the traditional Hawaiian Musubi snack and then adds in Asian flavors and that classic French dough. This blend might seem odd and it took me awhile to finally try them but once I did – I started craving them! I decided I had to make my own recipe for them just in case they ever go off the menu.

Budget plenty of time for these bad boys. While making the croissant dough might test your patience, you end up with a buttery and crisp vehicle for your soy sauce glazed spam and kimchi. Plus you will feel a great sense of accomplishment after! I just don’t want to mislead you into thinking you are going to wake up sleepy-eyed and make them from scratch in an hour. As long as you have the time they really aren’t hard to make! There’s definitely a learning curve. The first time you are just trying to figure out what’s going on but by the second time it’s like you’re already a pro. If you need a little more guidance check out this video from Martha Stewart.

 

Ingredients:

For the croissant dough:

½ cup lukewarm whole milk

1 tablespoon dry yeast

3 1/3 cups all purpose flour, plus additional for rolling

1½ teaspoons table salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup unsalted high-quality European butter, cold (I used Kerrygold™)

 

For the spam:

2 (12-ounce) cans reduced sodium Spam®, sliced into 12 even slices, about ½” thick

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

 

For the kimchi:

1 cup diced napa cabbage kimchi

2 tablespoons sriracha

 

For assembly:

1 egg, beaten

Toasted white sesame seeds

¼ cup Nori Kizami (finely shredded seaweed)

 

Instructions:

For the croissant dough:

Add the milk, ¾ cup lukewarm water and yeast to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment, add the flour salt and sugar. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and pour the yeast mixture in the center. Mix on medium speed, until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Press the dough into a large rectangle, fold it into thirds and allow to proof for 20 minutes.

Lay the butter in between two pieces of plastic wrap then use a rolling pin to pound it until it becomes flat. Once the butter is pliable, roll the butter out into a 7” by 10” rectangle. Transfer the butter to the refrigerator to chill.

Roll the dough out into a 24” by 8” rectangle. Place the butter sheet into the middle of the dough and fold the sides of the dough into the center to enclose the butter, like you would fold a letter. Pinch the edges to seal them.

Flatten the dough and butter slightly with the rolling pin and turn it over. Roll the dough back out into a 24” by 8” rectangle. Fold over one of the short sides of the dough, then the other, so that the dough is again folded into three layers, like a letter and forms a square. Again, press the open ends with the rolling pin to seal them. Repeat this process of turning the dough two more times, rotating the dough 90-degrees each time. The dough should have been turned a total of 4 times. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill an hour minutes until firm.

At this point the dough can also be chilled overnight.

 

For the spam:

Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat, add the spam and fry, about 2 minutes each side. In a small bowl stir together the sugar and soy sauce until combined, then pour over the spam and continue to fry, until the spam is crispy on both sides and the soy sugar sauce has caramelized, about 5 minutes total. Remove and gently pat the spam dry so there is no excess sauce then set aside.

 

For the kimchi:

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the kimchi and sriracha until combined and set aside.

 

For assembly:

Divide the dough in half with a knife. Working with one half at a time, turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Carefully roll out the croissant dough into an 8” by 16” rectangle. Use a pizza butter to even out the edges of the dough, only trim about 1/8” on each side. 

Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 3” by 7” rectangles. You should have 5 of them. Place a piece of spam in the center of each rectangle, leaving a 1/4-inch border all around. Top with a spoonful of kimchi. Starting from one short end and working toward the other, carefully roll to enclose. Brush the edges with water and gently press to adhere. Repeat with the remaining dough and place the finished croissants on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Set in a warm spot and let the croissants rize until they have doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400º. Brush the croissants with the egg wash. Top each with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and nori. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, then reduce the heat to 375º and continue to bake until the croissants are golden brown, about 10 additional minutes.

Remove from oven and allow the croissants to cool before serving. Serve warmed or at room temperature.

 

Makes about 10 croissants.

 

 

Note: croissant dough recipe is adapted from Anne Willan’s La Varenne Practique. 

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