While it is not well liked in many Western countries, spam is beloved in much of Asia. According to market research, the Asia-Pacific region accounts for some 39% of luncheon meat sales, with China, South Korea and Japan among the top consumers.
Hongkong’s OmniFoods founder David Yeung explained, “Some people eat (spam) like five times a day.” Given the popularity and ubiquity of spam in Asia, Yeung compared it to how widely bacon is used in all types of meals in the US.
Such a fondness for spam isn’t limited to Hong Kong either. Singaporean chef Collin Ho said, “We grow up eating luncheon meat three times a week, on noodles, on fried rice, in hot pot. Everyone loves luncheon meat.”
In Korea, spam is served alongside kimchi and rice, in Budae Jjigae or “army stew,” and even given as gifts for Chuseok, the annual harvest festival.
One Korean chef shared, “The fatty meat balances really well with spicy, tangy Korean kimchi.”