To start making your vegan spam musubi, start by making your vegan spam! Cut up your tofu and slice horizontally into thin rectangular pieces – one block will make approximately 10-12 pieces. You can cut off the edges to make them round so that your tofu slice is more of an oval vs rectangle (to make it more spam-like).
In a small bowl, create the vegan spam marinade by adding the soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, mirin, ground ginger, garlic powder, and water. Mix well.
In a flat container, lay your tofu slices flat and pour in the vegan spam marinade, making sure each tofu piece is soaking well. I recommend marinating for at least an hour to overnight or if short for time, marinate for 10-15 minutes (preferably 15) on each side.
To bake your vegan spam in the oven, transfer tofu pieces onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 375°F. After 15 minutes, flip the tofu pieces and pour the rest of the marinade on the tofu. Bake for another 15 minutes. This makes the total baking time 30 minutes.
Alternatively (for a quicker method), you can pan-fry on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes on one side (when it's caramelized), then flip and pour in the remaining marinade and pan fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Next, we'll begin to make our vegan musubi using the vegan spam! You can use whatever cooked short-grain rice that will stick together. I made sushi rice in a bowl by mixing white short-grain rice with rice vinegar, salt and sugar. It's perfect for forming shapes like this musubi.
Now take your nori sheets and cut them into 3 long pieces using scissors or folding and tearing them slowly.
Use 1/4 cup of your rice and use your hands to form it into an oval ball, similar size as your vegan spam. Dip your fingers in water to help form your sticky rice into the shape you want. Place shaped rice and slice of vegan spam on your nori sheet and roll it into your spam musubi!
Tip: Use your finger with water to seal the end of the nori sheet so it sticks together once wrapped around.