My whole life I’ve been a lover of snacks. I remember learning the word smorgasbord as a kid and wishing that every meal was just that– pickles and crackers and sausage and olives and basically just a cheese board (before I even know of their magic). A constant on my list of favorite snacks of course has to be popcorn. I realize this is not exactly a bombshell I’m dropping on anyone (not like that one lady I worked with who would peel back a can of sardines and just go HAM with her HANDS for her pre-shift snack…), but it’s one I just always go back to no matter what age I am or what season it is.
It’s my kids preferred after school snack, and I like it in all its forms. Salty buttery popcorn from the theater, sweet caramel or kettle corn, or the best Chicago mix with cheese dusted kernels AND caramel mixed together. Microwave popcorn or stove popped– I’m no popcorn snob. This one though, this one is dangerously good.
Furikake is SO hot right now. It’s a Japanese rice seasoning made up primarily of bonito flakes, seaweed, sesame, salt, and sugar. Basically once again the Japanese have perfected umami in a jar and we are just now catching on. Sweet, savory, kinda fishy-in-a-good-way, and sure enough delicious on popcorn. Just one problem– it looks great sprinkled on top, but then quickly falls to the bottom. I set out to remedy that.
I decided to take the kettle corn route, blending the flavorings with the sugar coating on the outside of the popcorn, and in turn creating a crazy savory/sweet combo worthy of any movie night. I took some Furikake, added a little wasabi powder for a kick, some nutritional yeast (my standard favorite popcorn topping) for MORE savory flavor, and blended them with sugar in a spice grinder until they made a fine flavor powder. Combined with the oil in a hot pan on the stove, the flavor blends in with the sugar coating on the outside of the kernels, making a crunchy, flavorful coating that doesn’t fall to the bottom of the bowl. As a bonus, kettle corn keeps much better than just regular old stove popped corn in a baggie so you can make it an enjoy it for a day or two (not that it will last that long).
Furikake Kettle Corn
Makes 2 quarts of popped corn
2 Tbsp Furikake (I used Katsuo Fumi Furikake which has bonito, but I have also used Nori Komi Furikake and it’s delicious too! Find it all on Amazon or in a well stocked grocery store in the Asian section)
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (in the baking aisle or the natural foods aisle)
1/4 tsp Wasabi Powder (add more or less depending on the status of your sinuses)
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Salt (I used popcorn salt) + more for seasoning afterward
1/4 C popcorn kernels
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Combine furikake, yeast, wasabi powder, sugar and salt in spice grinder. Process until a fine powder. Set aside.
Set a large bowl for the finished product next to the stove. You’ll need this to be ready when it’s go-time.
In a large heavy bottomed pot with a lid (I used a French oven), add oil and 3 popcorn kernels and toss to coat. Cover with lid and turn on medium heat. Heat until you hear all three kernels pop. Open the lid and put in the rest of the corn, and the flavor powder, quickly stirring with a wooden spoon to coat the kernels. Shake the pot back and forth constantly until you start to hear regular popping. Because there is sugar in this and you are making kettle corn, there is a chance for burning. Pay attention and for the love of Bey Do NOT walk away.
Shake the pot back and forth until you hear about 1 second between pops and immediately put into a large bowl. Shake the bowl back and forth for a few seconds to allow any last minute pops to pop and for the coating to cool. Season with salt to your liking. If you like, toss a little Furikake straight from the jar on top for good looks.
Enjoy with a cold beer and a movie!
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DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE SOME AFFILIATE/REFERRAL LINKS IN THIS POST, AND IF YOU PURCHASE I’LL RECEIVE A SMALL PERCENTAGE IN RETURN. THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR SUPPORTING ME AND MY AMAZON SHOPPING HABIT.