smoky popcorn

vacay, baby! ::::

The inimitable Julia Child said to never apologize for what you serve, no matter how the recipe turns out. I do not apologize for my mini popcorn kernels. Or my surprising nose-whistlingly spicy wasabi peas. It’s all good. I do apologize for being absent for awhile. Blame it on a recent teeter-totter balance of work and life, and trying to get ready for vacation. My plan is to gather some lovely photos from the trip, dine on fantastic exotic fruits, and maybe spend a little time at the beach in my pale, unglittery skin with loads of sunblock. Or just stay in the condo, reading. I’m like that.

As I rush off and attempt to pack new toys for the kids to keep them occupied on the five-hour plane ride, repeating the mantra over and over This trip WILL be stress free!,  I’ll leave you with this snack. It is perfect for flights, the movies, or just in front of the TV.

Be back in a couple of weeks!

******* UPDATE 2014: This is probably the most requested dish I make in the house. We sneak it into movie theaters. We bring it to school events. We make a bowl and stuff our faces, 20 minutes of crunching devoid of any conversation. We buy multiple containers of furikake at a time, given that we put so much of it over the popcorn. Most of the time, I omit the rice crackers these days. Peach can eat a little spicy, and the wasabi clears quickly, but I’ve found we tend to favor the popcorn over the crackers. An extra sprinkle of smoked paprika is also nice for more color.

smoky popcorn
Recipe type: appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (or 2)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons popcorn
  • 1 teaspoon smoked hot Spanish paprika (I used a mild one, so the kids could eat it -- you can find this in most grocery stores these days -- just look for mild smoked paprika)
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm (NOTE: Unsalted butter is in the original recipe. I tend to favor the salted butter as it obviates the need to add salt as a separate ingredient later.)
  • ½ cup Japanese furikake mix*
  • 2 cups Japanese mixed rice crackers (or not -- see my update)
  1. In a large pan, combine oil and popcorn, cover, and cook over moderate heat until it starts to pop. Shake the pan and cook until corn stops popping.
  2. Transfer hot popcorn to large bowl. Sprinkle with the paprika and sugar and toss well. Drizzle with the butter and toss, adding the furikake and rice crackers. Season with salt, toss again, and serve.
* Furikake is a seasoning mix that includes seaweed and sesame seeds, sugar, salt, and dried bonito (fish flakes). I found many different types at the Asian market when I purchased it: some without salt, some with various colors of seaweed, some with black sesame seeds, some without bonito. I chose one without salt, so I could adjust the salt content to taste. Don't miss this ingredient: it and the smoky paprika are a wonderful combination.

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  
story of a kitchen