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Spicy popcorn

I was craving popcorn tonight, but didn't have any vegetable oil. I spotted a bottle of hot chili oil, so I used a tablespoon of that to pop the corn on the stovetop. At the end, I sprinkled on some parmesan cheese and salt, and it was pretty tasty, so I thought I'd share my "discovery." Very spicy too, I might add.

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  1. I do this fairly often but I use the microwave so I add a sprinkle of water plus chili oil and coarse sea salt. No cheese yet, the chili and salt do it for me.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cheryl_h

      Do you use microwave popcorn? If not--how do you pop it in the microwave. Kindly advise--it sounds great!

      1. re: eastvillagegirl

        No we don't use the microwave popcorn, we get the regular variety which comes in bags or boxes. One batch is 1/3 cup of corn, a few drops of water (about 1/4 tsp I would guess). To this I add about 1/2 tsp of chili oil and a few shakes, perhaps 1/2 tsp, of coarse sea salt. Toss it around so everything is coated, then microwave for about 3 minutes. Play with the numbers to get something that works for you.

        Warning: fumes from the heated chili oil are irritating to the lungs so don't stay too close to the microwave exhaust fan. You'll start coughing if you inhale too much of it.

        1. re: cheryl_h

          Microwave popcorn is the biggest scam. It's no diferent from regular popcorn, but costs a lot more. Just use a plain brown paper bag to pop it in and buy bulk organic popcorn from your local health food store.

          Your method sounds great. I've never added water to mine, but I think I'll try that next time, along with the chili oil.

          1. re: RedRob

            Twenty years ago I popped popcorn in a paper bag in the microwave. Unfortunately, the bag caught fire and ruined the microwave. Kind of scary--would never attempt this again.

        2. re: eastvillagegirl

          I have a (melamine?) bowl with a loos plastic lid that was designed to pop regular popcorn in the microwave. I've used it for years and wonder if any bowl would work. Microwave popcorn is either too salty or flavorless for me. I don't use any oil for popping, so it comes out rather bland--like air popped. I doctor it up after the fact, but I think I'll try the water and chili oil.

      2. I pop mine in olive oil, then when I melt the butter I stir some smoked spanish paprika into it. Then a sprinkle of kosher salt. OMG, I want some right now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JaneRI

          This is one of my favorite combos too (olive oil and smoked paprika). I air pop my corn though, and then drizzle with olive oil. Another favorite is olive oil, cinnamon, and salt. Or olive oil and garam masala.

        2. They all sound delicious....

          The lazy man way: I just toss microwave popcorn with garlic powder, cayenne and parmesan :)

          1. I make my popcorn in the fabulous stove top WHIRLY POP. It makes freshly popped corn in less time than microwave with no unpopped kernels. You us as much or as little oil as you like.

            Lately I have using half butter half olive oil to which I add 1/2-1 tsp of Emeril Style Creole Essence. Salt to taste after it is popped. It is delicious.

            1. Here's a related trick: mix in a few drops of tabasco when you melt the butter. Gives regular buttered popcorn a little kick. I'm also a fan of olive oil, salt (or parmesan cheese) and pepper.