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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.

              1. Don't forget about the Valentina and lime juice combination too... for that nice spicy popcorn treat!

                1. a little curry powder,salt and sriacha does it for me - heaven...

                  1. i like my foood eye watering spicy.
                    i put the turmeric powder and red chili powder and mix it all about and then pop it. you can add salt and the turmeric and the chili powder based on your taste buds and depending on how spicy you like it :)
                    m about to go and make some now!

                    1. I buy a cheese powder online. It is made with real cheese and it is for restaurants to make cheese sauce with.
                      Anyway I sprinkle it on popcorn and some salt. It's great.

                      I have heard of pouring sweetened condensed milk onto popcorn. I understand it is very popular in South America.

                      1. Butter, sriracha and garlic powder. Yum

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jencounter

                          Sounds like a great combo, going to try it.

                        2. Mmm sounds good! Invite me over next time you whip up a batch.

                          1. My fave is Louisiana sauce in the melted butter- a few shakes makes it wonderfully savory without a lot of heat. A couple more splashes and it takes on some heat.

                            Also great on pasta!

                            PS: my doc told me years ago never to use anything plastic in the microwave. Prevailing wisdom is now catching up with him.

                            1. I recommend using real popcorn made in a pot, not microwaved. Our favorite topping, Tapatio hot sauce, fresh squeezed lemon drizzled all over and tossed with parmesan cheese. The cheese will stick to the hot sauce and lemon juice. No salt need, the cheese is enough.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: duckiedog

                                Yes, microwave popcorn is an abomination! I'm really trying to cut out calories so I dug out my old air popper and that's fine too....it tastes like popcorn, not chemicals.

                              2. http://www.saveur.com/gallery/Popcorn...
                                Saveur mag has a good article/recipes for spicy popcorn running online right now.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  I'd love to hear how these taste, do report back.

                                  1. re: Funwithfood

                                    reporting back, Funwithfood.
                                    We popped organic white popcorn using the kettle method and vegetable oil. Then we divided the popcorn into five batches and halved each recipe to test it. Our flavor results,

                                    Citrusy Chile-Chocolate Popcorn, our fav of the 5; just the right combo of sweet-heat!
                                    Creamy Coconut Caramel Corn-2nd fav but you must love coconut shreds!
                                    Savory Kimchi-Nori Popcorn-a mind trick; completely savory-very different worth a try!
                                    Maple-Bacon Popcorn-okay, needed work the right bacon is essentially; kinda greasy.
                                    Mexican Corn-on-the-Cob Popcorn-my kids favorite; interesting freshness to this one.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I'm coming to your house for movie night!!

                                      1. re: Funwithfood

                                        Oscars party! The popcorn was so easy to pull together and the toppings came together was a bit of shopping. I think a few recipe tweaks are in our future for the two we enjoyed most but it was fun...more fun than the Oscars (frankly).

                                2. I really miss my air popper, don't even know if they make those anymore. The butter would melt in a separate container as the popcorn would pop.

                                  I never thought about using hot chili oil, but I have a bottle that would be perfect. I have a non-stick "wok pan" and a Reverewear lid that fits it and that is how I do popcorn now. I will definitely try that next time!

                                  1. Frank's makes a chili-lime flavor hot sauce that's great on popcorn.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                      How hot is it? I can only handle a little heat but I love lime flavored anything.

                                      1. re: lulou23

                                        Frank's is not very hot--love the stuff! (more vinegary & spicy than "hot")