If you’ve ever tried popping your own popcorn, you’ve probably experienced a batch that was filled with un-popped kernels, not seasoned enough, or maybe even over salted. If you follow this recipe down to the exact steps I have suggested, then chances are your popcorn will be mostly if not completely popped, and definitely seasoned correctly. You can keep it simple and go for only salt, or you can add a little more flavor by including the nutritional yeast, garlic, onion, & paprika powders. Maybe even spice it up with some cayenne. Completely your choice!
- 2 tbsp. plant-based (salted) butter or margarine or cooking oil
- 100g (about 1/2 cup) popcorn kernels
Buttering & Seasoning:
- 4 tbsp. plant-based butter or margarine
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea or rock salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika powder
- optional: 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper, for some spice
- Heat a medium-large stainless steel or non-stick pot over medium-high heat. Add the plant-based butter or oil, along with a few kernels of corn. Cover the pot with a lid, but not fully -- there should be some room for the steam to escape. This allows the popcorn to crisp up and not turn soggy. In the meanwhile, grab a timer and set the timer for 30 seconds. Do not start the timer just yet.
Reasoning: Adding only a few kernels to the pot until they pop is done so as to know when the oil has reached the right temperature.
- Wait for a few minutes until the temperature is high enough for the kernels to pop. As soon as the kernels pop, remove the lid to add the remainder of the kernels into the pot, then quickly cover the pot with the lid again, and immediately remove the pot from the burner (with the heat still on) and start the 30-second timer. Shake the pot a few times to help the kernels evenly mix with the butter/oil.
Reasoning: Removing the pot from the burner for 30 seconds brings the added kernels up to a higher temperature, so that once the pot is back on the burner, all the kernels have a chance to pop at more or less the same time. This process decreases the chance of un-popped kernels.
- Immediately once the 30 seconds are over, place the pot back over the running burner and increase the heat to high, with the lid still ajar. Once the temperature has increased and they start to pop, reduce the heat slightly back to a medium-high.
- Allow the kernels to pop, gently shaking the pot over the burner every few seconds, until the frequency of the pops slowly decreases (i.e. the time in between the pops begin to slow down) or until there are several seconds of silence in between pops. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer the popcorn into a large mixing bowl, then place the pot back over the burner to proceed with the buttering & seasoning procedure.
Buttering & Seasoning:
- Immediately pour the plant-based butter into the warm pot (with the heat turned off), and allow it to melt.
- Pour the melted butter into the mixing bowl over the popcorn. Using your hands, gently massage the popcorn to help disperse the butter evenly. Alternatively, you can also toss the bowl in a controlled motion so as to help the butter disperse evenly into the popcorn, careful not to spill the popcorn. You can also do this by placing another large bowl over this one and tossing the bowls carefully upside down a couple of times. So many options to get the job done!
Reasoning: The step of pouring the butter over the popcorn to coat the popcorn first allows for the seasoning to better stick to the popcorn so that the seasoning doesn't fall through to the bottom of the bowl. No one likes to go through a bowl of under seasoned popcorn only to find it all laying at the bottom of the bowl.
- Season the popcorn with the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, paprika powder, and optional cayenne if you want a (slightly) spicy batch of popcorn. Then repeat the process of massaging or tossing the popcorn to help evenly coat the seasoning onto the popcorn. Enjoy fresh and only fresh!