Seaweed might not be the first thing you think of when contemplating seasoning for popcorn, but the flavor is fantastic and it has the extra benefit of being really healthy. Toasted nori, or seaweed, is a main ingredient in a dried Japanese seasoning mix called furikake. Normally it is used as a condiment over rice or noodles, and sometimes contains fish flakes or wasabi. The kind I used here is a simple mix of seaweed, toasted sesame seeds, salt and sugar and is very mild. Once you combine this seasoning with the popcorn and other ingredients it takes on a deep, lovely flavor that is addicting. It’s simple to make and healthier than most microwave popcorn, too. As always, I’d love to hear from you if you try it. Enjoy!
- 3 tablespoons oil – I like peanut, olive, or coconut
- spray oil, either olive or butter ‘flavor’ if that’s your thing
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- nori furikake – widely available in the “Asian” section of your grocery store, also available online
- drizzle of honey
- scattering of salt
1. Make the popcorn.
- Add the oil to a large stockpot with a lid. Add the corn kernels and salt and shake to coat.
- Place the lid on the pot and turn your stove to medium heat.
- Once the kernels start popping I let them go about five minutes. Don’t get distracted while making almond-orange creamsicles for your toddler or the bottom layer will burn. Remove from heat.
2. Add the seasoning.
- At this point I seasoned the popcorn bowl by bowl, because it really needs to be eaten immediately. If you plan on sneaking this into the movies or sharing with a bunch of friends, you can do the whole batch at once, but either is fine.
- First, coat your popcorn with spray oil. You can always use melted butter, and I don’t deny that would be delicious, but I am lazy and this was a much simpler option. I used a mild olive oil spray.
- Next, generously sprinkle the furikake over the popcorn. I did this by sight and it’s practically impossible to get wrong, so don’t worry about it. Just add enough to where it looks well-coated by the green flecks of nori.
- Lastly, drizzle over the honey. To avoid large, sticky clumps, hold your honey spoon or bottle way up high so you can control where the thin line of honey falls.Zig zag it over the bowl, tossing the popcorn once or twice.
- Taste for seasoning. No one flavor should overpower another. You should get the hit of the salt, the sweet of the honey, and the umami resonance of the nori all at once. The sum flavors of the whole is greater than those of its parts. Adjust if necessary.
Isobel wanted nothing to do with this strange concoction at first, but once she finally consented to taste it she was hooked. Remember what I said about not wanting to make the whole batch? Screw it. Make the whole batch. You’ll have to force yourself not to eat it in a sitting.