Thursday, January 24, 2013
Spicy Nori Popcorn
It is harrowing to watch. Almost every time a movie or television depicts people watching a movie, a giant bowl of popcorn is placed on the coffee table.
And then it sits there. And sits. And no one takes any of the popcorn. Not one hand swoops down to retrieve a handful of this salty snack. Not one mouth is seen munching. It is one of the saddest sights to behold.
When this happens, Seth and I experience intense distress on behalf of the popcorn. Delicious crunchy puffs just being all lonely in their giant bowl. Unappreciated. Neglected.
We would never treat popcorn in such a disrespectful manner.
When it it is deemed to be a popcorn making/eating occasion, a festive atmosphere settles into our home. We sing the popcorn song (consisting solely of the words "popcorn, oh yeah!" repeated over and over and over and over until someone is finally like OKAY, lets stop with that now) whilst making the ASL sign for popcorn. We might be extremely annoying people to be around.
Some people have fancy salad bowls. We technically have a fancy salad bowl. But salad rarely graces its wooden sloped sides. Our fancy salad bowl is really our fancy popcorn bowl! A wood bowl properly showcases popped kernels of corn. Something about the highlights and shadows really makes it pop. And no, we didn't use it for the photograph. That bowl is our private bowl. You get your own.
And then we dig into that glorious bowl of popcorn. It isn't just an ornament to movie watching. It is THE reason for movie watching.
So when we saw Cooking Light's prediction of the top food trends of 2013 slideshow, and saw popcorn on the list, we were stoked. Deliriously delighted. Popcorn will finally have its moment! Its days of being passed over, overlooked, and ignored will be over this year! 2013 will totally be popcorn's year. So here is a popcorn recipe and song to celebrate its moment... Popcorn, Oh Yeah!
3 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 -3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon ground nori goma furikake (run the nori goma furikake through a spice grinder or food processor)
1/2 teaspoon ichimi togarashi chile powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground toasted kosher salt and Szechuan peppercorns (we got this technique from Fiona Smith's book Dim Sum - place 1/4 cup kosher salt and 4 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns in a skillet and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, until the mixture has become fragrant. Then run the mixture through a spice grinder).
Heat the corn oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add three kernels of popcorn and cover pot with lid. Once those have popped, add the 1/2 cup of kernels. Shake the pot frequently. In a small bowl, stir the melted butter and the sesame oil together. Once the popping has stopped, turn off heat, add the butter and oil mixture and stir to coat. Add the rest of the seasonings. That's it.