Popcorn (with, ahem, a goblet of red wine) is my signature comfort food; it’s what I crave after a hard day or if I’m settling down on the couch for a night of TV or to watch a movie. A number of years back, I went through this Hawaiian Hurricane popcorn faze where I must have consumed this concoction of buttery popcorn with Japanese furikake (a Japanese seasoning) and rice crackers on a daily basis for weeks on end. As expected, I made myself sick and had to swear off the stuff, but a recent conversation with a friend (who is a homemade popcorn snob!) made me think revisiting the idea, on a healthier, homemade basis, might not be such a bad idea…

You get that crunch of the popcorn along with lovely butteriness, saltiness, a touch of sweet, nuttiness from the sesame and rice crackers, a (very pleasant) touch of fishiness from the bonito flakes and umami from the seaweed.  Consume this in moderation lest you fall into an addictive phase like I did. This is an elevated version of popcorn worthy of being served at parties or simply as a special treat for the family. Enjoy!

Aliya LeeKong is Culinary Creative Director and Chef at Junoon in NYC.