Furikake Popcorn Recipe

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.

Furikake Popcorn Recipe
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big bowl
  • 3 tablespoons roasted shredded seaweed
  • 3/4 teaspoon bonito flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups Japanese rice crackers (optional)
  1. In a medium-sized pot or large saucepan with a cover, add the oil so that it coats the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Add the popcorn, cover, and place over medium-high heat. When the kernels start to pop, shake the pan until the popping slows to a few seconds between each pop. Shaking the pan will help to prevent the popcorn from burning.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the soy sauce and furikake. 
  4. If using, add the rice crackers to the popped popcorn, and pour the butter-soy-furikake mixture all over, tossing to coat. Transfer to a large bowl and serve warm.
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