It’s high time we commence alfresco dining now that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner. These warmer months were made for breaking bread with friends and family under sunny skies and shady trees. While the burgers are grilling or the ribs are smoking, I highly recommend serving a big ‘ol bowl of Furikake Kettle Corn. It’s an addictive nibble that never fails to delight.
This recipe comes from Chef Roy Choi of Los Angeles’ A-Frame restaurant. I couldn’t keep my hands away from the bowl the first time I tried this Hawaiian-style popcorn. Every fistful of buttery kernels brought a hit of sweetness from Corn Pops, sourness from dried pineapples, savoriness from bacon, spiciness from cayenne pepper and chili flakes, and a whole lot of umami-ness from furikake. This unlikely combination of big, bold flavors had me hooked at first bite.
Making Furikake Kettle Corn requires very little preparation, especially if you’re using bagged kettle corn like this recipe suggests. The bacon needs to be fried and chopped, chives minced, and butter clarified. After that’s good and done, everything comes together in a snap. Serve the popcorn in a bowl, or better yet, channel the aloha spirit and spill it onto the table just like they do at A-Frame.
- 4 cups kettle corn
- 2/3 cup of Corn Pops
- 2 ounces clarified butter
- 2 tablespoon furikake
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoon dried pineapple
- 2 tablespoon chopped bacon, cooked
- 2 teaspoon chives or Shiso, minced
Chop and fry bacon, mince chives, and clarify butter. Note: My dried pineapple came dusted in cayenne pepper, hence its darker appearance, so I skipped the “pinch of cayenne pepper.”
My “Qwik and EZ” method for clarifying butter entails microwaving the butter in a small bowl for 20 second at a time until it’s completely melted. Let the butter cool for a minute or two at room temperature and then skim off the white foam with a spoon. The resulting clarified butter isn’t perfect, but it’ll do just fine for this recipe.
Finely chop the bacon and dried pineapple together using a food processor.