Movie theater popcorn is all about the butter, but its flavors — and toppings — don't have to stop there. As far as snacks go, popcorn acts as a blank canvas for all kinds of additions, both savory and sweet. You can add everything from chocolate and peanut butter to spicy citrus or, in the case of popcorn brand Poppy, pimento cheese. If you're a fan of spicy flavors, however, take the unique additions a step further: Chili crisp can add oomph to otherwise standard popcorn.
Chili crisp popcorn works particularly well because both the crisp and the popcorn are versatile. If you've never used it before, chili crisp works across all kinds of food, offering the combination of peppers, peppercorns, spices, and herbs. This spicy-umami flavor profile can work wonders on standard popcorn, upgrading a classic snack into something totally unique but not overpowering. If you want a sweet in addition to savory twist, a pinch of sugar alongside your chili crisp can elevate it into a more well-rounded snack.
As for how to bring the combination to fruition, chili crisp popcorn recipes are fairly straightforward. There's no specific order to adding the topping. However, if this is your first time trying the combination — or you're still on the fence about spicy popcorn — start with a small amount of chili crisp and work your way up.
Combine With Another Oil Or Butter For A More Even Coating
To make your own stovetop chili crisp popcorn, you can largely prepare your snack as you usually would, whether in the microwave or on the stove. You can either add your chili crisp from the get-go — much easier with stove-top preparation — or after your popcorn has already been popped. Regardless of your choice, you'll also want to add a neutral oil like vegetable or canola, or ghee or butter. Whatever your preference, the form of fat will pair with the chili oil and meld into your popcorn, allowing for a more even coating that won't slide off.
If you're cooking on the stove and want to add your toppings at the beginning, combine the fat with the chili crisp in a pan. From there, add your popcorn kernels and cook as you normally would. Once the kernels finish popping, add a sprinkle of salt (and any sugar or other seasonings you choose).
Alternatively — or if you're using the microwave — you can wait until after your popcorn is ready to add your spicy burst. Once the popcorn finishes, simply mix your chosen fat with your chili crisp and drizzle over your snack. To do so successfully, make sure you popcorn is hot so the ingredients properly and thoroughly stick. A few tablespoons of chili oil should do the job, though you can season to taste. Try it out for your next movie night — or whenever you're craving a unique and easy-to-make snack.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.