Spice up your popcorn by making it Spicy Gochujang Butter Popcorn. The popcorn is spicy, with a hint of sweetness and it makes a great snack.
Gochujang is so hot right now.
Have you had it? Gochujang is Korean hot red pepper paste, used in many Korean dishes. The first time I had ever tried it was when I ate Korean fried chicken (the other KFC) in Calgary several years ago. I didn’t know it at the time but the base for the delicious sweet and spicy sauce that coated the chicken was gochujang. Fast forward about a decade, to my current life in Wisconsin, and gochujang is now a staple ingredient in my fridge. I have used it to try and recreate Korean fried chicken (good, but not as magical as when it comes out of a commercial deep fryer), in stews, stir fries and fried rice. Then I got an idea for a delicious snack.
My husband loves popcorn. And he almost never eats his popcorn without hot sauce (another recipe, for another blog post, another time). I figured that if he can put hot sauce on popcorn, I can put gochujang on popcorn to give it a different type of spice. But I knew that gochujang is much too thick (and too spicy) to put on popcorn by itself. So I mixed it with some butter, added a bit of sesame oil to complement the Korean flavors and added just a bit of honey to add a touch more sweetness. A little sweet and spicy if you will. The result was quite delicious. I don’t think I’ve convinced my hubby to give up on his hot sauce, but I’ll definitely be mixing it up for a spicy change once in awhile.
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1-2 teaspoons gochujang (see note)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid honey
- 1/3 cup unpopped popcorn kernals
Whisk together the butter, gochujang, sesame oil and honey. It will become thick, like ketchup, but begin to separate quickly.
Pop popcorn by your method of choice. Pour gochujang butter mixture over popcorn and toss to coat.
For a milder gochujang butter, use only 1 teaspoon of gochujang. If you like it spicier, use 2 teaspoons.
Gochujang Butter Popcorn Nutrition Notes:
Popcorn on its own is considered a healthy snack. It’s high in fiber, low in fat and relatively low in calories. It’s what you add to it that starts adding up. In this case, the majority of the calories (not to mention the fat) comes from the butter. To reduce the saturated fat, use vegan butter (margarine). This also works if you follow a vegan or dairy free diet (however, check the label, because not all brands of margarine are dairy free).