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 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 family loves popcorn. And Mr. Dreamboat is already 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.
How to make Gochujang Butter Popcorn:
Making this popcorn is easy, and comes together just as quickly as regular buttered popcorn.
The first step is popping the corn. Use whatever type of popcorn popper you happen to have. I use this air popper.
While the popcorn is popping, melt the butter and begin gathering your other ingredients. One the butter is melted, whisk together all of the ingredients (the mixture will be thick, like ketchup). Simply pour the mixture over the popcorn, and toss gently to coat.
Gochujang Butter Popcorn Ingredients:
- butter melted: either salted or unsalted butter will work. Use Dairy-Free butter alternative to make this recipe Dairy-Free)
- gochujang: Find gochujang in the international aisle of a well-stocked grocery store or in an Asian market
- sesame oil: Look for toasted sesame oil either in the aisle with the other cooking oils, or in the international aisle
- Liquid honey: if you happen to have creamed honey on hand, or honey that has previously crystallized, simply melt it with the butter.
- popcorn kernels
Want more popcorn recipes?
Gochujang Butter Popcorn Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below is for one-half of the recipe.
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).
This recipe is gluten-free as written, just make sure to check the label of your gochujang, as some brands are not gluten-free.
Sweet and Spicy Gochujang Butter Popcorn
- Whisk together 2 Tablespoons butter, 1-2 teaspoons gochujang, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon liquid 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.