I’m continuing to share some ideas for edible holiday gifts and this one is my absolute fave! I don’t know why no one is selling a jumbo tin of flavored popcorn that’s vegan friendly?! It’s the best gift ever. I mean, if you love popcorn like I do.
This is a take on chicago mix with a Japanese twist! In case you didn’t know, I’m Japanese. So I created a tokyo mix with a matcha caramel and nori sesame seasoned popcorn. There’s nearly 28 cups of popcorn stacked into this giant tin, so be sure to give this to someone you really love!
nori sesame popcorn
This savory style popcorn is infused with a combo of Japanese flavors like nori and black & white sesame seeds!
- 1 x 10 g pkg roasted seaweed snacks or 3 sheets sushi nori
- 1/4 C nutritional yeast
- 1/4 C dehydrated minced onion
- 1/8 C black sesame seeds
- 1/8 C white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2/3 C coconut oil
- 6 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 C jumbo popcorn kernels
If you’re using whole sheets of sushi nori you’ll need to roast them. To do this, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the nori sheets on a baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping halfway during the baking time, until roasted and crispy. Let them cool down at room temperature before pulsing in a food processor or in a coffee grinder, as per below.
I recommend using a clean coffee grinder to get the topping into a very fine powder. You’ll do this in batches adding the broken up pieces of roasted nori sheets OR cutting the roasted seaweed snacks into smaller pieces. Pulse the pieces of nori in the coffee grinder until they’re very fine. The seaweed snacks have additional oil so they will stick to the coffee grinder. You’ll need to stop and start the grinder to push the pieces toward the blade and continue pulsing.
Remove the nori into a bowl once it’s fine enough. Then add the nutritional yeast, dehydrated minced onion, sesame seeds, and sea salt to the coffee grinder and pulse until it resembles a fine crumb or powder. Add this to the bowl with the nori powder and combine until well mixed.
- To make the popcorn, have the 6 tablespoons of coconut oil already melted as you’ll use this to top the popcorn with the nori sesame topping. Either melt it in the microwave or in a separate small saucepan.
- Heat a large pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add a 1/3 cup of coconut oil and 2 popcorn kernels. Place a tight fitting lid on the pot. Wait to hear the kernels pop. Then add a 1/2 cup of the jumbo popcorn kernels. It’s tempting to do more than that, but you will end up with more un-popped kernels in the end. They should begin popping in about 10 seconds. Shake the pot every 10 to 20 seconds or so, so the kernels don’t burn.
- Once the pot has settled and the popcorn has finished popping, carefully remove the lid and add half of the melted coconut oil and half of the nori sesame topping. Take a spatula or wooden spoon and stir to coat the popcorn. You can also place the lid back on the pot and shake the pot carefully to coat the popcorn with the topping.
- Pour this into a large bowl or wide baking dish to cool. Then wash out the pot and repeat the steps above to make a total of 14 cups of popped popcorn.
matcha caramel popcorn
This sweet matcha caramel popcorn might just be your new fave treat!
- 1 C water
- 2 C granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder + 1/2 tsp for dusting at end
- 2/3 C coconut oil
- 1 C jumbo popcorn kernels
In a medium saucepan, add water and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar as the water heats up and let it come to a low simmer which takes about 6 to 8 minutes. Let it reduce by about half which should take about another 5 to 6 minutes. The bubbles will start to get larger. The syrup will coat a wooden spoon but still drip off of it easily.
Once this simple syrup is reduced, whisk in the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, sea salt, and 2 teaspoons of matcha powder off of the heat. You should have a caramel that is starting to thicken slightly as it cools while you’re whisking this together. Pour it into a glass measuring cup and let it cool down at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile you can pop the popcorn in two 1/2 cup batches. Heat a large pot with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add a 1/3 cup of coconut oil and 2 popcorn kernels. Place a tight fitting lid on the pot. Wait to hear the kernels pop. Then add a 1/2 cup of the jumbo popcorn kernels. It’s tempting to do more than that, but you will end up with more un-popped kernels in the end. They should begin popping in about 10 seconds. Shake the pot every 10 to 20 seconds or so, so the kernels don’t burn.
Once the pot has settled and the popcorn has finished popping, carefully remove the lid and place the popcorn into a large mixing bowl. Once you pop the second batch of kernels allow them to cool but leave it in the pot. Preheat the oven 250°F.
When the popcorn is cooled pour in half the matcha caramel into the pot and use a rubber spatula as well as one hand to toss and coat the popcorn evenly with matcha caramel. Pour the remaining half into the bowl of popcorn and toss and coat it in the caramel as well.
Spread the popcorn onto 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat in one even layer.
Dust each batch with another 1/4 teaspoon each of matcha powder pushed through a fine mesh sieve and shaken over the tray of popcorn evenly.
(updated instructions) Place the baking trays on separate racks in the middle of the oven. Bake for 60 minutes total tossing the popcorn about every 20 minutes and swapping the trays on the opposite rack. Let the popcorn completely cool out of the oven before packaging into the tin as a gift.
This is, of course, is best made on the day you’re giving it as a gift for prime freshness. It lasted up to 3 days before getting a little too stale for me.
FYI, baking instructions were updated as of October 2019!