You Put the (Chile) Lime in the Coconut (Popcorn)

January 19, 2016
And then you shake it bot' up! Forget drowning your popcorn in butter; this healthy snack is bursting with flavor.
Dan Whalen
You Put the (Chile) Lime in the Coconut (Popcorn) | WGBH | Craving Boston

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks, especially for late night TV watching. On its own, the kernels are very low calorie, but I have a tendency to dump on enough butter to drown a small bird. Sound familiar? For this recipe, I set out to make a seasoning that was spicy, sour, salty, and a little sweet—one to indulge my midnight snacking habits without ruining a whole day of healthy living. Addictive, with Thai tastes that really pop, this is a snack so satisfying you'll never miss the butter deluge.

2 tablespoons lime zest (about 4 limes)
1 1/2 tablespoons Korean chili flakes*
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/5 cups popcorn kernels
  1. Mix the zest, salt, and chile flake in a small sealable container.
  2. Over medium high heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot that has a lid.
  3. Add the popcorn kernels and a pinch of salt. Mix and put the lid on.
  4. You will hear the popcorn popping. When it slows down and you don’t hear a pop for about 3 or 4 seconds, remove the pot from heat.
  5. Pour the popcorn into a serving bowl. Meanwhile, put the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil into the pot to melt. Add about 3/4 of a tablespoon of your spice blend to the coconut oil and stir.
  6. Pour your coconut oil mixture over the popcorn, shaking the bowl as you add it to be sure that it is evenly distributed. Add in an additional 1/2 tablespoon of your spice mixture and shake to evenly coat. Serve.
  7. The spice mixture can be stored for a few weeks in the fridge.

*Any chili flakes can work for this recipe, but Korean chili flakes are a bright, vibrant red and the perfect size to create pretty flecks of color throughout your popcorn. Find them at a Korean market (locally you can get it at H-Mart). The spice blend makes enough seasoning to make this popcorn recipe 3 times.