Pad Thai Popcorn

Don't let these spice-morsels fool you... this is not your average caramel corn!

Don’t let these spice-morsels fool you… this is not your average caramel corn!

This time, I’ll keep it short and sweet because I really, really have to deal with some other sh..enanigans.

Hmm, how to describe it best…? Can you imagine how it looks like when a really, really big-ass alien, with eight arms but only one eye and strongly impaired vision has a nervous breakdown in a kitchen?!

It looks bad. And of course, he and his eight arms didn’t stay to clean up. So, I have to do it.

Good thing, ALF-invasions sometimes also evoke brilliant new ideas. Like Pad Thai Popcorn.

That doesn’t make any sense to you?

You are absolutely right. But the Popcorn is still delicious.

Here’s the recipe:

(makes about 8 cups of Popcorn)

1/3 to 1/2 cup popping corn kernels (roughly 8 cups prepared popcorn)
1 cup finely chopped dry-roasted, salted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
For the caramel sauce:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 or 3 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp freshly grated lime zest
1 1/2 tbsp Asian fish sauce
1 rounded tablespoon Sambal red chili sauce, or very finely diced fresh hot chilies (I used 1 1/2 TS Sriracha – who doesn’t love it?)
rounded 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pre-heat the oven to 250 F and line a sheet pan (or any other baking dish that will hold your popcorn) with parchment paper.
Pop the corn in a large pot with a TS of oil (microwave popcorn works too), toss with the finely chopped peanuts and set aside.
In a small sauce pan mix all the ingredients for the caramel EXCEPT the grated zest and the baking soda. Boil over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, the mixture will thicken a bit but be careful not to burn it (especially at the sides of the pot), it would turn the mix bitter. Once your mixture is ready, turn of the heat, stir in the baking soda and the zest and make sure you don’t have any lumps of baking soda. Be careful, it will bubble up a bit!
Now, toss the liquid over the popcorn and cover it evenly with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Spread on the prepared pan and make for 15-20 minutes, tossing the popcorn once or twice while baking. (The original recipe asked for 45 minutes but that seems wayyyy to long in my oven…). Pull out and let cool. Resist the urge to stuff your face immediately, the popcorn crisps up as it cools and you don’t wanna burn your mouth with piping hot caramel, do you?

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