Sriracha-Coconut Popcorn with Smoked Sea Salt

I have a crippling addiction to snacks. Salty snacks in particular. It’s crippling in the sense that I will not stop eating until I’m overcome with nausea, and then left to spend the next hour slouched in my chair, thinking to myself, “why . . . WHY?” I often avoid buying bags of chips or pretzels at the store because I know that in less than 24 hours, they’ll be open on my desk, rapidly approaching empty. And then sometimes, I slip. In the throes of my toasted seaweed addiction, I bought two cases, which I then stored in my bedroom because there was “no room” in the kitchen. Those were the dark days.

Of all the snacks, popcorn is the most irresistible. I blame my mother, as she has been making giant batches of popcorn on a regular basis since I can remember. It goes from the stove top into a feeding trough large bowl, and sits on the kitchen table all day, inviting constant snacking. So while regular ol’ popcorn with salt and spices is tasty enough to shove in my face by the fistful, this stuff, oh lord — whole ’nother level. Seriously. Borderline dangerous.

It is unreal how good this is. I mean, I knew it would be fairly tasty, because it’s popcorn + sriracha — it seems hard to go wrong there. But I wasn’t really prepared for how perfectly all of the ingredients would work together. The spiciness of the sriracha works so well with the coconut oil, and the smoked sea salt brings an almost-meaty taste to the mix. (When I was cooking all of the sauce ingredients up on the stove top, it smelled exactly like buffalo chicken wings. Chicken wings!!) Even when it got a little soggy, I didn’t care. I ate it ALL.

(Some of you may recognize the surly owl, back in a fashion similar to his last appearance. But for those of you that are wondering, “OMG, where did she get that?!” This is the work of a local artist, Dan Siegel, who sells his wares under the handle Danmade. You can find his Etsy shop here. [If you don’t see anything that strikes your fancy in the featured items, browse through his sold items to see what he has done in the past. He’s always firing new things, and is happy to talk to people about special requests.])

Sriracha-Coconut Popcorn with Smoked Sea Salt

(adapted from Bake Your Day)

  • 4 cups of freshly popped popcorn (if you make your own on the stove top, use half olive oil and half coconut oil)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp sriracha (Huy Fong’s, or make your own!)
  • 2 tsp coarse smoked sea salt

Combine butter, oil, sriracha, and salt in a large, deep saucepan or pot over low heat. When butter is melted and everything is mixed together, add the popcorn and stir until well-coated. Eat immediately, as it will get a little soggy after a while.

(Also, consider playing around with flavor a bit! I really like the idea of using sesame oil and ginger too. And I would have also loved to add a little lime to the mix, à la this post. And for more great ways to use sriracha, see this book. And this.)



    • says

      Yes! It’s probably good that it has a tendency to get a little soggy after a while, otherwise I could definitely convince myself that this is a relatively healthy snack (relative to the bag of Cheese Puffs I ate the other day, anyway) and I must have it on hand at all times. It’s too good.

  1. says

    OH MY. We make stovetop popcorn all the time–it’s the default salty snack at our house–but sriracha sauce is a new idea for me. This combination sounds amazing! :)

  2. says

    I love that you have a category titled “Bachelorette Food.” That wins. If I made this while alone and the guy found out about it, I would fear for my life. We’re on a big popcorn kick lately and looking for new ways to season it–especially ways that don’t involve seasonings that will collect at the bottom of the bowl. Can you say pet peeve?!

    • says

      Johnny was NOT happy that I made this and then ate it all. I had to promise him more, soon!

      One of the best tricks I’ve seen for getting toppings to stick to popcorn was from a couple friends we visited a couple years ago. They’d pop their popcorn in an air popper, then use one of those Misto oil sprayers to lightly cover the popcorn with olive oil before tossing in the toppings. It worked perfectly!

    • says

      Thank you, Averie! That homemade sriracha is an absurdly bright shade of red, and I love having an excuse to use it in shots. Since I made this, I’ve been on a sriracha-coconut milk kick, using it as a sauce for quinoa last night, and as the base for a sweet potato casserole tonight…which I am about to devour. :)

  3. Melissa says

    I’m eating popcorn as I read through this! Love the stuff, it’s my dinner more nights than I care to admit. I will definitely be making this recipe, probably tonight. I’ve poured hot sauce on my popcorn and I love it. And I’ve been wanting to use coconut oil with popcorn. So sriracha, coconut oil and popcorn…yes, please!

    Next will be the quinoa with coconut milk and sriracha – that sounds amazing!

  4. Laura says

    So. If one were thinking of giving this as a Christmas gift to a lazy bachelor, one could potentially put it in a mason jar and include it with a bag of fancy microwaveable popcorn? Thinking if they microwaved the jar a bit to get it “saucy” again, they could pour it on the popcorn and toss it themselves, no?

    • says

      Hehe, this does have Lazy Bachelor Gift written all over it! I see no reason why you couldn’t do that, although you’d probably want to make sure the sauce jar is refrigerated until it’s ready to use. A little time in the microwave or in a pan on the stove should make it nice and saucy again!

  5. says

    Hi there, I’ve made this a couple times now, and it’s DELICIOUS–but I was searching for the coconut flavor, which seemed to be missing. I kept adding more to the recipe but I just couldn’t find that lovely tropical flavor. Turns out refined, expeller-pressed coconut oil is essentially flavorless! I’m trying it next with virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil. Wish me luck! I’ll send a full report! Also you have the best pics of sriracha popcorn on the whole internet.


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