Say hello to your new favorite pool snack, picnic bestie, road-trip snack, and obsession. This is everything caramel corn and believe me, it really is EVERYTHING.
Snack time might be my favorite meal. Whether it’s brie and apples or Cheez-Its in bed, there is something so rebelliously satisfying about eating outside of the ordained meal times, outside of the natural construct, just because we can. Or, because we are endlessly hungry 24-year-olds who never stopped needing six meals a day.
The idea for this popcorn came to me like so many other ideas, in church. It is one of the places I constantly find myself hungry without being able to actually reach for a snack, and my mind accidentally wonders to whatever cravings take hold. Last week, it was caramel popcorn, everything bagels, and Asian cuisine.
Meet everything sesame and soy caramel corn. It is a cacophonous symphony of umami that satisfies every craving and pacifies every part of the palate, and it’s possibly more addicting than Doritos.
In method, this is pretty much your classic caramel corn, but instead of vanilla extract and salt, we hit the bubbling caramel with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. The combination adds both salt and an unmistakeable nuttiness that deepens the golden sugar with the savory and unexpected.
After the caramel corn has baked until crisp, we sprinkle a generous dose of everything bagel seasoning over the still-sticky popcorn. The sesame seeds and salt emphasize the flavors we have already infused into the popcorn, completing the sweet and savory duo in the most incredible way.
If you need me I’ll be by the pool with the biggest bowl of caramel corn you have ever seen.
Everything Sesame & Soy Caramel Corn
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2/3 cup popping corn
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons everything bagel seasoning
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Melt coconut oil in a large pot or popcorn pan set over medium heat. Once the oil has melted, add the popcorn kernels and place the lid on your pot. Once you hear the corn begin to pop, shake the pan constantly, until you no longer hear any popping.
Remove from heat and transfer the popcorn to a large baking sheet. Spread the popped corn evenly over the surface of the pan. Place the pan in the oven and toast while you prepare the caramel.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with nonstick spray.
In a small, 2-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Place over medium hight heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the butter has melted. Once the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth, stop stirring and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes; until the caramel is amber in color.
Remove from heat and whisk in baking soda, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Be careful as the caramel will bubble furiously.
Transfer the toasted popcorn to a large bowl and pour the hot caramel directly over the popcorn. Use a spatula to mix until the corn is evenly coated. Then, spread the coated popcorn out onto the greased baking sheet.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring and tossing every 15 minutes for even cooking.
When the popcorn has finished baking, toss once more and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning. Toss the popcorn around a bit and allow to cool completely before serving.
Store in airtight containers for up to 2 days.