The chile oil in this recipe imparts only a slight spicy flavor. It combines nicely with the cinnamon-sugar and buttery popcorn, rendering the final result irresistible. We recommend serving this alongside Black Sesame and Mustard Popcorn and Parmigiano–Black Pepper Popcorn.
What to buy: Look for hot chile oil in the Asian section of your supermarket. We like the La-Yu brand.
We found that fine salt (a.k.a. table salt) works best on popcorn, because its fine grain adheres better to each kernel.
Special equipment: We tested this recipe with popcorn made in an air popper, which produced stellar results.
This recipe was featured as part of our story on dorm cooking.
- Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 10 mins
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon hot chile oil, such as La-Yu
- In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Using an air popper, pop the corn kernels into a large bowl. Meanwhile, combine the butter and chile oil in a small bowl. As the large bowl begins to fill with popcorn, alternately drizzle the oil mixture over the popcorn and sprinkle it with the cinnamon-sugar, occasionally tossing to coat.
- When the popcorn stops popping, use your hands to toss everything together and ensure that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve immediately.