Flavoring popcorn with dry seasonings is easy – you just need to shake them up. But there are a lot of flavors that live outside of this realm. These flavors come in the form of sauces, and some are pretty good on popcorn too.
But Dsizzling, dripping, or pouring liquid flavorings directly onto a large bowl of fresh, chewy popcorn turns it into a large bowl of soggy, uneven-tasting popcorn, which isn’t what you want. To disperse your delicate flavor of choice evenly and effectively, first you need to whip it with butter.
By emulsifying your sauce with butter (or a vegan butter substitute), you will be able to distribute it throughout the bowl, without inadvertently creating soggy spots. We used this technique before making soy sauce butter and fish sauce butter, but it works with roughly any sauce or liquid flavoring agent. The hot sauce is good –There is so much lots of hot sauces to try! – but my new favorite is maple syrup, which reads like a low effort sweet and salty hot corn (without the texture of cauldron corn, of course).
To add a sauce to your popcorn, melt two tablespoons of butter or butter substitute in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, or cut and microwave in bursts of 5 seconds, stirring inbetween, until it is completely melted. Add a teaspoon of the sauce of your choice in butter and whip it with a fork. (You can increase the scale if necessary, depending on how much popcorn you’re making.) Taste by dipping a piece of popcorn in your mixture. and add more sauce if necessary, making sure to whisk with each addition to form a homogeneous mixture with the butter. Drizzle over your popcorn and toss to coat, then determine which sauce and butter combination you’d like to try next. I highly recommend the aforementioned fish sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, and hot sauce, but descent your condiment stash and get creative. You can also combiner sauces – maple hot sauce butter looks quite exquisite, in my not-so-humble opinion.