Spicy Peanut Popcorn
Popcorn comes with all kinds of toppings. An Indo version is of course inevitable. This is my recipe inspired by the belado potato chips. This seductive, spicy sweet popcorn with extra crunch, leaves your hand grasping for more without leaving any for your guests. Just don’t invite anyone or make an extra batch!
butter for greasing
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. sambal oelek
Trassi, one piece the size of a bouillon cube
100g brown sugar or palm sugar
1 tbsp. asem (dissolved in water) or 1 tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice
2 salam leaves (optional if not available)
100g raw popcorn, then popped
100 g roasted peanuts, shelled
Preheat oven to 300 F. Pop the corn according instructions on the package. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease lightly with butter. Fry the onion in 2 tablespoons light brown oil, fry the garlic briefly. Add chili paste, shrimp paste and sugar and then the asam water. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Ad the salam leaves. Heat briefly and take off the heat when the sauce thickens. Then scoop the popcorn and roasted peanuts gently through it so that it forms a kind of layer. Stir well from the bottom upwards. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet, spread well in an even layer. Bake about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes while. Remove the popcorn from the oven and let cool on another sheet with parchment paper. When it has reached room temperature, it can be kept in an airtight container.
Note: In case you cannot find Salam Leafs (dried version sometimes available at asian markets): cook books often suggest substitution by ordinary bay leaves, although there is not much similarity between the two spices. I would leave it out.
If you cannot find ‘asem’ use something else that’s sour: vinegar or lemon juice.