Outdoor movie season is coming to its last weeks (noooooo!) so you better make this RIGHT NOW. Well, I mean, you can make it later in the season when you stay indoors, but whatever, I just want an excuse to make you whip up a batch of this spicy, crunchy, salty, smoky popcorn. It’s SO good, just ask my coworkers, they destroyed the bag in like 10 minutes (at 10 am, yup, they’re pros).
If you’re not into the vegan bacon part, no worries, you can sub for the real thing, or even take it a step further and add pancetta! The base, which is the deliciously coated popcorn, can be paired with lots of things, even other simple plain caramel popcorn, or chocolate? I’ll let you pig out on your brainstorming of foodie ideas.
Go get your kernels, blankie, and favourite movie, and let’s make a batch!
Vegan Sriracha Caramel Bacon Popcorn
Makes 1 mega bowl
For the popcorn:
– 1/2 cup organic popcorn kernels
– 1 tablespoon sunflower or canola oil (don’t use olive oil, it’ll burn and taste bitter)
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the coating:
– 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
– 3 tablespoons shortening (I used veggie shortening with no salt, don’t use stuff with salt! or it’ll taste gross, you can use butter too if you’re not vegan)
For the vegan bacon:
– 1 cup coconut chips, plain
– 1 tablespoon liquid aminos (a.k.a. Braggs seasoning, you can use soy sauce too, but use 1/2)
– 1 teaspoon smoked (spanish) paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Note: make sure to use the smoky paprika as this will help with the “bacon” flavour. If you have liquid smoke, you can add 1/4 teaspoon to the mix, but I know it’s a pain in the ass to find, so I used the paprika instead.
1. Preheat the oven at 350F. Now make the popcorn: place the kernels, oil, and salt in a big pot with a lid. Turn on the heat on high, and swirl every few seconds to prevent the kernels from burning. Keep shaking and swirling until kernels start to pop, let them go wild until they’re done. Remove lid and let steam escape. Set aside
2. Now the caramel: In a small pot, place all the brown sugar over medium heat with a splash of water. Let the sugar dissolve and simmer for 5 minutes; at this point it’ll start to bubble, if bubbles rise too much, reduce heat a bit. Keep simmering for another 2 minutes, then pour in the maple syrup and sriracha sauce – careful! It’ll bubble up a bit. Stir to mix, then add the chunk of shortening and stir again. Let the mix simmer for about 5 minutes until bubbles look thick and it has changed to a darker colour. Remove from heat, CAREFULLY pour mix all over the cooked popcorn in the pot and immediately stir with a couple spatulas or spoons to evenly coat everything.
3. Place the coated popcorn on a tray lined with parchment paper and spread well. It’s ok if some clusters form. Bake for 10-12 minutes until popcorn is dry and crunchy. Remove from the oven and let cool (keep oven on!).
4. Make the vegan bacon: place all the vegan bacon ingredients in a bowl, mix to coat the coconut, then lay it down on a sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 5-7 minutes until crispy. Careful, chips burn easily! So keep an eye on them.
Grab a big bowl, place the popcorn, then top with the bacon – if needed – add an extra sprinkle of flaky sea salt.Press PLAY and enjoy the movie!