Crispy, crunchy, sweet, spicy, aromatic, and awesome! You know I'm a fan of the hyperbole, but it's with all sincerity that I say this may be the greatest caramel popcorn-related snack breakthrough since balls.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Line baking sheet with foil brushed with vegetable oil or a silicone baking mat.

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  • Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add popcorn; cover and cook, shaking often, until fully popped, about 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large bowl using a strainer or your hands, leaving unpopped kernels in the pan. Stir chopped peanuts into popcorn.

  • Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add lime juice and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in sambal oelek, lime zest, and baking soda. Pour brown sugar mixture over popcorn, stirring to coat. Spread popcorn out on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake in the preheated oven, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and sticky, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool and become crispy. Toss with cilantro before serving.

Nutrition Facts

288.1 calories; protein 5.4g 11% DV; carbohydrates 32.8g 11% DV; fat 17g 26% DV; cholesterolmg; sodium 431.5mg 17% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (30)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
02/28/2013
1st bite: weird. 2nd bite: not too bad. 3rd bite: sorta spicy huh? 4th bite: what great flavor. 5th bite: this stuff is good. 6th bite: OMG I can't stop eating it. 7th bite: Mine! All Mine! 8th to 100th bite: I love Chef John! Read More
(43)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/05/2013
While an interesting treat I found that it burned easily when using a foil lined tray. I had much better results using a tray lined with a silicone mat. Read More
(3)
34 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 8
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
02/28/2013
1st bite: weird. 2nd bite: not too bad. 3rd bite: sorta spicy huh? 4th bite: what great flavor. 5th bite: this stuff is good. 6th bite: OMG I can't stop eating it. 7th bite: Mine! All Mine! 8th to 100th bite: I love Chef John! Read More
(43)
Rating: 5 stars
11/04/2012
I made a double batch of this yummiest today. So good and so different. I was really excited to try this and was very happy with the results. I must say I did make 1 change because, unlike Chef John, I am a crazy person. Watch the video if you don't know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I used organic brown rice syrup instead of the corn syrup. It worked beautifully. I did also leave it in the oven for 1 hour also. I felt that it wasn't crusty enough after 40 min. It turned out better then I thought. I have made a number of Chef John's recipes and I have yet to be disappointed, in fact I think I am starting to have a crush on him. He knows good food! Oh I should add that if you keep your unpopped corn in the freezer you will get almost no unpopped kernels while cooking your corn. You can get bulk organic popcorn at any whole foods or health food store for about $ 1.00 a lb. Make this recipe you won't be disappointed. Read More
(25)
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2012
I saw this recipe on the Allrecipes channel on Roku and knew I had to try it. WOW!! It's wonderful! The previous reviewer mentioned that it was too spicy but I think the heat level is really just a matter of preference as I found it to be perfect. I didn't top with cilantro because I wasn't sure how well the fresh cilantro would store on the popcorn but it was still just absolutely fantastic. My 6 year-old did complain that it made the house smell like wet dog while it was cooking and she has a point but I promise- it's well worth the fish sauce-y smell while it's in the oven! Read More
(15)
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Rating: 4 stars
06/29/2012
I made this for a potluck and most people liked it but I put a bit too much "heat" in it for some. This was fun to make and fairly simple. Plus it definitely tastes like Pad Thai. I had always wanted to make a type of caramel corn so this recipe was easy-to-follow and basically no fail. All said I will probably make it again some time in the future. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2014
This snack is unlike anything I've ever tasted. Everything you expect from caramel corn but the flavor profile is unique and delish with dare I say some yum umami going on from the fish sauce? Fish sauce is a sticky issue for lots of people. If that's you it's not overwhelming and the bit of lime is a perfect (and true to Pad Thai) fish sauce counter-flavor. So great savory stuff happening with this one but definitely a sweet snack first if you wondered. I used the suggested hot sauce substitute and that was fine. Some people like to shake extra salt on their popcorn. This one is tons of hot fun with a dusting of CAYENNE pepper especially if the hot sauce doesn't kick as much as you want it to. I suggest reserving that extra ingredient for your own portion however. Ha! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
02/25/2013
Crazy good! Didn't change a thing. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 3 stars
11/04/2013
While an interesting treat I found that it burned easily when using a foil lined tray. I had much better results using a tray lined with a silicone mat. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
10/26/2012
I just made 3 batches of this popcorn. It's so good; spicy sweet savory. I followed exactly...very simple. Hardest part for me is popping the corn! I used parchment paper and clean up was easy. The fresh cilantro adds a wonderful fresh flavor and looks great. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
04/07/2013
Started to make this and remembered I was out of canola so...I used coconut oil in the sauce. Used half a cup of popcorn and would go heaping next time there was enough sauce to cover. Since there was a hot element to this I used hot chili oil to pop the corn. Even with that and a full T of Sricacha I would have liked more heat. Added cilantro to each serving instead of the whole batch for ease in storing leftovers. Read More
(3)