When it comes to popcorn, it seems everything has been done. Enter any candy store worth its salt, and you’ll be met with an enormous array of popcorn flavors, from cheddar to chocolate to caramel with rainbow sprinkles. Mind you, we’re not complaining. This addictively salty little snack has stood the test of time, and it has our utmost respect. As other snack foods have come and gone through that fickle revolving door of food trends, popcorn remains a mainstay, come what may. And while we love popcorn’s many colorful carnival flavors, there’s just something about a classic bowl of simple, buttery popcorn that just can’t be beaten. Until now.
I stumbled upon this trick on a blog years ago, and it was one of those things that grabbed my curiosity so intensely that I had to stop what I was doing and try it immediately. After all, I love popcorn. I love soy sauce. I use both of these things regularly, so why on earth had I failed to see what a masterpiece these two simple things could be when combined? Of course, we’ve all heard of sprinkling garlic salt or parmesan or even instant ramen flavor packets on popcorn for the “best” version ever. Meh. These options are all fine but fall flat compared to soy sauce popcorn.
There’s something special about soy sauce. Its mild umami sweetness and slight, perfectly balanced bitterness do something magical to food, and it’s an ingredient I proudly buy in bulk. But until you’ve mixed soy sauce with your popcorn butter and then poured this mystical mixture atop freshly popped popcorn kernels, you haven’t yet experienced true salty snack perfection.
This recipe can easily be made with either microwave popcorn or freshly popped kernels made over the stove or with an air popper.
- 10 cups popped popcorn
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Salt to taste
- In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter and soy sauce, whisking to combine.
- Pour over popped popcorn and mix to combine.
- It’s much easier to combine the soy sauce and butter than to add these separately. Don’t try to shake the soy sauce onto buttered popcorn. The effect isn’t quite the same.
- Because soy sauce is already so salt-forward, it’s best to wait to salt the popcorn until after you’ve added and tasted the butter and soy sauce. If you add the salt at the same time, you run the risk of over-salting your popcorn.
- If using microwave popcorn, it’s better to go with a plain version so that you can add as much of the butter and soy sauce mixture as you like without competing with the existing (usually false-tasting) butter flavor.
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