My sister introduced me to stovetop popcorn last year and now, it’s the only kind of popcorn I eat. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make and since then I’ve been experimenting with different toppings.
Of course, this one made with matcha is my favorite aside from freshly popped corn with some salt and sugar. Yup, sugar! I once accidentally sprinkled sugar on my movie theater popcorn thinking it was salt. I remember this so vividly — I was at the Angelica movie theater in New York (about to watch what turned out to be a really bad movie) and I saw a metal canister with holes on top so I figured it was salt. I liberally sprinkled it all over my popcorn and as soon as I got to my seat I started eating it. I was really perplexed at the first bite, then intrigued by the second, and by the third I was digging in. The combination of salty and sweet was what made it so good. Ugh, but that movie was so bad — 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back.
The recipe is perfect for making stovetop popcorn in a 2 quart round Dutch oven. You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve made this to figure this out or the huge messes I’ve made trying to contain overflowing popcorn.
The key to my matcha popcorn recipe is clarified butter, also known as ghee. Butter is made up of butterfat, milk solids, and water. Clarified butter is the butterfat you’re left with after simmering butter on low heat. It has a high smoke point so you can cook on high heat without burning AND because there is no water content, it works amazingly well for popcorn toppings since it doesn’t make the popped kernels soggy.
Once you’ve had a taste of stovetop popcorn, you’ll have a hard time going back to store-bought bags.
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MATCHA (GREEN TEA) STOVETOP POPCORN
Makes 4 cups
Combine in a large mixing bowl all matcha topping ingredients: 4 tablespoons of clarified butter, sugar, and salt. Sift in matcha and combine until matcha is well incorporated. Set aside.
In a medium size pot (I use my 2 quart Dutch oven.) add 1 1/2 tablespoons of clarified butter and three kernels and close the lid. Turn heat to medium-high and wait for a kernel to pop. Once you hear a kernel pop, add in the rest of the 1/4 cup popcorn kernels and close the lid. Give the pot a shake and a swirl so the clarified butter can coat the kernels. (Don’t forget to use oven mitts since the handles will be hot!) Every 30 seconds give the pot another shake until the popping slows down to 4-5 seconds between pops. Turn off heat and slowly open lid to let steam escape and pour some of the popcorn into the mixing bowl with the matcha topping.
You don’t want to dump the entire pot into the bowl because it’ll be hard to get an even matcha coating since you won’t have enough room in the bowl to move around the topping and the popcorn.
Coat the popcorn with the matcha topping and serve immediately.