Right around this time two years ago, I christened this baby-blog with a little birthday series for Bowl #2 — they were something like my third, fourth, and fifth posts, and they were recipes for some of his favorite foods from back home in Hawaii. With another one of his trips around the sun approaching (and because I can never have enough food from Hawaii), I thought that this would be a good time to do a repeat of sorts — this time with a little bit extra! His birthday is just a couple weeks before a little event I can’t stop talking about (sorry) and ever since we figured out our reception menu, I’ve been planning to try to recreate some of the dishes to share with you. Since we happen to be getting married in Hawaii, it seemed perfect to mash it all up! So for the next six weeks or so, I’ll be sharing a couple more recipes for his favorite childhood Hawaii dishes, mixed in with a few homemade versions of the eats from our wedding menu. Since I can’t invite you all to our shindig, I figured this was the next best way to celebrate it with you. <3
The first up is a snack that’s almost too easy for a recipe — hurricane popcorn! It’s so simple but incredibly addictive, so much so that I had to give away half of it to the neighbors before I ate the entire tub myself. It starts with your standard popcorn and melted butter, but then it adds just a touch of soy sauce and sugar, a generous pour of salty furikake, and a heaping of crunchy, shiny-glazed rice crackers, called mochi crunch or kakimochi in Hawaii. Toss it all together and you have what I think is the best popcorn I’ve ever had — a step further than butter-and-salt movie-theater popcorn, savorier from the furikake and soy sauce, just a hint sweet, and triumphantly crunchy from the kakimochi. It’s pretty much the embodiment of everything I love about Hawaii — a seamless East-meets-West combination of flavors that tastes like it was always meant to be together, not fusion for fusion’s sake, but fusion by organic, happy coincidence. So good.
Hope you’re all having a happy Wednesday!
Adapted from the impeccable Chinese Grandma.
- 10 cups freshly-popped popcorn (or about 6 tbsp unpopped kernels)
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup nori furikake, or more to taste
- 2 cups Japanese rice crackers (preferably like these)
- First, prepare your popcorn. You can pop it using a stovetop method, or using the microwave -- I generally use the microwave for ease of preparation and speed. Put about 1/4 cup at a time in a paper bag, folded and sealed, or a large, microwave-safe glass bowl with an airtight lid, and microwave it on high for about 2 minutes, or until popcorn pops only once every 2-3 seconds.
- Place popcorn in a large bowl, at least 3-quart capacity. Whisk together melted butter, soy sauce, and sugar. Gradually drizzle the butter mixture evenly over the popcorn, tossing the popcorn as you go, to distribute the butter as evenly as possible.
- Working quickly, sprinkle the furikake over the popcorn while the butter is still warm to help it adhere to the popcorn, and continue tossing to distribute evenly. (Note: You can also combine the butter, furikake and popcorn in a paper bag, seal and shake to distribute.)
- Last, mix in the rice crackers, and top with an additional sprinkling of furikake. Serve!
For really local hurricane popcorn, the kind of kakimochi you should try to get is darker and shinier than the kind I was able to find over here -- Tomoe brand is popular in Hawaii, and right for this if you can find it.