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Pop A La Corn

  • Serves 4

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  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest (from 2 medium limes)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup popcorn kernels
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil, or a neutral oil such as canola

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Recipe by Yewande Komolafe

Reprinted from Waffles + Mochi: The Cookbook. Available everywhere books are sold November 2021.

Popcorn may be the perfect snack for movie night, but as a base for experimenting with flavors, it is a chef’s dream!

Each popped kernel is a thing of beauty. What starts as a hard, waxy seed becomes something airy, crispy, salty, sweet, and—with the right combination of flavorings—zesty and spicy, too.



In a small bowl, combine the lime zest, cayenne pepper, granulated sugar, and salt. Set aside.

Here’s how to choose herbs for your meals: Soft herbs, like basil and parsley, are great eaten fresh. Sprinkle them on a finished meal. Woody herbs like rosemary and sage tend to be stronger and should be added sparingly while your meal is cooking.


In a large Dutch oven or stock pot set over medium heat, pour in 4 tablespoons of the oil and the popcorn kernels. Stir to coat the kernels with oil. Once the kernels start to heat up, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.


Now, shhh . . . listen for the first kernels to pop. Can you hear them? About a minute in, pick up the pot and give it a good shake. This allows any unpopped kernels to sink to the bottom. You’ll start to hear lots of popping noises and once the popping begins to slow down, turn off the heat and let the pot sit covered for another 30 seconds.

Herbs and other green plants make their own food through a process called photosynthesis! This is a chemical process that uses sunlight (or high efficiency lightbulbs!) to turn carbon dioxide into sugars that the plant’s cell can use as energy.


Remove the lid and transfer the popped corn to a large bowl.


Drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle in your chili-lime mixture, and toss to coat evenly. Serve and enjoy!



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