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Sweet and Spicy Caramel Corn

Serves: Makes about 8 cups

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus more for greasing baking tray
  • ⅓ cup unpopped popcorn
  • 1 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1-½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek (Thai chile paste) or plain hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil


Procedures:

Crispy, crunchy, sweet, aromatic and spicy, this recipe takes caramel corn on a trip to Thailand with its Asian-inspired flavors.

Preheat an oven to 250 degrees, and place an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper lined with oil.

Heat 1 teaspoon with 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 and remove any unpopped kernels. Stir in chopped peanuts.

Combine brown sugar, ¼ cup of vegetable oil, 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 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the sambal oelek (or hot sauce) and baking soda.

Pour over the popcorn, stirring to coat. Transfer the popcorn to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and sticky, about 45 minutes. Allow the popcorn to become cool and crispy. Toss with the lime zest and chili oil just prior to serving.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

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