Hopped Popcorn - Hopcorn! - is a fun popcorn seasoning. It utilizes many of the basic flavours of beer, without actually tasting like beer!
We love creating popcorn seasonings for our own home use.
Everything from nacho cheese to ketchup and all-dressed (See my Canadian Popcorn Seasoning Recipes post for recipes!), it’s fun to experiment with our own unique blends.
A few of our other popcorn recipes...
Anyway, one day, we thought it would be fun to use the base flavours in beer to create a fun new popcorn seasoning - well, hopcorn seasoning!
In addition to the hops, we used dry malt extract - a sweet flavour - as well as nutritional yeast for an added flavour boost, and to balance the sweetness of the malt.
The hops and salt balance it all out, creating a mix that is mildly reminiscent of beer, without being super intense or overwhelming.
Friends of ours who can't stand beer love this, and beer lovers also adore it. The sweet/salty mix is perfect for popcorn.
Said one friend:
“This popcorn you left at my place! I have to say, I dislike beer. I've tried, several times, to come around to beer, and I always have trouble drinking it.
That said, I am eating this popcorn by the fist full. It definitely still has a lot of the same flavour profile that has pushed me away from beer, but it's not overwhelming.
I think that things like this could be what help me adjust to the hoppy taste and ultimately come around to beer. Maybe. One day.”
I’ll take it!
Hopped Popcorn Ingredients
Unlike most of our recipes, most of the ingredients in this one are items that you may not have in your pantry already. So, here’s a little information about them:
Dry Malt Extract
Dry Malt Extract is a fun ingredient, though I don’t have a lot of it up on this blog - just in my Homemade Hop Spa Set, as a thematic variation on using powdered milk!
Malt Powder - or Dried Malt Extract (DME) is malted barley, and is a common ingredient in beer brewing. It’s also what gives the filling of malted milk balls their flavour.
As a barley product, DME has gluten in it. As DME is not a common ingredient, it should be noted when you are serving anyone who may have a gluten allergy.
“Hop Powder” is what you get when you take Hop Pellets, and crush them into a powder.
They powder easily - you can crush them with the back of a spoon, with very little effort. Sometimes we’ll use a mortar and pestle, if we’re crushing a lot.
Just be sure to finely crush the pellets - you don’t want to leave any big chunks of hops in your popcorn seasoning!
It can be used to add an “umami” flavour to your cooking, and is commonly used in vegetarian “meat” making - as I do in my Vegan Donair Meat, Boneless Vegan Ribs, and my Replica Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets recipes.
Also, you can find it used to add a “cheesy” flavour to food, without the dairy. Shaking it directly onto popcorn makes a shockingly accurate dairy-free “cheese” popcorn seasoning!
Customizing your HopCorn
The variety of hops you use will vary the final flavour of your hopcorn seasoning. We tend to lean on citrussy varieties like Cascade, but it's fun to experiment with different flavours.
In general, we like to use low-acid varieties of hops for this recipe, but feel free to use your favourite varietal.
For a list of low-acid hop varieties that we tend to use in cooking - along with descriptions of their flavours - be sure to see my Hop Marinated Chicken & Vegetable Skewers post.
Also: as written here, this is a great, balanced popcorn seasoning. If you're more of a "More bitter, the better!" hophead like my husband, you can add another 1-2 teaspoon hop powder.
Cooking with Hops
Fan of hops? You'll LOVE my cookbook, Hedonistic Hops: A Hop Head's Guide to Kitchen Badassery"!
Hops are prized for their ability to impart varied, complex flavours to beer… but did you know they can also be used culinarily? While hops may seem like a bizarre or exotic item to cook with, it’s the same as using other herbs and spices in your kitchen… you just have to know what to do with them. Appetizers, main dishes, beverages.. even desserts can be uplifted with hops! Even those who are not fans of beer will love the unique flavours that various types of hops can bring to their plate. Floral, earthy, peppery, citrusy… Cooking with hops is a great way to expand your seasoning arsenal!
BBQ Sides and Desserts Recipes
Looking for a dish to bring to a cookout? Here are a few ideas!
Canadian Candy Bar Salad
Cold Smoked Potato Salad
Dill Pickle Waffle Fries
Gramma's Potato Salad
Marie's Pasta Salad
Melon Ball Trifle
Pina Colada Bundt Cake
Roasted Corn & Potato Salad
Rum Runner Trifle
Smoked Cheese Balls
Sweet Corn Bruschetta
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Hopped Popcorn - Hopcorn!
- Combine ingredients, distributing everything well. You can do this by hand, or in a small food processor or spice grinder, for a finer texture
- Store in an airtight shaker container.
- To serve, shake a little over hot buttered popcorn
More Hops Recipes!
Are you - or do you know - a die-hard hophead? Just interested in learning more about adding a punch of flavour to your culinary repertoire? Either way, I have some more recipes for you!
Homemade Hop Extracts
Homemade Hop Spa Bath Set
Hop Flavoured Beer Lollipops - Lollihops!
Hop Flavoured Dark Chocolate Truffles
Hop Marinated Chicken Skewers
Hopped Cheesecake with Citrus Glaze
Hoppy Citrus French Macaron Recipe
Hoppy Citrus IPA Glazed Wings
Hoppy IPA BBQ Sauce
Hoppy Dill Pickle Relish
Hoppy IPA Pickles Recipe