January 26, 2021

Japanese Popcorn: Recipes and Fun Facts

Written by Kumiko Toya

Japan is known for adopting and changing food originally from overseas to meet the country’s own taste. Popcorn is no exception!

Popcorn became a trend in Japan in 2013 after Garrett® Popcorn, a gourmet popcorn chain from Chicago, opened their first shop in Harajuku, Tokyo. (As an undisputed popcorn lover, shortly after their grand opening, I stood in the line for over two hours to get to a taste of their famous crunchy goodness.)

garrett popcornThe Garrett® Popcorn First Branch in Japan 

Once the trend took off over social media, there was no stopping it. Major convenience store chains began to sell their exclusive lines as if competing with each other. The trendiest flavors were frequently talked about on TV. Popcorn shops popped open one after another in Tokyo’s fancier districts.

Japanese popcorn flavors 2

After almost eight years, the lines in front of these fashionable stores may no longer be as long as they used to be, but the popularity for popcorn seemingly stayed.


🍿FUN FACTS ABOUT POPCORN IN JAPAN🍿

😮Corn was brought to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century. There are some records showing that people puffed corn kennels to make snacks. They were called “plum blossom snacks” because of the resemblance of the shapes.

😮Japan is the biggest importer of corn in the world. Most of the popcorn eaten around Japan is grown in the United States.

😲When Doc Popcorn® from Colorado opened their first store in Tokyo in 2014, the line took 6 hours to get through on the weekends.

😮The Tokyo Disney Resort has 25 popcorn stands featuring around 15 flavors throughout the parks, such as milk tea, curry, orange marmalade, and garlic shrimp*. Popcorn stand locations and flavors are even listed on the park maps.

😲Believe it or not, Tokyo Disneyland once even had “Popcorn Soda”. It is a drink that tastes just like actual popcorn with butter on the bottom! Do you like to try it, or not?

*Currently some of the food stands were closed at the Tokyo Disney Resort due to the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Japanese Popcorn Recipes

This week we are sharing 4 unique and delicious popcorn recipes with 4 different popular Japanese seasonings. If you are looking for a fresh new take on the staple snack for your next movie night, or game day, or any day, try giving a fun Japanese twist to it with our recipes!

popping

When you try these recipes, start with popping the popcorn kernels by the method of your choice.  I always use my  thick-bottomed saucepan on stove top. It produces a perfect batch every time. 

popped popcorn

pouring popcorn 3

Once the popcorn is done, immediately pour the popcorn into a big bowl hat will allow you room to fold and toss with confidence and without worry of making a mess. 

adding with swirling motion-1

Pour butter mixture evenly over the popcorn while tossing. Toss and fold until the popcorn is evenly coated. 

mixed matcha

Dig in! Flavorful crunchy goodness in every bite – you will be licking your fingers by the time you reach the bottom of the bowl.

movie night 4

Matcha Green Tea Popcorn

green tea popcorn

Matcha is very good for you, and with the right amount of butter and sugar, it can make a perfect match, a gourmet popcorn lover's delight. 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup un-popped kernels (or 8 cups plain popped popcorn.)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea) powder.
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

green tea ingredients 
Instruction:
Pop the popcorn kernels by the method of your choice. Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl. Whisk in the matcha, sugar, and salt. Pour the matcha mixture evenly over the popcorn in a large bowl. Toss well until distributed evenly. 

Miso Butter Popcorn 

miso popcorn_2
Savory and a little earthy with a depth of umami flavor that plays in a satisfyingly balanced way, this popcorn becomes more and more addictive as you start snacking on it! 

Many large grocery stores sell miso paste these days. Miso is the key ingredient in miso soup, but you can also add miso to sauces, marinades and dressings.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup un-popped kernels (or 8 cups plain non salted popped popcorn)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons miso paste

miso ingredients

Instruction:
Pop the popcorn kernels by the method of your choice.  Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl. Whisk in the miso paste. Add the miso butter to the popcorn in a large bowl and toss well. 

Soy Sauce Butter Popcorn

soy popcorn

The soy sauce and butter combination never fails! It is rich, savory, umami-laced, and so delicious that your hand will keep reaching for it.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup un-popped kernels (or 8 cups plain non salted popped popcorn)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt (optional)

soy ingredients

Instruction:
Pop the popcorn kernels by the method of your choice.  Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl. Whisk in the soy sauce. Add the say sauce butter to the popcorn in a large bowl and toss well. Taste the popcorn and add salt only if desired.

Wasabi Popcorn

wasabi popcorn

Subtle but noticeable, the popcorn has just the right amount of heat that builds slowly when you try to stop yourself from grabbing another handful! I always end up finishing the whole bowl by myself!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup un-popped kernels (or 8 cups plain non salted popped popcorn)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons prepared wasabi. Use more or less depending your taste.
  • sugar (optional)
  • salt (optional) 

wasabi ingredients

Instruction:
Pop the popcorn kernels by the method of your choice.  Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl. Cool the melted butter almost to the room temperature before adding wasabi. This step is important because the flavor and heat of wasabi disappears when exposed to high temperature. Whisk the butter and wasabi until combined well. Pour the mixture over the popcorn in a large bowl and toss. Taste the popcorn and add salt and/or sugar only if desired.

offering popcorn 4



Did you enjoy the article? If you have a comment or suggestion to share, we look forward to hearing from you! Reach out by emailing contactus@japanesecreations.com

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