Americans consume approximately 17.3 billion quarts of popcorn each year. Sweet-and-salty kettle corn is the category’s fastest-growing flavor. Hot and spicy foods in general have been trending for some time.
So Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog combined the two into a recipe for Sriracha Kettle Corn: sweet and salty plus a warm burn with each bite.
This whole grain snack couldn’t be easier or faster to whip up, whether for better snacking while you’re hanging at home this week, or when guests drop by. Adjust the sriracha to taste, depending on how hot you like it.
> The Scoville Scale, which ranks the heat levels of different chiles.
Ingredients For 8-10 Cups Popcorn
1. HEAT the coconut oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, along with two or three kernels. Keep covered, and when the test kernels pop, add the rest, along with the sugar and sriracha. Stir well to coat before quickly covering with the lid once more.
2. SHAKE the pot constantly and vigorously to prevent the corn from burning. This is critical, both for even cooking and for fewer unpopped kernels. Once the popping has slowed to one every two to three seconds…
3. REMOVE the pot from the heat and uncover, continuing to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour the popcorn onto a sheet pan and sprinkle evenly with salt, to taste. Let cool and break up the large clumps, picking through to remove any unpopped popcorn kernels that might remain.
 Sriracha kettle corn adds heat to the traditional sweet and salty seasonings (photo © Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).
WHAT IS KETTLE CORN?
Kettle corn is sweet-and-salty popcorn. A Colonial invention, the corn was popped in iron kettles and then sweetened with sugar, honey, and sometimes molasses before adding the salt. It is less sweet than caramel corn and appeals to those who like a sweet-and-salty flavor profile.
Check out the history of popcorn.
Sriracha, pronounced see-RAH-jah, is a Thai hot chili sauce. It is made from red chiles, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt; and is aged for three months or longer.
Unlike American hot sauces such as Tabasco, which are vinegar sauces that are infused with hot chiles, sriracha is primarily puréed chiles, making it a much thicker sauce.
The sauce is named after the coastal city of Si Racha in eastern Thailand, where it was first made and marketed. Different brands can be found in the Asian aisle of many supermarkets and in Asian groceries.
According to multiple sources, including an article in Bon Appétit, the sauce was made more than 80 years ago in by a local woman, Thanom Chakkapak. She initially made the condiment for her family, and then for friends, to enjoy with the local seafood (think of it as a much hotter counterpart to American cocktail sauce).
As is a common story in the specialty food business, they encouraged her to sell it commercially—and it became the best-selling chile sauce in Thailand. In 1984, Ms. Chakkapak sold her business to a major food company, Thai Theparos Food Products.
What’s the correct spelling: sriraja, si-racha, sriracha or siracha?
According to Andrea Nguyen, who wrote the article for Bon Appétit: Since Thailand does not adhere to one romanization system for Thai words, many variants have emerged, chosen by manufacturers who have created their own version of the original sauce.
However, the most commonly accepted spelling is sriracha.