The Unexpected Sauce You Should Start Adding To Your Popcorn

Some like their popcorn with butter, others prefer white cheddar, and for those that have a sweet tooth, there's also kettle corn and caramel corn. Popcorn traditionally ranges from sweet to salty, and there's even Flamin' Hot popcorn and dill pickle-flavored popcorn if you're feeling a bit adventurous and like spicy or sour. 

But if none of those flavors strike your fancy, or you're just bored of the same old popcorn seasonings, umami can be a great way to change things up. According to Esquire, the best way to add umami to popcorn is by using soy sauce. While most store-bought popcorn tends to taste artificial in some way, soy sauce incorporates layers of savory flavor without all the chemical additives or MSG that come from that neon orange powdered cheese or the fake butter sauce they drench your popcorn with at the movies. Soy sauce may not seem like a natural combination, but you can't knock it until you try it, especially since it's one of the most popular popcorn flavors at Tokyo Disneyland (via Dinner by Dennis).

How much soy sauce should you add to popcorn?

While you could technically just drizzle it over your popcorn, soy sauce is on the liquidy side, which means it's a lot harder to coat all the popcorn evenly without making it soggy. Food52, therefore, suggests making a compound butter by mixing soy sauce with coconut oil and butter. According to Food52's recipe, you'll need two tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of coconut oil per one tablespoon of soy sauce. These measurements are for ⅓ a cup of popcorn kernels, so you'll need to adjust the ratio depending on how much popcorn you plan to pop. Remember soy sauce is salty, so too much of it could easily render your popcorn inedible.

To make the compound butter, you'll start by melting together the butter and the coconut oil, after which you'll whisk in the soy sauce. At this point, you could also add other seasonings such as sriracha, cheese, or garlic salt. Once all ingredients are combined, simply pour the soy sauce butter over the popped popcorn and indulge in the umami goodness.