Sesame-Chile Kettle Corn


Besides the huge boxes of candy, movie theaters often turn popcorn—a fiber-rich food—into a sponge for fat. Grace Parisi adds a fiery kick to her healthier sweet-and-salty version of kettle corn by tossing it with whole red chiles.

Sesame-Chile Kettle Corn
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Total Time:
15 mins


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons popcorn kernels

  • 8 dried chiles de árbol

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

  • Salt


  1. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat the canola oil, sesame oil, popcorn and chiles over high heat until sizzling. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the sugar and cover. Cook, shaking the pan constantly, until half of the kernels are popped, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove the lid and add the sesame seeds, stirring once or twice. Cover the pan and cook, shaking, until the popping nearly stops.

  2. Pour the kettle corn onto a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt, tossing with your hands. Transfer the kettle corn to a bowl or an airtight container, discarding any unpopped kernels.

Make Ahead

The cooled kettle corn can be kept in an airtight container for 2 to 3 hours.


One Serving 135 cal, 8 gm fat, 0.8 gm sat fat, 16 gm carb, 2 gm fiber, 2 gm protein.

Suggested Pairing

Fresh, lively sparkling wine: NV Caposaldo Prosecco.

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