A Microwave Popcorn Bowl

This is NOT a sponsored post. I’m just putting it here because credit where it’s due.

Popcorn is a fantastic snack to accompany a martini. If it’s served warm, even better. The savoury (or sweet), soft/dry-crunch is a delightful contrast to the drink in terms of texture. It’s also low in calories and can be made quickly or in bulk.

I bought the Joseph Joseph M Cuisine Popcorn making bowl online for three reasons. One was that I like popcorn. Two is that it’s a healthier option to crisps/chips. Three is that my previous method of making popcorn on the oven resulted in a lot of mess.

I was a little skeptical that this collection of plastic items plus a microwave would be an efficient way to turn kernels into tasty popcorn. But I was wrong.

It’s a fairly simple piece of kit to use. You fit the rubber base (above) into the red bowl, pushing the little valve through the hole in the bowl until it’s sealed.

You then fill the rubber base with kernels up to the lip of the inner indentation as above. At this point, you could proceed, but I like to add neutral oil up to roughly the same level as the kernels. This might seem like a lot of oil but it spreads around the surface area of the popcorn very quickly.

At this point you could also add a teaspoon of salt, but you can also do that part later when it’s cooked. You can also add the oil after the cooking is complete – this might not result in an even coating of oil but it does save quite a bit of steam and oily splatter in your microwave itself.

Put on the lid. I actually invert it so the dome is hanging inside the bowl (opposite to the above image) so it fits into the microwave.

You then cook it in the microwave for 2-3ish minutes depending on your microwave strength.

You will work out the right timing for your own machine after one or two attempts. Basically put it on for at least 3 minutes the first time and stay nearby to listen to the soothing sound of exploding kernels.

Once the crescendo of popping slows down, get ready to stop the microwave. If you find yourself with more than 2-3 seconds between each pop you are probably about done. Be sure to switch it off before the kernels start burning and make a note of the amount of time it took for you to get to that stage for future batches.

Take the bowl out of the microwave and flip the lid so that it’s round-side-up. Hold the lid close to the bowl (make sure you’re gripping it all tightly) and flip the whole thing over. Shake it over your sink. There will inevitably be some uncooked kernels which will fall through the holes in the white plastic lid.

Your popcorn is now ready. You can either serve it as is, or add a wide variety of flavourings to taste. For the amount of popcorn that this bowl produces in one cooking, you could use up to a tablespoon of flavouring (but it will depend very much on the flavour). It’s best to experiment and find what works best for you.

I like to toss in 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and half a teaspoon of sugar to balance out the savoury.

I would recommend experimenting. A teaspoon of curry powder, a flourish of rosemary or some cajun seasoning perhaps. It might be frowned upon but you might want to add MSG for some vegan umami.

You could also seek inspiration from Nigella Lawson’s sweet and savoury popcorn recipe as shared by the foodnetwork.com.

As you can see, she’s no stranger to using the microwave, regardless of how she pronounces it.

Pop pop POP!