When I was home earlier in the year, I watched hours and hours of the Food Network. On a couple of the shows, they showed how to pop your own popcorn. Now, I usually buy packaged popcorn which you can nuke, but after seeing these program, I decided that I was going to try to make my own. I went to a local health food store and brought the kernels back with me to Japan.
Never having done this before, I was nervous. On the show, the chefs used Le Creuset pots. I don't have one, and I wasn't going to go out and buy one either (no space), so I used the one deep pot that I have. I put 1/4 cup popcorn and 1 tablespoon oil. I turned on the heat and as the oil heated, I remembered when we were kids we used to cook popcorn over the stove (Jiffy Pop), so I shook the pot over the flame. About 3 minutes later, I had freshly popped corn! The only problem was that I think I had the heat up too high, which meant I had some burnt kernels and uneven popping.
So, I decided to try popping corn again. This time, I used a saute pan with a lid, I put the 1/4 cup of popcorn in and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of oil and made sure that ever kernel was coated with oil. I turned the flame to low and when the kernels started to pop, I held the pan just high enough to heat the pan without having the pan directly touching the flame. About 3 minutes later, perfectly popped corn! Not many unpopped kernels and none were burnt!
This was a great experience and a relatively healthy snack! I think my next experiment will be to re-create this local favorite.