Hibiscus sugar popcorn is sweet, tangy and tart. Buttered popcorn is sprinkled with a beautiful lavender colored hibiscus sugar. The hibiscus sugar tastes like a Sweet Tart, and pairs well with the creaminess of the butter, and the crispiness of the popcorn. It’s a unique and delicious treat!
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What Is Hibiscus?
Hibiscus, also called jamaica (pronounced hah-MY-cah) in Spanish, is a type of plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions. It’s native to India and Malaysia, but can also be found in China, Thailand, Sudan, and Mexico.
The dried hibiscus you buy isn’t the flower petals, it’s the calyx and sepals. The calyx is the bud’s outer layer that protects the developing flower. It’s made up of sepals that are dried and sold whole or ground into tea.
What Does Hibiscus Taste Like?
Hibiscus has a tart, sour and mildly fruity flavor, similar to a cranberry or pomegranate. It’s not floral in flavor so it works in savory as well as sweet dishes.
What Can You Do with Hibiscus?
Here are some of the many ways to use hibiscus.
Where To Buy Hibiscus
How to Store Hibiscus
To keep hibiscus fresh as long as possible, store in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture. If stored properly, hibiscus can stay fresh for up to 2 years.
HIBISCUS SUGAR POPCORN INGREDIENTS
- Popcorn: You can use air-popped, unflavored microwave popcorn, or stovetop popcorn (see here for how to make perfect stovetop popcorn).
- Butter – I used unsalted, but feel free to use salted.
- Dried hibiscus flowers – I used 2 fat tablespoons of dried hibiscus to make 1 1/2 tsp powdered hibiscus.
- White sugar
MAKE HIBISCUS SUGAR
Step 1: Add dried hibiscus and white sugar to a high-speed blender or food processor.
Step 2: Blend until the hibiscus has turned into powder
PREPARE THE POPCORN
Step 3: Make 8 cups of popcorn. I prefer stovetop popcorn (see my recipe for perfect stovetop popcorn here), but you can use air-popped or unseasoned microwave popcorn. Use 1/4 cup popcorn kernels to make 8 cups of popcorn.
Step 4: Make sure to remove all un-popped kernels.
Step 5: Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.
ADD THE BUTTER
Step 6: Melt butter in microwave.
Step 7: Drizzle butter over popcorn. Toss to coat.
ADDING HIBISCUS SUGAR TO POPCORN
Step 8: Using a spoon, sprinkle strawberry sugar mixture over popcorn.
Step 9: Toss to coat.
Tips & Tricks
- Use a high-powered blender. I tried this first in a food processor and it left small pieces of hibiscus. Little pieces of hibiscus are not as appealing as leaving small pieces of strawberries in my Strawberry Popcorn recipe. My high-powered blender was able to turn the hibiscus into a powder.
- Let the hibiscus sugar settle in the blender. The blending process creates a cloud of hibiscus sugar. Leave the blender lid on for a bit while the cloud settles.
How Long Does Hibiscus Sugar Popcorn Last?
Hibiscus sugar popcorn doesn’t last long, but not just because it tastes so good that you’ll probably eat it all in one sitting! It also will get soggy if it’s not eaten soon after making because of the melted butter.
I would suggest making just enough to eat at a time. If you do have any left over, you can probably store it for a day, two would be pushing it. To crisp it up, put it in a 250°F oven for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
How to Store Hibiscus Sugar Popcorn
- 8 cups popped popcorn (made from 1/4 cup popcorn kernels)
- 2 fat Tbsp dried hibiscus, or 1 1/2 tsp powdered hibiscus
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- Prepare popcorn, remove unpopped kernels and put in bowl.
- Add dried hibiscus and sugar to a food processor or high-speed blender.
- Blend until the hibiscus has turned to powder. Set aside.
- Melt butter in microwave.
- Drizzle butter over popcorn and toss to coat.
- Spoon hibiscus sugar mixture over buttered popcorn. Toss to coat.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.