A recipe for a popcorn salad is dividing opinion online after it was shared by The Food Network.
While you can buy both sweet and savoury popcorn, one chef, Molly Yeh, has taken it to the next level by adding it to vegetables with a dressing.
Cookbook author Yeh explained it’s an “iconic midwestern dish”, which calls for snap peas, shallots, carrots and celery with a mayonnaise dressing – not forgetting the popcorn.
In a video shared on The Food Network‘s Facebook page, she calls the salad “so midwestern, so quirky and so delicious.”
Yeh starts by seasoning a giant bowl of popcorn with white cheddar powder, which she calls “magic cheesy dust.”
As she whips up the dish, Yeh says: “Popcorn salad is one of those classic midwestern dishes that you would often find in a church basement pot luck. And it’s typically made of veggies, popcorn and mayonnaise, I know some people who put fish in theirs. And you think it’s not going to work and then you taste it and it’s really good.
Popcorn salad recipe, via The Food Network
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
Vegetable oil, as needed for popping
White Cheddar popcorn seasoning, for the popcorn
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sugar snap peas, strings removed, cut crosswise into thirds
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup chopped celery plus 1/2 cup tender inner celery leaves
1 bunch watercress, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
“The texture of the popcorn in the salad is so weirdly good, I just can’t get enough of it. See it looks like you’re going to get a salad, but you look underneath and you see a pile of popcorn. That’s my kind of salad.”
Food blogger Yeh then serves it up to her friends, as one of them admits: “I have never heard of popcorn salad. It is surprisingly delicious.”
The Food Network clip was captioned: “Def going to start adding POPCORN to every single salad now, Molly Yeh! Croutons, who?!”
Thousands of people watched and commented the video, and it later went viral after being shared on Twitter, with people unsure of how they felt about the unusual food pairing.
Commenting on the recipe, Cassie Marie asked: “Am I the only one who has lived their entire life in the mid-west and have never seen a popcorn salad? I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I try it but is this an actual staple recipe and from where?!
While Erin Long Mauzy joked: “She has to hide the popcorn with watercress because she can’t even fathom what she just made.”
Sheila Garner-Allen added: “I love your food comedy! Popcorn Salad? I guess this pandemic brought out a lot of creativity?”
While Facebooker Jenefer Lynn: “That’s it! Take away her food handlers card. Anyone making this monstrosity is not ready for the responsibility of preparing real food or making sure it’s safe for human consumption.”
But not everyone was unimpressed with the dish, with Penny Hafner writing: “Popcorn salad is so yummy. I make mine a little different. I know it sounds weird but it’s so yummy. Ya have to try it just once.”
Yeh shares her culinary adventures on her show Girl Meets Farm, hosted by the network, exploring midwestern cuisine as well as dishes inspired by her Chinese roots.