Hurricane Popcorn in a Jiffy

Hurricane Popcorn

Jiffy Pop

With the the summer blockbuster movie season in full swing, I thought it was a fitting time to discuss popcorn.

Just as unique as SPAM Musubi is to the islands, another similar east-meets-west local favorite is “Hurricane Popcorn”. If you go to a movie theater here, chances are you’ll see the locals combining mochi crunch (a.k.a. Arare or Rice Cracker) with popcorn in their cardboard box tray.

According to Hawaii Popcorn Company, registered trademark name owner and maker of “Hawaiian Hurricane” Popcorn, it was created in 1991 in Kaneohe, having their beginnings serving this delicacy out of a pushcart.

Let’s take a closer look.

It comes in a box of three 6 oz. packages…

Each package looks to be ready for resale, including complete information on back and a peg-hook puka (hole)…

Unpacking it, you see it’s like a kit…

This “kit” includes a bag of standard-sized, plain, unsalted microwave popcorn, a packet (in silver) of Mochi Crunch and Furikake, an artificially-flavored butter packet and a folded empty plastic mixing bag to combine everything.

Here’s the contents of the mochi crunch and furikake packet…

Mochi Crunch is a lightly sweetened, soy sauce-flavored rice cracker. Furikake comes in a variety of combinations and ingredients nowadays, but the one used here is a very basic sweetened nori (dried seaweed) flakes (teriyaki style) and sesame seeds and that’s it.

You simply nuke the microwave popcorn bag on high, which takes about 3-1/2 minutes. Then you let it cool so it doesn’t melt the plastic mixing bag. After about a minute to cool down, transfer it into the mixing bag, along with the mochi crunch and furikake and butter…

The instructions recommends to mix the dry ingredients before adding the butter (flavored, colored oil), which is what I did, and it combined evenly like a charm. Nice. You gently shake it around while holding the top of the bag closed.

And voila, Hurricane Popcorn!…

Hurricane Popcorn is like the non-meat equivalent to SPAM Musubi. It has the same complimentary contrast the nori provides, which in this case, instead of rice is popcorn, while the Mochi Crunch acts like the SPAM, providing that savory, robust element. It really is a perfect, genius match!

The best part of eating Hurricane Popcorn is at the end, where the Mochi Crunch-to-Popcorn ratio is much higher due to the mochi cruch falling to the bottom…

This is the point where you don’t share the bowl. lol

Popcorn tends to bring out the kid in us, where speaking of which, remember Jiffy Pop? I used to LOVE Jiffy Pop! I was shopping at Safeway on Kapahulu last weekend, when I came upon the popcorn section and spocked Jiffy Pop on the shelf. Wow, they still make that? Awesome! So I picked up a couple of ’em to try once again…

This Jiffy Pop was $2.50 each, and there was just one flavor: butter.

Is that a teflon coating on the bottom?…

Here’s the instructions, which are under the cardboard lid label…

I remember as a kid, I always wanted to sabotage (but never did it, because I knew better) the foil by puncturing it before my sister started popping it lol…

So I followed the instructions precisely, and within under a minute it started popping away, taking just about 2-1/2 minutes to finish, which is “jiffy” indeed, beating out the microwave stuff by a minute!…

Another thing I remember was being afraid the thing was gonna’ explode on the stove, and I must confess, I kinda’ got a little nervous, even now. lol

There you have it, Jiffy Pop!…

I was rather disappointed in the quality of the popcorn with this Jiffy Pop. It’s manufactured by Con Agra, which might explain their lack of focus on this product vs. if it were manufactured by say, Orville Redenbacher. It was a little too salty and soggy and chewy in texture. Not horribly, but enough to desire better.

Still, it was fun making it, and certainly something you should try (again) just for old time’s sake. Even better if you have children. You’ll get a kick in their reaction as the foil grows with every explosive kernel. I can almost guarantee at least one of them will get scared and hide or run away. Lotta’ fun!

Well, it’s a Saturday, and I just might make it over to the Consolidated Ward to catch Bat Man: Dark Knight, tempted to smuggle in a “Hurricane Handy-Pack” of Furikake and Mochi Crunch!

Related Links:
Jiffy Pop (Wikipedia)


20 thoughts on “Hurricane Popcorn in a Jiffy

  1. I absolutely love your posts! This one looks interesting. Pretty pricey, though. Wonder if I can duplicate the taste myself? OK, I going try this afternoon. LOL

  2. I got sweet tooth for popcorn. Melted chocolate over popcorn cool for a sweet snack some time add mashmellow too. I like dark choc most.

  3. Hi Gwen and mahalo for the compliments. Easy to duplicate. The trick is to buy the most BASIC Furikake you can get. For the mochi crunch, I would recommend the Tomoe brand. Otherwise, the Enjoy brand will work.

    Amy, melted chocolate and marshmellows sounds like a “S’more” spin-off.

  4. I’ve always wondered what comes in that box! P.S. Orville Redenbacher’s is a ConAgra brand also, I guess they put more work into some brands than others.

  5. Pomai, thanks for getting me thinking about Hurricane Popcorn! I got hooked on it a few years ago, when some neighbors went to visit family in Hawaii and came back with a few bags of it for me (as a thank-you for watching their house). Last time we were in Hawaii, I stocked up as well, but now my supply is gone. I think I will try to make my own, since I have arare and I have furikake in my pantry.

    For some reason, the butter-flavor packet that comes with the kit grosses me out, so I just threw it out and melted some real butter instead. I’m just a real-butter girl. It was ono!

  6. I buy my popcorn, loose, from down to earth and bring it back with me to pop on the stove. Then I add my arare and furikake. I find that the arare in the pre-packaged hurricane mix tends to be stale.

  7. I second the Tomoe brand for the arare; my friend hooked me on the “gomatan” (sesame seed) arare because it’s rectangular shape doesn’t slide down to the bottom of the box/bowl as much as the other shapes (according to her scientific studies, lol). For those of you unfamiliar with it, the furikake should NOT be fishy-tasting; that means it’s old! Bleah.

  8. I agree that the butter that comes in the hurricane popcorn is nasty. I usually just leave it out. It means my furikake doesn’t stick as good but I just have to shake it every so often. lol.

  9. Robyn & Jenny, while I wouldn’t go as far as calling that faux butter stuff included with the kit “nasty”, it surely can’t beat REAL melted butter. I just used it for this demo’ to stay true to the product.

    Actually, I prefer margarine, which isn’t good, as that stuff is made using hydrogenated oil, which isn’t good for the heart. Gotta’ change that habit.

    Kat, making this or my own private enjoyment, I always make it from scratch ingredients, meaning FRESH, crispy Tomoe Arare and Furikake from Marukai Market.

    Fran, thanks for the info’ on Orville being a ConAgra product. Perhaps the Jiffy Pop was chewy because the product was sitting on the shelf for a long time. Or the vent is too small, making the popcorn steam while it’s popping. While I wouldn’t buy Jiffy Pop again anytime soon, if and when I do, I’d try making more pukas in the center area to allow more steam to escape while it pops. That might help.

  10. Can’t take the island out of the boy..

    We just went to see Wall-E (kinda late, but oh well) and snuck in our mochi-crunch and furikake, the kind we have to get at asian grocery stores since we live in Texas now) and mixed it up with the movie popcorn just like old times. I can’t describe how awesome that combonation of flavors is. I wish they would figure it out over here, but then I guess that would make Hawaii less “special” eh?

    Great post. Always makes me hungry coming here!

  11. Great post. I remember getting real hurricane popcorn at a cart at Windward mall back in the early 90s. Wish that was still around. I’ve bought this twice at Costco, and with every single package (all 8 of ’em!) the kakimochi was really stale. I’ve tried making my own because of this, as well as cost, but can’t get the buttery topping right. I’ve used Orville’s flavored oil and that was weird tasting. Their pour-over butter packets are super salty. And as great as real butter is, it’s just not the same as that yummy fake stuff! Anyone have any suggestions?

    BTW, does anyone remember the other popcorn concoctions the company sold. I’m sure there was more than just the hurricane.

  12. deedee, are you on Oahu? Carousel Candyland in Kahala Mall makes hurricane popcorn. Ranch and BBQ flavors come to mind, but I might be mixing it up with another place.

  13. Hurricane popcorn sounds like the kind of salty goodness I need to indulge in very soon. I like to throw Mrs. Dash or grated cheese on mine occasionally, but never have I gone this Hawaiian route! Sounds just delish.

  14. I LOVE furikake on popcorn! But I never knew it had a name, and rules, and all that 🙂 People around here think it’s a little bit of a strange combination. Then again, I put Old Bay on popcorn too, and that gets rave reviews. East Coast vs West Coast, maybe?

  15. I’ve never considered putting Old Bay on popcorn, eris! I’ll have to give that a shot as well. I made my own hurricane popcorn the other night but it wasn’t as good as making it from the kit. I think you need the right type of popcorn. I used Orville Redenbacher’s microwave popcorn, and it was salty and butter-flavored to begin with, so combined with the furikake and arare it was way too much salt and muddy flavors. Next time I’ll haul out the air-popper so I can start off with clean, unsalted, unflavored popcorn.

  16. Marie, Mrs. Dash and grated cheese sounds like a great combo! So does the Old Bay Popcorn Eris and Jenny mentioned. Something a little more zesty and robust. To think of how many of those various pre-blended seasoning shakers I must have thrown away that were just sitting in the pantry half-used and expired, when I should have thought of Popcorn!

    Jenny, yeah, you need to start with plain, unseasoned, unflavored popcorn, as most Furikake mixes already have plenty enough salt and sugar in it. Of course, the Mochi Crunch will just add to that.

    Josh, it would be interesting (if you were allowed) to add the Furikake and Mochi Crunch at the concession stand condiment station in front of other Texan patrons just to see their reaction when you do that. Guaranz someone would either look at you strange and/or ask you “What the heck is that you’re puttin’ your popcorn!” lol Then watch their face light up after they try a sample you offer them!

    DeeDee, that’s the same complaint I’ve heard from a few people who’s purchased the commercially-packed “Hawaiian Hurricane” popcorn as shown here. Fortunately I didn’t find the Mochi Crunch in this package that bad. It still was acceptably-crunchy. It would probably have a much better shelf life if they could put a dessicant packet in there, but they’re probably worried someone might end up adding that into their popcorn, which wouldn’t be good!

    Leanne, thanks for the tip on Carousel Candyland! I’m one with “Mall-Phobia”, but next time I’m in Kahala Mall, I’ll be sure to check that out. Nothing like fresh-made!

  17. Great work, Pomai. Would love a follow-up post on how to do this without paying the ridiculous price of those prepackaged hurricane kits. There are ways to get the same flavors just picking up the right pieces at the grocery store, and I’ve almost got it down pat. Tomoe arare, nori komi furikake (I think?), and we actually use “popcorn oil” since microwave popcorn itself is already oversalted and overflavored. Not exactly the “Hurricane(tm)” brand experience, but much, much easier to swallow, price wise!

  18. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post a do it yourself. I know your thinking its so easy but I really would love your take on this. Down to the exact nori you use etc,etc.


  19. Matthew, Ryan, who posted just before you, gave out some really good tips on what exactly to use for the perfect home-made “Hurricane” popcorn. I’ll second the Tomoe arare brand, which is my personal favorite.

    Nori Komi Furikake is the right one to use as well, as it contains no bonito or other dried seafood bits in it (which are also available). Just a a basic sweet-salty seaweed and sesame seed seasoning flavor. That’s all you want.

  20. Pingback: Anger Burger » Blog Archive » Hello, I’m A Teenager

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s