Dried shiitake mushrooms are loaded with guanylate, which teams up with the glutamate in nutritional yeast and nori to produce an over-the-top umami seasoning that is ready to elevate popcorn for movie night at home, which we’re doing a lot more of these days. Once you taste it, you’re going to want to sprinkle (or perhaps pour) this magic mushroom powder on everything, including roasted or steamed vegetables, baked potato, grilled fish, soups, pasta, and avocado toast. Luckily, it keeps well. You can also make it with dried porcini mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms deliver polysaccharide compounds that may have anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting powers. Nutritional yeast offers up a huge dose of essential B vitamins including thiamine and vitamin B12.
To deepen the umami flavour of nori, you can toast the sheets first. To do so, heat heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium and dry toast nori sheets one at a time until darkened, about 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, place nori sheets on baking sheet in one layer. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 5 to 7 minutes, flipping halfway during baking time, until roasted and crispy. Let sheets cool down to room temperature before pulsing them into seasoning.
3 nori sheets
1 oz (30 mL) dried shiitake mushrooms, caps snapped off
1/4 cup (60 mL) nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp (2 mL) garlic powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) onion powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil or sunflower oil, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) popcorn kernels
Crumble nori sheets into spice grinder, food processor, or blender and then add mushrooms, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, thyme, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Process until mixture has turned into a powder. Transfer to bowl and stir in sesame seeds.
In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil. Put 4 popcorn kernels in pan and cover pan. When kernels pop, pour in remaining kernels in an even layer. Cover pan, lift it off the heat, and count 30 seconds. Return pan to heat, with lid slightly ajar to release some steam, and once popping is rapid, gently shake pan back and forth on the burner. Once popping slows to a crawl, remove pan from heat and pour popcorn into large bowl. Immediately toss with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil and then season with 1/4 cup (60 mL) mushroom powder mix.