Pad Thai Popcorn Recipe -
Pad Thai Popcorn Recipe
1 Photo
Pad Thai Popcorn
See how to make this sensational, sweet and spicy snack! See more

Pad Thai Popcorn

Recipe by  

"Crispy, crunchy, sweet, spicy, aromatic, and awesome! You know I'm a fan of the hyperbole, but it's with all sincerity that I say this may be the greatest caramel popcorn-related snack breakthrough since balls."

+ Recipe Box + Shopping List + Menu Print

Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 cups popcorn Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    55 mins

    1 hr 10 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C). Line baking sheet with foil brushed with vegetable oil or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add popcorn; cover and cook, shaking often, until fully popped, about 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to a large bowl using a strainer or your hands, leaving unpopped kernels in the pan. Stir chopped peanuts into popcorn.
  3. Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add lime juice and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in sambal oelek, lime zest, and baking soda. Pour brown sugar mixture over popcorn, stirring to coat. Spread popcorn out on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven, tossing every 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and sticky, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool and become crispy. Toss with cilantro before serving.
Kitchen-Friendly View


  • Tip
  • Parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 28, 2013

1st bite: weird. 2nd bite: not too bad. 3rd bite: sorta spicy huh? 4th bite: what great flavor. 5th bite: this stuff is good. 6th bite: OMG I can't stop eating it. 7th bite: Mine! All Mine! 8th to 100th bite: I love Chef John!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 04, 2013

While an interesting treat, I found that it burned easily when using a foil lined tray. I had much better results using a tray lined with a silicone mat.


21 Ratings

Nov 04, 2012

I made a double batch of this yummiest today. So good and so different. I was really excited to try this and was very happy with the results. I must say I did make 1 change because, unlike Chef John, I am a crazy person. Watch the video if you don't know what I'm talking about. Anyway, I used organic brown rice syrup instead of the corn syrup. It worked beautifully. I did also leave it in the oven for 1 hour also. I felt that it wasn't crusty enough after 40 min. It turned out better then I thought. I have made a number of Chef John's recipes and I have yet to be disappointed, in fact I think I am starting to have a crush on him. He knows good food! Oh I should add that if you keep your unpopped corn in the freezer you will get almost no unpopped kernels while cooking your corn. You can get bulk organic popcorn at any whole foods or health food store for about $ 1.00 a lb. Make this recipe you won't be disappointed.

Aug 08, 2012

I saw this recipe on the Allrecipes channel on Roku and knew I had to try it. WOW!! It's wonderful! The previous reviewer mentioned that it was too spicy, but I think the heat level is really just a matter of preference as I found it to be perfect. I didn't top with cilantro because I wasn't sure how well the fresh cilantro would store on the popcorn, but it was still just absolutely fantastic. My 6 year-old did complain that it made the house smell like wet dog while it was cooking, and she has a point, but I promise- it's well worth the fish sauce-y smell while it's in the oven!

Jun 29, 2012

I made this for a potluck, and most people liked it but I put a bit too much "heat" in it for some. This was fun to make and fairly simple. Plus, it definitely tastes like Pad Thai. I had always wanted to make a type of caramel corn, so this recipe was easy-to-follow and basically no fail. All said, I will probably make it again some time in the future.

Apr 07, 2013

Started to make this and remembered I was out of canola so...I used coconut oil in the sauce. Used half a cup of popcorn and would go heaping next time, there was enough sauce to cover. Since there was a hot element to this I used hot chili oil to pop the corn. Even with that and a full T of Sricacha I would have liked more heat. Added cilantro to each serving instead of the whole batch for ease in storing leftovers.

Feb 24, 2013

Crazy good! Didn't change a thing.

Oct 26, 2012

I just made 3 batches of this popcorn. It's so good; spicy, sweet, savory. I followed exactly...very simple. Hardest part for me is popping the corn! I used parchment paper and clean up was easy. The fresh cilantro adds a wonderful fresh flavor and looks great.


Rate This Recipe

Glad you liked it! Your friends will, too:


  • Calories
  • 288 kcal
  • 14%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 32.8 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 17 g
  • 26%
  • Fiber
  • 2.8 g
  • 11%
  • Protein
  • 5.4 g
  • 11%
  • Sodium
  • 432 mg
  • 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

See More

About the Cook

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Cool As A Cucumber Salad
Cool As A Cucumber Salad

We have over 100 cucumber salads to help you keep your cool.

Classic Meatloaf
Classic Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the hearty, family-pleasing meal that makes the greatest leftovers ever.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

Related Videos

Pad Thai Popcorn

See how to make this sensational, sweet and spicy snack!

Funky Popcorn

Light, airy buttered popcorn starring the aromatic flavors of the Middle East.

Thai Spiced Barbecue Shrimp

See how to make a kicking Thai-inspired marinade for grilled shrimp.

Recently Viewed Recipes

Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States