The 5-2 Challenge. On Trend. Gourmet Popcorn with Nori Gomashio. A Japanese Sesame Seed, Seaweed and Salt Seasoning.

Popcorn With Nori Gomashio Seasoning


Fast days seem to roll around quite quickly and continue to take me by surprise. In my refrigerator for dinner tonight. Beautifully fresh line-caught salmon fillets. I adore salmon but with one 180 gram fillet accounting for over half my 500 calorie allowance on a fast day, that means its slim pickings for my remaining food choices today.

Miso soup, at a mere 35 calories a cup, is the obvious solution for lunch but my rumbling stomach has other ideas. Rummaging through my pantry I chance upon a jar of popcorn kernels. Problem solved. High in fibre popcorn is a faster’s dream, helping you feel fuller longer, keeping pesky cravings at bay. The all important proviso being – as long as you stay away from the temptation of high fat, high calorie toppings.

Gourmet popcorn toppings are very much on trend at the moment. A world apart from the generic, artificial butter flavoured offerings available at any cinema megaplex, today’s popcorn is seriously upmarket. Decadently flavoured with anything and everything from black truffles to wasabi. So here it is. The perfect opportunity to combine two on trend fads. A 5-2 fasting day version of gourmet popcorn.

With my solitary  mug of miso in hand, I popped corn kernels in the microwave and contemplated Japanese themed topping possibilities to complement my soup. Ordinarily I have a jar of Shichimi Togarashi ( a spicy Japanese seven flavour seasoning) in my pantry. A delicious blend of chillies, orange peel, black and white toasted sesame seeds, ginger, Szechuan pepper and nori. The Japanese table equivalent of salt and pepper. To my mind, the  perfect seasoning for a low calorie popcorn fix. Alas, as luck would have it, today that jar was empty.

Another option? The equally delicious Nori Gomashio. A Japanese seaweed, sesame seed and sea salt seasoning. Incredibly easy to recreate at home with just three ingredients. So here it is. My version of gourmet popcorn with Nori Gomashio. Complete with a very easy method of popping corn kernels in the microwave using a  brown paper lunch bag. At only 62 calories a cup it makes for a very tasty, fast day treat. Had I been able to exercise a little self control over the popcorn I would have been able to remain well within my 500 calorie limit.

2 cups  tea
1 Cup Home-Made Miso Soup
Mid Afternoon
Gourmet Popcorn with  Nori Gomashio
180 g Salmon, grilled
Cauliflower and Cannellini Bean Mash
2 cups tea
Total Calories


Gourmet Popcorn with Nori Gomashio. A Japanese Sesame Seed, Seaweed and Salt Seasoning.

Makes approximately 5 cups popped popcorn (30 calories per cup unseasoned/ 62 calories per cup seasoned)

1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels (131 calories)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil (20 calories)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt,
3  tablespoons Nori Gomashio Seasoning  (recipe follows) (156 calories)

IN A CUP mix together the unpopped kernels and oil. Pour the coated corn into a brown paper bag  sprinkle in sea salt. Fold the top of the bag over twice to seal in the ingredients.
PLACE the bag in the microwave – standing upright on the carousel. Cook at full power for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until you hear pauses of about 2 seconds between pops.
CAREFULLY open the bag and immediately shake 3 tablespoons of the nori gomashio  seasoning onto the popcorn. The moisture from the steam should help the seasoning adhere to the popcorn.
POUR into a serving bowl, discarding any unpopped kernels of corn. Season to taste, remembering that any additional Nori Gomashio added to the bowl increases the calorie count.

Footnote: Heating half a tablespoon of oil and drizzling it onto the popcorn before adding the seasoning helps the seasoning to adhere to the popcorn more easily. This adds another 60 calories to the whole bowl of popcorn or an additional 12 calories per cup. A feast day variation perhaps.

Nori Gomashio (Japanese Sesame Seed, Seaweed and Salt Seasoning)

Makes 8 tablespoons / 24 teaspoons
52 calories per tablespoon / 18 calories per teaspoon

1/2 cup unhulled sesame seeds (405 calories)
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
1 sheet nori (10 calories)

HEAT a wok over medium heat.
ADD sesame seeds and sea salt. Dry roast in the hot wok, stirring constantly, until the sesame seeds begin to pop and smell toasty. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Be careful not to burn the sesame seeds as you will need to start again.
REMOVE from heat and keep stirring occasionally to make sure the seeds don’t burn from the residual heat.
MEANWHILE, using tongs, toast 1 side of the nori over an open flame until it turns bright green and shrivels a little. Crumble over the sesame seeds
IMMEDIATELY transfer the warm mixture to a mortar and pestle, spice grinder or food processor. Grind or pulse coarsely, leaving some of the sesame seeds whole.
WHEN cool transfer seasoning to an airtight container for storage.

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5 Responses to The 5-2 Challenge. On Trend. Gourmet Popcorn with Nori Gomashio. A Japanese Sesame Seed, Seaweed and Salt Seasoning.

  1. Vinny Grette says:

    Gourmet popcorn, indeed! Bravo!

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