Popped Sorghum

By • July 22, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Maria Speck, author of "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals" and "Simply Ancient Grains," brings us this recipe for popped sorghum. Starting with Internet research and a recipe on the sorghum package from Bob’s Red Mill, she made a few more tweaks. She recommends not using any oil when popping sorghum—the oil will burn before the sorghum pops. If you like, you can spray on a bit of olive oil for aroma at the end.

This recipe includes a tip by Cook’s Illustrated to allow the kernels to evenly heat during a short time off the flame once the pot is preheated. This method resulted in the least amount of burnt and unpopped kernels, about 3/4 teaspoon. But don't worry if you burn a few: Unlike with regular popcorn you won’t break your teeth on these small, crunchy kernels. In fact, the dark nuggets tastes just as good as the popped ones, if not better.


Makes about 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) whole-grain sorghum
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for spraying (optional)
  • Aleppo pepper or dried red chile flakes, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Have a small bowl at the ready near the stove. Add about 5 tiny sorghum kernels to a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and wait until 2 or 3 kernels pop, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Pay close attention as they will pop gently, almost inaudibly. Wearing oven mitts, remove the pot from the heat. Add the remaining sorghum and shake to spread the grains. Cover and allow to sit for 30 seconds, then return over medium-high heat.
  2. Shaking the pot frequently, with the lid a crack ajar, heat until the crackly activity slows down a fair bit, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes more. I recommend, about halfway through, to turn down the heat to medium. There will always be some smoke but this reduces the number of darkened kernels.

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