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Chilean Merkén Spiced Popcorn Recipe
Chilean Merkén Spiced Popcorn Recipe

Popcorn, or “cabritas” as known in Chile, is probably the favorite snack for movie nights, birthdays, or just enjoying at any time. Discover how to give this traditional salty snack an enticing and fiery twist with the addition of merkén.

How to make Merkén Spiced Popcorn?

The traditional salty popcorn perfectly adapts to this delicious and, if desired, spicier version with merkén.

Nutritional Information

Category: Appetizers
Cuisine: Chilean
Calories: 300
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Merkén Spiced Popcorn recipe


  • 100 g of whole corn kernels
  • 60 ml of oil
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ teaspoon of merkén
  • Salt


  1. Pour the corn kernels (available in supermarkets or roasteries) into a medium bowl and remove any impurities or broken kernels.
  2. In a very large pot with a vented lid, heat the oil over high heat. Add the corn kernels, spreading them to cover the bottom of the pot in a single layer. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Once the kernels begin to pop, shake the pot every 10 to 15 seconds to prevent the popcorn from sticking to the bottom or sides of the pot.
  3. Once the popping slows down or stops, remove the pot from the heat and carefully uncover to release the steam. Stand back a bit and let it rest for an additional minute in case any kernels continue to pop.
  4. In a small pan, melt the butter, incorporate the merkén and salt to taste, stir to integrate flavors and aromas, transfer to a large bowl, pour over the infused butter and gently mix to flavor all the popcorn.
  5. Serve the merkén spiced popcorn cold or warm, at any occasion, accompanied by beer or natural juice.

Origin of popcorn

Popcorn or “cabritas” originated in ancient America long before European colonizers arrived. They became popular in the United States in the 19th century, where it turned into a common fair and circus treat.

Did you know?

Whole corn kernels have three main components: germ, endosperm, and pericarp. They pop due to the release of water contained inside the kernel, which turns into steam when heated, inflating and spilling out its starch. This gives popcorn the beloved appearance we all know and enjoy.


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