Moo Shu Pork Burgers

The classic American burger gets an Asian twist with juicy pork patties, a vegetable-filled egg pancake and sweet hoisin sauce in these Moo Shu Pork Burgers.

These Moo Shu Pork Burgers are a fun spin on the classic Chinese dish.

I hope you’re ready for the ultimate shake-up. That’s right, ASIAN-THEMED burgers that are going to knock your socks off. A total flavor mash-up that’s got so many flavors going on, you won’t know what hit you. A protein bomb that will keep you full for hours yet dreaming of the next time you can bite into something that tastes this good.

You’ve been sufficiently warned, and now I’d like to introduce to you my new best friends: Moo Shu Pork Burgers!

Okay, in all seriousness here, this wasn’t originally my idea. I’ve mentioned many times on this blog the inspiration I get from my dad (like when I made these Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting or his namesake Dad’s Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Chili), and these burgers are another such inspiration. It was one of those random ideas that came to him which he then proceeded to make a couple of times, without writing down any sort of recipe, and then proceeded to forget exactly what he had done.

So when I called him for a low-down on what he had done for these Moo Shu Pork Burgers that I had only heard about and never had the pleasure of tasting, we basically had to start from scratch and brainstorm together exactly what would make the ultimate Moo Shu Pork Burger.

Moo Shu Pork Burgers consist of a juicy pork patty, vegetable-filled egg pancake, sweet hoisin sauce and crunchy sprouts, all on a delicious white bun.

If you’re not familiar with the popular Chinese dish, Moo Shu Pork consists of sliced pork tenderloin, tons of shredded/chopped veggies such as cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots and green onion, and bits of scrambled egg all served with thin tortilla-like pancakes and a side of hoisin. It’s usually up to you to construct your own “wraps”, and I’ll be the first to tell you it’s easy to go overboard because it is all just soooo delicious.

After brainstorming with dad on how to make a typically taco-like dish into burger form, we decided on the following:

The first step in making a successful Moo Shu Pork Burger is a huge, juicy burger patty made from ground pork and a variety of Asian-influenced spices. I used a combination of cinnamon, fennel pollen, allspice, salt and pepper, but if you have Chinese 5 Spice on hand (I didn’t) you could easily just use that in lieu of everything else.

Juicy Asian-spiced pork patties ready to be made into delicious Moo Shu Pork Burgers!

The second step is to make a “scrambled egg pancake”, loaded with all of the veggies you’d normally include in your Moo Shu Pork. For me, this included bamboo shoots, garlic, shredded carrots, cabbage and green onions.

And, if you’re wondering how to make a scrambled egg pancake, it’s basically just an open-faced omelet. You’ll want to use a nonstick pan with enough room for your egg mixture to spread out fairly thinly, and then just use a spatula to lift up the corners once they are cooked and let any runny egg drain under to cook. Once all of the egg is cooked through, turn off the heat and cut the pancake into wedges like you would a pizza to eventually transfer on top of your pork patty when you are constructing the final product.

Which is what we need to talk about next! After you have your patties cooked and your eggs prepped, the finishing touches of these Moo Shu Pork Burgers come together REALLY quickly. Which is a good thing, because when all these smells start permeating your kitchen you’re going to be chomping at the bit to dig in.

A close-up look at all of the delicious fixings that go into a Moo Shu Pork Burger!

Although the ambitious side of me sort of wanted to make homemade buns from scratch that closely resembled steamed dumpling dough, the pregnant (and more practical) side of me said “Who are you kidding, no one’s going to want to make their own buns for a delicious weeknight meal such as this.” So instead I went for your basic white hamburger buns. Nothing special, but they were just what these Moo Shu Pork Burgers needed.

For assembly, simply plop the pork patty on the bun, add your wedge of veggie-loaded egg pancake, top with a generous dollop of hoisin (which you can find at any large grocery store in the Asian foods sections) and finish off with some fresh sprouts. The final test is to see if you can get your mouth around the entire thing once you’re done!

You may need to cut your Moo Shu Pork Burgers in half to be able to tackle them!

Moo Shu Pork Burgers
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

The classic burger gets an Asian twist with juicy pork patties, a vegetable-filled egg pancake and sweet hoisin sauce. Your burger game will never be the same!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
For the pork patties:
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, fennel pollen, ground allspice, salt and pepper
For the egg pancake:
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped bamboo shoots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed cabbage and carrots
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Other ingredients:
  • 4 classic white hamburger buns
  • Hoisin sauce, for topping
  • Bean sprouts, for topping
  1. First, make the pork patties. Combine all patty ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then form into four large patties. I like to use two small, round bread plates with parchment paper on either side to press patties into uniform circles. Once circles are formed, press an indent in the middle with your finger.

  2. Turn your grill on at medium heat and place patties on the grill. Cook for 5-10 minutes each side, or until they no longer feel squishy in the middle. Remove from heat and set aside while you make your egg pancake.

  3. Warm avocado oil in a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. While oil is warming, add all vegetables to your slightly beaten eggs, then pour entire mixture into pan. Let cook, without stirring, until the edges of the egg begin to harden. 

  4. Once the edges have set up, gently lift go around the pan lifting them up and tilting the pan in that direction so any runny egg flows underneath to cook. Continue this process until there is no runny egg left, then turn off the heat.

  5. Cut the egg pancake into four wedges, then get ready to assemble your burgers.

  6. To assemble, first place a pork patty on the bottom half of the bun, then top with a wedge of the egg pancake, followed by a hearty dollop of hoisin and, finally, a sprinkle of sprouts. Top with the other half of the hamburger bun and enjoy!

Moo Shu Pork Burgers |

Asian Paella

The classic Spanish dish gets an oriental flair with the use of lap cheong, shiitake mushrooms, and fresh snow peas in this Asian Paella.

A big pot of Asian Paella ready to be enjoyed!

Classic dishes, new flavors. That’s what I’m going for today with this super-duper tasty Asian Paella. I took the classic Spanish dish that I have for some reason been so intimidated to make and gave it my own Asian spin, and I am in LOVE with the result. I make a pretty darn good paella for an amateur, if I do say so myself 😉

Let’s talk for a second about that intimidation factor. I know I’ve said it before, but have you ever come across a dish that you’d die to be able to make on your own, yet that fear of the unknown holds you back? What if said dish takes an insanely long time to make? Or has some crazy involved technique that you have no idea how to do? Well, after forcing myself to tackle things like this Homemade Matcha Pasta and this Whisky Gravlax, I’m very happy to report that this is rarely (if ever) the case. I’m always amazed at how easy something ends up being after I’ve been so afraid to tackle it for so long!

So if there’s one lesson I want you to walk away with by reading this post (besides how to make an insanely delicious Asian Paella,) it’s that the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the kitchen are hardly ever so at all, so get in there and give a new dish or technique a shot. You’ll not only broaden your “foodie” horizons, but you’ll also both impress anyone you’re cooking for and help them feel more empowered to get in the kitchen on their own and make something out of the norm.

Up-close photo of the most delicious Asian Paella you've ever tasted!

Okay, enough preaching! Let’s talk about this Asian Paella. I first came up with this idea after the hubs and I had a date night at a fairly new Spanish restaurant here in Santa Barbara called Loquita. They have a huge selection of authentic tapas and main courses, and everything is served family-style so you pretty much have no choice but to share. Did I mention they also make amazing cocktails?

When the hubs and I went there, we decided to keep it fairly simple with just a couple of tapas and one order of paella, which really is enough to serve at least four people (but whoever complained about a few leftovers?) As I started tasting all of the different flavors in the dish – chorizo, chicken, fresh mushrooms and veggies – I realized that I could easily swap in some of my favorite Asian ingredients to give this classic dish a new twist.

I used the popular Chinese sausage lap cheong in lieu of the chorizo, and decided to go with easy-to-cook shrimp instead of the chicken. I also made sure to grab shiitake mushrooms and fresh snow peas along with the usual tomatoes and bell peppers.

All of the ingredients for delicious Asian Paella thrown into one big paella pan over the grill.

Because I was already using so many strong Asian flavors (namely the lap cheong and the shiitake mushrooms) I decided to keep the seasonings of the paella traditional, using smoked paprika and saffron. Be sure to use SMOKED paprika (which you can easily find at any grocery store, including Trader Joe’s) as it will help impart the delicious smoky flavor that will make your paella taste like you’ve been cooking it over open coals all day, rather than the gas grill I recommend using here. Also, if you’re hesitant to make the minor investment in very-expensive saffron, don’t be! As you can see from this recipe, a little bit really goes a long way so it will last you a while.

As far as the cooking process, I used my trusty Gourmet Today cookbook as my guide and followed their suggested technique of cooking the paella in an oven-proof paella pan (or wok, in my case) over a gas grill. Aside from the appliance that you cook the dishes on, from there the process is much like that of making risotto, if you’ve ever ventured into that territory.

You cook the proteins first (here, that means the shrimp and the lap cheong) and then add most of the vegetables. After those ingredients have gotten a good head start on cooking, you add the rice and then the chicken broth, stirring occasionally until the rice has soaked up nearly all of the broth and other delicious seasonings.

The protein, vegetables and broth for Asian Paella set to simmering before adding in the rice.

Asian Paella simmers over the grill, waiting for all of the delicious broth to be absorbed by the rice.

One other quick note RE: the rice. I did not use the traditional Bomba rice that most paella recipes call for, simply because I was too lazy to track some down and already had some sushi rice on hand, which still worked wonderfully! The only thing I did notice was that it got mushier the longer the paella sat, because it continued to soak up any sort of liquid that was left in the pan. This shouldn’t be an issue if you’re serving your Asian Paella hot off the grill (which is THE best way, I might add) but perhaps stop the cooking process a little bit earlier (before all of the liquid is completely absorbed) if you’re planning on reheating the dish to serve later.

The recipe technique I followed in Gourmet said the entire cooking process would take about two hours, and they were spot on. If you ask me, that’s not too intimidating and means that this recipe is still totally doable for any night of the week when you need to serve a crowd.

Asian Paella for humpday dinner, anyone?

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Asian Paella
Prep Time
50 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
2 hrs

The classic Spanish dish gets an oriental flair with the use of lap cheong, shiitake mushrooms, fresh snow peas and so much more!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning shrimp plus 1 teaspoon salt for paella
  • 1/2 pound lap cheong, sliced
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces sugar snap peas, cut in half diagonally
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 3 cups sushi rice
  1. In a large, oven-proof paella pan or wok, heat the olive oil over a gas grill set to medium-high heat. 

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the shrimp and juice of ½ a lemon and season with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to heated paella pan and cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until shrimp begins to turn pink and opaque. Add the lap cheong and continue to cook until shrimp looks mostly cooked through.

  3. Move shrimp and lap cheong to the edge of the pan and add mushrooms, snap peas and bell peppers to the center. Cook these vegetables, stirring every so often, for about 4 minutes.

  4. Add tomatoes, garlic and one teaspoon salt to mixture in center of pan and stir until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and cook, without stirring, for one minute before stirring the proteins on the edges of the pan back into the mixture. Stir in stock and saffron.

  5. Turn grill heat to high, cover the grill with a lid, and bring the mixture to a boil. This may take up to 20 minutes depending on your grill. Once mixture is boiling, turn heat back to medium-high and sprinkle rice evenly into the pan. Stir until all rice grains are submerged.

  6. Cook for 10 minutes, stir, and then stir. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes more, stirring at 5-minute intervals, until liquid is absorbed and rice is al dente.

  7. Using potholders, carefully remove pan from the grill and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

(Affiliate) links for special ingredients:

Asian Paella |

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel

These Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel are chock full of pork, crab and fresh herbs, all topped with a savory bechamel studded with bonito flakes.

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

This post was brought to you by all of the fab food I ate during my trip to Honolulu last month. One of my favorite things about traveling is going out to eat and getting inspiration from all of the delicious dishes I get to taste in the process. When I was younger, my dad would taste a dish at a restaurant and then, without even asking the server of chef exactly what ingredients were used, go home and recreate the dish perfectly. I like to think I got that skill from him?

Well, whether or not I recreate a dish perfectly back at home, I still have a blast playing around with new flavor combinations that I’ve been inspired by. This Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel was inspired by the Lobster Shumai with Savory Crème Anglaise we had at Lucky Belly on the last night of our trip. I desperately wanted to use lobster in my shumai as well, but hey, this gal is on a budget and couldn’t bear spending $20 on a quarter pound of lobster meat.

So crab meat it was, of course complimented by some ground pork to give the necessary heft to these shumai. For those of you who aren’t familiar with shumai, they are small, steamed Chinese dumplings, usually filled with a combination of ground pork, ginger, green onions, etc. They’re basically a potsicker, just shaped differently. If you’ve ever been to a dim sum restaurant, you’ve likely tasted these or at least seen them making the rounds on those little carts the servers roll around.

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

At Lucky Belly, they served their shumai as an appetizer, drenched in a delicious, savory Crème Anglaise. I decided to instead make a béchamel for my Crab and Pork Shumai (although the two sauces are very similar) and flavor it with dried bonito flakes (bonito is a type of fish that is a smaller relative of tuna.) If you’ve never heard of bonito flakes and never want to, that’s fine, just leave them out (although you’d certainly be missing out on an awesome flavor bomb.) But, if you’re feeling creative, just click here to order some on Amazon and you’ll have bonito for life (it’s very shelf stable.)

The whole process of making these Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel takes a little bit of time, but there’s nothing too difficult about it. You’ll first want to make your crab and pork filling by simply pulsing all of the filling ingredients in a food processor.

Then you simply lay out your square wonton wrappers (which you can also buy on Amazon if you don’t have an Asian market or Whole Foods near you) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and start scooping the filling on to them.

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

Dipping your fingers into a small bowl of water, you’ll then go through and pinch up the sides of each of the shumai, making them look a bit like a drawstring purse.

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

Traditionally, you would use a bamboo steamer lined with cabbage leaves to cook the shumai, however I used a typical stovetop steamer that I just sprayed with some cooking spray. It worked beautifully!

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

After a quick eight minutes in the steamer, your Crab and Pork Shumai are done! Then it’s time to make the béchamel.

I used the classic Julia Child recipe as a base for my Bonito Bechamel, which is really quite easy (don’t be intimidated!) The sauce did turn out a tad thicker than I had imagined, but I hear that’s common just based on how you cook it. If your sauce thickens up too much, simply add a tablespoon or so more of milk until you have the desired consistency.

Aside from the basic béchamel ingredients, all you need to do to make this “Bonito Bechamel” is add in a tablespoon of the bonito flakes at the end. It seems simple but, trust me, it will pack a ton of flavor!

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

And that’s it! Not too bad, right? And oh so delicious. The hubs absolutely went to town on these and I had to plead with him to leave me a few to have for lunch the next day. The savory pork and crab is balanced perfectly with the ginger, onions and other flavorings in the filling, and the Bonito Bechamel is the proverbial icing on the cake.

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel are the perfect light supper, and would even be a great hors d’oeuvres to bring to any sort of cocktail party. And, if you’re feeling fancy, spring for the lobster! Either way, you’ll want to have this recipe in your repertoire forever and ever and ever…

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
24 mins
Total Time
44 mins

These little dumplings of deliciousness are chock full of pork, crab and fresh herbs, all topped with a savory bechamel studded with bonito flakes.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 18 shumai
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
For the shumai:
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 teaspoons worth)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of fresh ground black pepper
  • 18 square wonton wrappers
For the bechamel:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon bonito flakes
  1. In a food processor, combine pork, crabmeat, ginger, garlic, green onions, cilantro, sake, salt and pepper. Pulse until all ingredients are nicely combined.

  2. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Lay wonton wrappers in rows on the prepared cookie sheet, then scoop about 1 teaspoon of the pork and crab mixture onto the middle of each wrapper. 

  3. Fill a small bowl with water. Dip your fingers in the water and then pinch up the sides of each wonton wrapper, pressing to seal. The top of the shumai will be open, it will look like a little drawstring purse (as you can see in the photos.)

  4. Place a steamer basket over a pan partially filled with water and spray with cooking spray (or line with cabbage leaves, if you have them.) Heat up the water until gently boiling and then place shumai in steamer basket. You will need to steam the shumai in a few batches, they will not all fit at one time (plus, you want some breathing room so you can easily get them out without them coming apart.) Steam each batch of shumai for 8 minutes, or until the pork and crab mixture is cooked through. Remove from basket and begin cooking the next batch.

  5. Once all shumai is cooked, place in a warm spot while you make the béchamel. You can also easily microwave the shumai for a bit once the sauce is ready if they get too cold. 

  6. To begin making the béchamel, heat the milk and salt in a small saucepan until gently bubbling. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the flour. Whisk continuously for about 3 minutes to form a white roux. Remove from heat and, once the roux has stopped bubbling, add the hot milk mixture and immediately begin whisking vigorously. 

  7. Set the saucepan back over medium high heat and, continuing to whisk, add in the lemon juice and bonito flakes. Continue whisking until mixture comes to a boil. Cook for one minute and then immediately spoon over the shumai. 

Crab and Pork Shumai with Bonito Bechamel |

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw

Who’s ready for a loooong Labor Day Weekend?

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

Me and this Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw certainly are.

Well, not really. I’ve been jamming on a few work projects and fun social media takeovers coming up (be sure to follow @bloglovin_food on Instagram and keep an eye out for my takeover this weekend!!!) and also keeping busy on the social scene. Last night I attended a fun “Year of the Mule” cocktail competition in anticipation of Santa Barbara’s Fermentation Festival coming up in a couple of weeks here, and boy did I get to try some tasty mules! It certainly motivated me to get a mule cocktail recipe up on this here site, as I realize that I haven’t posted on yet!

In any case, I’m finally (just now) starting to think about all of the foods I want to eat over this three-day weekend. Not going to lie, I feel like Labor Day weekend is the quintessential “end of summer,” even though in Santa Barbara the summer never REALLY ends and I know deep down that I’ll be enjoying beach days for many months to come. But, I still get the urge to grill out and gobble up all of the at-its-peak, end-of-summer produce in sight. Anyone else feel me on this?

Anywho, the other week when I was making this delicious Whisky Gravlax, I started thinking about what else I could make that would go nicely with this in a summer-y, outdoor picnic-type spread, and I immediately started thinking about some sort of coleslaw. Here’s the rub though, folks, I’m not really that big of a coleslaw fan. Maybe it’s because I grew up associating it with tons of mayo and wilted vegetables, or just because there were too many watery tasting vegetables involved in general, but it was never quite my thing until I started enjoying the real good stuff garnishing delicious, non-vegetable foods like pulled pork sliders.

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

So, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m willing to branch out and find at least SOME version of coleslaw that is (a) healthy and (b) tastes good enough that it does not need to be served with tons of juicy barbecued meat and smushed between a burger bun. Enter, this Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw.

I’m super-pumped about this recipe because I’ve managed to overcome my two main objections to “just-your-average coleslaw.” The first being that this version uses NO MAYO. That’s right folks, we’re talking a simple dressing of miso, Greek yogurt, rice vinegar and honey. So healthy, and sooooo refreshing. (BTW, miso is one of my favorite additions to a Greek yogurt dressing to make it just a little bit more interesting…I also used it for these Asiago Chipotle Shrimp Toasts.)

The second objection I’ve been able to overcome is the inherent wateriness of most typical coleslaws. I’ve conquered this by using even amounts of the typical green cabbage and heartier purple cabbage, plus some shredded carrots for extra heft and good measure. But I couldn’t stop there, I had to throw in some of the crisp, fresh sugar snap peas that I had lurking around in my crisper drawer. No wateriness here! And tons of crunch….winning!

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

The other great thing about this Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw? It comes together incredibly fast. Let’s be honest, we all know that we don’t want to spend the majority of a three-day, end-of-summer weekend slaving in the kitchen all day. We’ve got to enjoy this pool and beach weather while we can! So grab all of your ingredients and whip this up in less than 20 minutes. No heat, no cooking time, no worries. We are going to take these last few days of gorgeousness by the horns and #weekend like the professionals we all know we are.

And, don’t forget! I’ll have a fun and frosty cocktail up for you on Friday, plus this weekend I’ll be putting together a BONUS post featuring all of my favorite Labor Day-appropriate recipes on the blog!

As always, thanks for reading and supporting my little corner of the Inter-webs! XO

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw | CaliGirl Cooking

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw
Prep Time
15 mins
A lightened up, Asian take on the classic coleslaw recipe. Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, honey and miso add a tangy flair and sugar snap peas up the crunch factor of this popular cookout dish.
  • 6 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, miso, rice vinegar and honey. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine both cabbages, carrots, snap peas and green onions.
  3. Pour yogurt mixture over cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. For best results, place (covered) in refrigerator for at least a half hour (up to two hours) before serving to let all of the flavors meld.

*This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lightened Up Miso Coleslaw |


Get on up in this vegetable-y deliciousness.

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn

Popcorn = life.

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

We’re back in the states and I’m feeling serious vacation hangover. I wish we could have stayed in Belize for just a little while longer! I just keep reminding myself that we took a shorter honeymoon so we can take some more big vacations later this year…It will all have been worth it in the end!

Right now all I want to do is sit on the couch with a big bowl of this Healthier Hurricane Popcorn and sift through all of our wedding and honeymoon photos. Do I really have to adult today?

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

Regardless of whether or not we have to face the real world again, I’m definitely going to be popping up some of this deliciousness today. Who here has ever even heard of Hurricane Popcorn? If you’ve ever spent a significant amount of time in Hawaii (or just gone to see a movie while visiting), you’ll likely have heard of Hurricane Popcorn. It’s essentially extra-buttery popcorn tossed with furikake (one of my absolute favorite Asian ingredients made up of nori, sesame seeds, and other seasonings) and arare (a.k.a. Japanese rice crackers.)

If you’ve never heard of or don’t have any idea where to find things like furikake or arare, have no fear. Both are available on Amazon (as is everything else under the sun.) So there really are no excuses not to stuff your face with this Healthier Hurricane Popcorn right away!

Seriously, this stuff is like crack. Once you start eating it, you’ll hardly notice that 5 minutes later you just MIGHT have eaten the whole bag. And you have the buttery fingers to prove it. Now aren’t you glad I’ve come up with a healthier version for you?

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

It’s a SUPER easy swap: I simply used coconut oil instead of butter! Not only is it healthier, but it adds an extra-tropical touch to a recipe that’s already associated with warm weather and humidity.

Here’s how we do it:

We pop up some plain popcorn in a pan and use coconut oil to pop instead of the usual peanut or canola oil one might use.

After the corn is popped, we add just a little more coconut oil and the furikake and give it a good toss.

Lastly, we toss in the arare and eat up all of the Healthier Hurricane Popcorn immediately!

Pretty easy, right? Healthy, delicious, addicting…This is the perfect “I can’t adult today recipe.” Now, if you’re looking for me, I’ll be sitting on the couch with a giant bowl of this and putting off any work I should be getting done today.

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn | CaliGirl Cooking

Healthier Hurricane Popcorn
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
A healthier take on a popular Hawaiian snack: popcorn popped in coconut oil and topped with furikake and arare. A delicious movie treat!
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil liquid state, divided
  • 6 tablespoons popcorn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon furikake
  • ½ cup arare
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a couple of unpopped popcorn kernels to the pan. Once they pop, add the rest of the kernels.
  2. Cover pan with a lid and shake gently over heat to ensure as many kernels as possible get popped. Once you no longer hear popping, remove pan from heat.
  3. Add 1 more tablespoon of coconut oil and furikake to the popped corn. Toss to coat.
  4. Finally, stir in the arare.


Healthier Hurricane Popcorn |

Feed me.

If you liked this recipe, you might also like:

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.