Recipe: Shroom Butter Popcorn

Not Your Movie Theater Popcorn

By Niree Noel


For our Harvest Table: Table of Love dinner with Veuve Clicquot, we turned to Sara Hauman, chef de cuisine of San Francisco’s beloved New American neighborhood eatery Octavia, for an elegant menu chock full of unexpected flavor combinations. Her standout popcorn, served in wax paper cones during Champagne hour in the courtyard at the historic San Francisco Mint, left a lingering taste on our palates. Here, Sara graciously recounts what she did to get that tasty, tasty popped corn.


The Recipe

Shroom Butter Popcorn

Recipe by Chef Sara Hauman


Serves a whole bunch


½ lb. Fresh porcini or shiitake mushrooms
2 lb. Butter
3 Cloves garlic
Handful of thyme
3 tbsp. Salt

Dried porcini or dried shiitake mushrooms
Nutritional yeast
Chili flakes (Marash chili, smoky or sweet paprika, or cayenne pepper)

Olive oil


Mushroom Butter

Preheat oven to 300F.

Place mushrooms in an oven safe pot or casserole. Porcini are fancier but shiitake will do just as well.  Melt two pounds of butter and pour over the mushrooms. Make sure the mushrooms are ¾ covered by the butter. Add a few cloves of garlic, a handful of thyme, and a few tablespoons of salt. Cover and bake at 300F for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Strain out the mushrooms from the butter; set aside.

Popcorn Dust

Buzz dried porcini or shiitake mushrooms in the blender until turned to a fine dust. Add equal parts nutritional yeast to the mushroom dust. Add chili flakes as desired.



Shroom Butter Popcorn

“I use this fancy heirloom popcorn from a farm in Sonoma County, but you can just the ol’ Orville Redenbacher, too. My preferred method is to heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add a few popcorn kernels in. Once those pop, turn the heat off and add the entire ⅓ cup of kernels in a flat, even layer. Cover the pot. Wait 30-45 seconds and then turn the heat back on. I usually shake the pan as the kernels start popping. Make sure the lid is slightly ajar to let some of that steam out!”


To assemble, use as much of the shroom butter, powder, and salt as desired. Enjoy with a glass of Veuve Clicquot (we liked the Brut Rose Vintage).