And the winner is…spicy popcorn and Parasite-inspired Korean stew

The Snacks, Cocktails, and Oscars-Inspired Recipes We’re Making This February

Follow food editors Ellen and Maya as they share what they’re eating, drinking, and cooking each week. Subscribe to The Sunset Pantry newsletter.

Photo: Getty Images

Awards Season Is Popping Off

Awards season can be exhausting for us all, even though voyeurs like me won’t spend hours in hair and makeup to swan across the big stage with the little gold guy in hand. That said, if anyone’s hosting a glamorous viewing party this year with caviar and fancy pigs in blankets, I’m available. But, in case that’s not an option, I like to lean into my non-glam status with a very low-key Oscars viewing set-up: a big bowl of popcorn and a bottle of bubbly consumed in the comfort of home. However, like the beauty routines of the starlets on the big screen, I have very specific popcorn requirements: 1. Make it in a pot on the stove with coconut oil, no microwaveable bags allowed. 2. Use Rancho Gordo Crimson Popping Corn—the gorgeous red kernels pop into flavorful, snow white popcorn. 3. Top it right: I’ve been loving this new nutritional yeast line, WonderDust. It has a fine texture that’s ideal for popcorn and comes in a variety of fun flavors. I personally recommend Spicy (a Togarashi-style spice blend with chile and black sesame) or Original (flavored with miso and tamari). 

—Ellen Fort, food editor

Maya’s Corner

Photo: Annabelle Breakey

Oscars Agenda: Rooting for Parasite to Win Best Picture with These Korean-Style Braised Short Ribs

Have you seen Parasite yet? Well if you haven’t, you should watch it right after you read this newsletter. Director Bong Joon-ho’s suspenseful (and at times, comedic) thriller has it all: tense family dynamics, layers of meaning behind every detail, and the invention of ram-don, the film’s made-up dish of cheap ramen noodles topped with sirloin steak. (In the West, it’s probably more like quality Sun Noodle ramen topped with grass-fed beef from a sustainable butcher.)

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I’m rooting for Joon-ho the best way I know how: dreaming of these Korean-Style Braised Short Ribs and Turnips, where turnips are cooked until they’re sweet and mellow and beef is swimming in a salty-sweet homestyle stew. And if you’re rooting for a different movie like Marriage Story, there’s a dish for that too: Pluots with Yogurt and Cookie Crumble. (Just like Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson’s characters’ marriage, this dessert is made to crumble.) You can find each punny, spot-on, niche Best Picture nominee-recipe match here.

—Maya Wong, assistant editor

Photo: Erin Kunkel

My Oscar Glamour at Home

I have no shame admitting that I enjoy feeling glamorous. But unfortunately, my Real Housewives-taste on a college student budget doesn’t provide many opportunities to soak in the tub while clutching my diamonds. As consolation, I live for the occasions when I can splurge on  ingredients to make a fancy cocktail that even the star of Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules, Lisa Vanderpump, would approve of. No evening is better suited for these concoctions than the night I can join Hollywood’s most lauded actors from the comfort of my couch during the Oscars. From making gorgeous cocktail ice to serving it in chic glassware, you are the artist and the cocktail is your masterpiece. This weekend you can be sure to catch me buying pink grapefruits to make The Camellia. With homemade chamomile honey syrup and tiny camellia look-alikes created with grapefruit zest, this 15-minute cocktail recipe is sure to elevate your viewing party. In case grapefruits aren’t your jam, here are some bubbly cocktails perfect for any celebration and for those of you hoping to feel fancy without a buzz, don’t miss these sophisticated non-alcoholic cocktails.

—Drake Wilson, Sunset editorial intern

More to read this week:

Photo: Thomas J. Story
  • Beer fans better get in line now if they want to score a bottle of Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Younger. It’s available now at the brewery’s two Northern California locations, but you’ll have to wait in a (very long) line to snag a glass. 

Looking for more inspiration? Head over to Sunset Recipes for our winter cooking highlights.