A little sweet, a little salty, and a little crunchy, these pepitas are a perfect snack.
Add pepitas to 12‑inch skillet and place over medium‑low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until puffed and golden, 6 to 8 minutes.
Turn off heat and slide skillet to cool burner. Add sugar, oil, and salt and stir to combine.
Place oil in small bowl. Reduce sugar to 1 teaspoon and leave out salt. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon ground ginger to bowl with oil and stir until sugar is dissolved. In step 2, pour mixture over toasted pepitas in skillet and stir to combine.
Place oil in small bowl. Reduce salt to ½ teaspoon and leave out sugar. Add salt, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon ground cumin to bowl with oil and stir until salt is dissolved. In step 2, pour mixture over toasted pepitas in skillet and stir to combine.
Toasting pepitas, which are squash seeds, gives them a nice nutty flavor. Toasting also causes them to puff up and become crispy. And occasionally a toasted pepita will POP. Why? Much like dried corn kernels used for popcorn, fresh pepitas contain moisture. When heated, the moisture turns to steam, and building pressure will cause the steam to escape from the seed in the form of a pop. Take care when toasting pepitas: It’s a safe assumption that if a pepita pops, it’s hot!