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How to Make the Korean Dalgona Candy from Squid Game

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Squid Game is rated the most watched Netflix series globally. If you’re like us, you got hooked onto the series and at some point thought to yourself, “would I survive this one?…” as you watched each gruelling episode. Well, one easy game to replicate at home (without the violence) is Episode 3, where players attempt to seamlessly retrieve their shape out of the Dalgona Candy disc. In fact, Squid Game fans around the world have tried this Korean game out for themselves, calling it the ‘Dalgona Candy Challenge’ on popular social media platforms like TikTok.

making dalgona candy

Dalgona Candy, meaning ‘sweet’ or ‘honeycomb toffee’, is a nostalgic Korean street food made from melted sugar that is frothed up with a pinch of baking soda. It’s then poured into a disc shape and pressed with a cookie cutter. It has a delicious honeycomb-like taste and offers a unique texture you may not have experienced before. 

Dalgona Candy rose in popularity after the Korean War and is also traditionally known as ppopgi. It is said that the candy makers would reward children who successfully carved out their shape with another candy! Squid Game turned this innocent game into a worldwide trend and we encourage you to put yourself to the test and enjoy this Korean treat.

Here’s how Hyosun, the Korean-American mum behind the Korean Bapsang blog, enjoys this Korean street sweet at home.

Dalgona Candy Recipe (derived from Korean Bapsang)

Prep time: 2 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes | Servings: 1

Equipment

  • stainless steel ladle
  • chopstick to stir the sugar
  • non-stick baking sheet or pan to use as a base (or use parchment paper)
  • rubber spatula
  • hotteok press (or a bowl with a smooth, round bottom, about 4 to 5 inch diameter)
  • cookie cutter(s)
  • lollipop sticks – optional

Ingredients (for each candy)

  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar (white or brown)
  • 1/16 teaspoon baking soda (about 2 to 3 small pinches)

Method:

  1. Gather all the ingredients and tools before starting.
making dalgona candy
2. Add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar to the ladle. Hold the ladle over low to medium low heat. When the sugar starts to melt around the edges, stir with a chopstick.
making dalgona candy on stove

3. Continue to stir constantly, controlling the heat. If it starts to smoke, raise the ladle a few inches above the heat, and lower it closer once it cools off a little. Repeat as necessary until the sugar completely melts without any lumps, but let it cool off a little before adding the baking soda.

making dalgona candy

4. Holding the ladle away from the heat, stir in the baking soda.

making dalgona candy
5. Stir quickly and vigorously (20 to 25 times) until the baking soda is completely dissolved and the frothy mixture turns light caramel-color. While stirring, you can bring the ladle closer to the heat for a short second or two to keep it warm, but don’t let it puff up too long. It will burn at the bottom
making dalgona candy

6. Pour the mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet, skillet, or parchment paper, scraping with a rubber spatula. Place the tip of the optional lollipop stick into the mixture.

making dalgona candy
7. Let it cool for 15 to 20 seconds. Then, lightly tap it to see if it doesn’t stick, and then press it all the way (for 4 to 5 seconds) to the desired thickness. This helps prevent the dalgona from sticking to the press.
making dalgona candy

8. Immediately, stamp it with a cookie cutter, firmly but not all the way through. Promptly remove the cutter.

Notes

Tips to help you make dalgona candy successfully:


  • Gather all the ingredients and tools before starting.
  • Do not burn sugar. Stir constantly, and control the heat by moving the ladle up and down from the heat. 
  • Once the baking soda is added, the mixture will immediately begin to foam and can burn quickly. Keep the ladle away from the heat while stirring in the baking soda. You can go back to the heat briefly, if needed. 
  • Use a non-stick baking sheet or skillet or parchment paper as the base. The key is to let the mixture cool off a little after pouring it out onto the base surface for 15 to 20 seconds. Then, tap it gently to see if it doesn’t stick before pressing it all the way to the desired thickness. Keep the base and press cool all time.
  • Some people sprinkle the base with sugar and rub the press on it, or apply oil to prevent the frothy mixture from sticking. Experiment and see which works for you the best.
  • If you’re making more than one, keep a pot of hot water on the stove to rinse off the ladle and the spatula between the batches.
  • Store leftover candies in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. It lasts quite a few days in the fridge and months in the freezer. 
dalgona candy

Once you’ve successfully made the Dalgona Candy, the real fun can begin! Use different cookie cutter shapes and be creative with your techniques for getting the shape out perfectly. Check out the techniques from Episode 3, such as heating up a needle or even licking the candy to carve out your shape.

Give this challenge a try and tag us in your creations (win or fail) #vivecookingschool

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