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How to make your own Squid Game dalgona candy (no online kit required)

Because even a cat has done it on Instagram.

How to make your own Squid Game dalgona candy (no online kit required)

The Dalgona candy that makes or breaks players. (Screen grab: Squid Game)

First, it was dalgona coffee (remember those "circuit breaker" days?). Now, thanks to the hit South Korean drama Squid Game, it’s dalgona candy.

Immortalised as the high-stakes children’s game in the third episode, the brittle honeycomb thins were given out to the participants in the show, who had to pick shapes out of their dalgona candy with needles. Break the shape and there were no sweet endings for them.

In real life, those who succeed in picking out the shapes get rewarded with another wafer-thin honeycomb by the vendor. And since the little game involves using a toothpick, the candy is also known as ppopgi, meaning to pick.

The confectionery is traditionally sold as street food in South Korea, much like how biscuit piring (yup, those wafer-thin treats in yellow, pink and green) is sold at our pasar malam. (Maybe someone should start a game with that.)

Naturally, kits for making dalgona candy have been flying off online shopping portals and the prices can range from less than S$5 to S$28. 

But it is a recipe consisting of just white sugar (the kind you add to coffee) and a pinch of baking soda. It is so simple that the grumpy feline chef @thatlittlepuff on Instagram is also in on the game.

As for the tools, you can readily find them in your kitchen. Here’s what you need to make a dalgona candy:

  • Two tablespoons of sugar
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • The smallest, non-stick pan you have
  • A pair of chopsticks (preferably wood or other materials that don’t melt)
  • Glass jar with flat bottom
  • Cookie cutter of your preferred shape
  • A sheet of baking paper

1. Turn the stove on and use the lowest flame; you don’t want to burn the sugar. 

2. Place the sugar in the non-stick pan and heat it. Tilt the pan at an angle (and keep it there) so that the sugar pools in a small area instead of spreading out over the pan.

3. Stir with the chopsticks and keep stirring as the sugar melts. Let the melted sugar turn a milk coffee colour (the darker the colour, the more bitter it is). You can adjust the heat by lifting the pan or bringing it back to the fire.

4. Once all the sugar has melted, remove the pan from the fire. Immediately add a pinch of baking soda and stir constantly. The mixture’s colour will lighten. Make sure all the baking soda dissolves and there are no lumps.

5. Pour the mixture onto the baking paper. Wait for about 10 seconds, then place the jar on the mixture and gently press it down to flatten it. Don’t press too hard because you still want to retain some thickness for the cookie cutter.

6. Remove the jar and quickly press down with the cookie cutter. Let it cool and harden. You’re now ready to play Squid Game. Minus the part where you get killed.

Source: CNA/bk