Last year's trendy beverage, the Dalgona coffee, does not actually contain any Dalgona candy.
Instead, it got its name due to the resemblance in appearance and taste to the traditional Korean snack.
Also known as Ppopgi in "Squid Game", the Dalgona candy has been abruptly thrust into the limelight after its appearance in the third episode as a crucial element of the second game.
We're not sure how you've managed to avoid spoilers or not watch the show at this point, but do note that this article may contain some spoilers.
Here's how you can reenact the iconic scene from the television show from the comfort of your home:
Ingredients and utensils needed
Although there are specific kits that you can purchase online to make the candy, you can find decent tool substitutes in most household kitchens.
- White or raw sugar
- Baking soda
- Metal ladle or non-stick pan
- Single chopstick
- Parchment paper or silicon mat or a tray
- Burger press or a container with a flat (preferably circular) base
- Cookie cutter
There are many video tutorials on YouTube and TikTok that can be easily found but the steps are basically the same.
- Prepare the ingredients and tools that you require before commencing the cooking process.
- Add 1.5 tablespoons of sugar into your ladle or pan.
- Hold it over low heat and start stirring with the chopstick when the sugar starts to melt.
- Continue stirring while ensuring that the sugar does not burn. If it starts to smoke, move it away from the heat temporarily.
- Once the sugar has completely melted without any lumps, take it off the heat.
- Sprinkle a pinch or two of baking soda into the sugar.
- Stir vigorously until the baking soda has completely dissolved and the mixture has turned into a light caramel colour.
- Pour the mixture on to parchment paper*.
- Let it cool for a few seconds before flattening it with a burger press*.
- Stamp your cookie cutter* of choice without pressing it in all the way.
*Tip: If you don't have parchment paper or silicon mat, you can try to create a non-stick surface by dusting a tray with one of the following: sugar, baking soda, cooking oil, or flour. You can also do the same with the burger press and cookie cutter so the candy will not stick to the utensils.
Don't be too disheartened if you don't succeed on your first try. Although the recipe looks easy, it takes some time to figure out how to control the heat and time to achieve the best results.
While the most people use a burger press or hotteok (sweet Korean pancake) press to flatten and achieve the circular shape, some have tried using the base of a mixing bowl to flatten it, or simply pouring the mixture into an egg ring.
We've also noticed that some people melt the sugar in bulk like some of the Dalgona sellers in Korea. We don't recommend doing that unless 1) you are very familiar with the steps and 2) you can work fast on your own or have an extra pair of hands.
Some who have tried the recipe insist on washing the pan or ladle in between, but we've noticed that the Dalgona sellers don't have a habit of doing so.
To remove the sugar residue from your utensils, run them under hot water to dissolve the sugar quickly. Remember to dry your wet utensils before starting a new cooking session.
Some Dalgona sellers place a wooden chopstick at the bottom so customers can enjoy the candy like a lollipop. You can omit this step if you prefer to recreate the appearance of the candy in "Squid Game".
For those who end up with too much Dalgona, consider crushing them and using the bits to top your iced latte or ice cream for some crunch and added flavour.
If you're too lazy to make your own Dalgona, you can drop by Brown Butter cafe in Orchard... or wait for the borders to open and enjoy a more authentic Dalgona experience in South Korea at around ₩2,000 (S$2.29) per piece.
The rules are simple, eat around the shape or trace it out with a toothpick or needle. If you succeed in doing so without cracking the shape, you can receive another candy for free.
Of course, the game in "Squid Game" takes a sinister turn with its implementation of a 10-minute time limit and the death penalty for contestants who fail the task.
Top images via Netflix.
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