Squid Games Dalgona Candy Ppopgi Recipe

Learn how to make a traditional Korean treat with this recipe for ppogi, or Dalgona candy as seen on the hit Squid Games TV show.

best Dalgona Candy from squid game

Have you heard of Dalgona candy? I, Rebecca hadn’t until watching Squid Games.

It’s a light caramel color candy traditionally sold by street vendors in South Korea, where it’s called ppogi.

The vendors typically set up outside of schools or toy shops and sell the candies.

And, of course, you can’t have Dalgona candy without some whipped Dalgona Coffee.

What is Dalgona Candy?

It’s a very simple Asian candy to make with just two ingredients (sugar and baking soda). You don’t even need fancy tools like a candy thermometer to make it.

You’ll cook the sugar over a burner until it’s melted down, and stir in a bit of baking soda.

The baking soda creates a chemical reaction in the liquid sugar that creates the airy brittle texture of the Dalgona candy.

The melted sugar has a toasty toffee caramel flavor. It’s like the candy version of brown butter toffee cookies.

And while ppogi is called Korean honeycomb, sponge toffee, or even hokey poke in different places around the world, the Korean version is unique because of the shapes pressed into the center.

 

The Squid Games Dalgona Candy Challenge

Dalgona candy recently became popular internationally after being featured on episode 3 of the Netflix series Squid Games.

(We made some DIY Couples Halloween Costumes inspired by Netflix, so obsessed isn’t an exaggeration to describe how much we love their shows.)

This simple candy is also made into a game, where the vendors would reward children who could break the edges off around the middle while leaving the shape whole.

The challenge is decidedly tricky, with the brittle candy snapping easily!

Simple shapes with straight edges are the easiest to release without breaking, while more complex shapes like stars, flowers, or umbrellas are almost impossible to keep whole successfully.

If you want to make Dalgona candy at home, here’s everything you need to know!

ingredients and tools used to make dalgona candy

Ingredients Needed to Make Dalgona Candy

White granulated sugar

Baking soda

Useful Tools

Metal ladle — A stainless steel ladle will work best. Make sure it isn’t painted or coated in any way. Both finishes will be ruined by the high heat you are going to use to cook the sugar.

Chopstick — This is for stirring the sugar while it cooks. You can also use a skewer or any long skinny stick-like utensil that can withstand heat.

Bucket of warm water — After pouring out the cooked candy, you will immediately dip the ladle in hot water to keep the cooked sugar from hardening onto it.

Hotteok press or flat-bottomed metal measuring cup — After pouring the cooked sugar into two puddles, you want to press them flat. Traditional Dalgona candy makers in South Korea use a hotteok press, but you can substitute a lightly greased metal measuring cup.

Small cookie cutters — These are used for pressing the shapes into the center of the candy.

Parchment paper or silicone mat — You need to set some parchment paper or a silicone mat on a baking sheet. This is where you will pour out the candy so it can be set.

Baking sheet — This will keep the heat of the sugar off of your counters. Line it with a bit of parchment paper before pouring out the dalgona candy.

dalgona candy recipe | removing the design from the center

How to Make Dalgona Candy

1 — First, set out all of your equipment and ingredients. Because the sugar is very hot and can burn quickly, you need to have all of the tools ready to go right away.

2 — Lightly oil the bottom of your metal measuring cup.

3 — Add the sugar to the ladle.

4 — Melt the sugar by holding it over an open flame burner set to medium. Hold it several inches over the flame, raising it if the sugar is starting to darken quickly or lowering it if the sugar isn’t melting.

Melting the sugar by holding it over an open flame burner set to medium to make the dalgona candy

5 — As the sugar heats, it will begin to melt. Stir the sugar constantly with the chopstick or skewer to help it melt more evenly.

melting sugar | how to make dalgona candy

6 — Continue stirring until the sugar is completely melted. It will go through several stages of melting. First, it will get clumpy; then, the clumps will start liquefying and turning a light brown.

melting the sugar for squid game dalgona candy

7 — Your sugar is ready to pour when it’s a deep amber color and has completely melted.

8 — Remove the ladle from the heat and add a pinch of baking soda. Stir quickly to combine it with the melted sugar.

stirring the pinch of soda and melted sugar to make dalgona candy

9 — Pour the mixture out into two circles on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

Pouring the mixture out into the parchment-lined baking sheet

10 — Allow the mixture to cool for 10-20 seconds. Then, gently and evenly press it flat with the oiled measuring cup. Don’t press it too thin; between 1/8” and 1/4” is good.

pressing the dalgona mixture flat with the oiled measuring cup

11 — Hold the cup in place while counting to 5, then carefully remove it.

12 — Immediately press into the center with a small cookie cutter, but don’t push it all the way through.

 pressing into the dalgona candy center with a small cookie cutter

13 — Allow the candy to cool completely! You can use a needle to try to help remove the design from the center without breaking it.

releasing the star shaped Dalgona Candy with a needle

Dalgona Candy Recipe Tips and Tricks

— If there is sugar cooked onto your ladle, pour a little bit of water in it. Cook the water over an open flame, stirring with a chopstick to help the sugar release.

— If you have a high-powered burner, you may want to turn it down to medium-low heat so that some of the sugar doesn’t burn before all of it has melted.

— Be very careful when making this candy, and don’t use any plastic utensils. Melted sugar is very hot and can easily cause severe burns.

— Dalgona Candy is best eaten right away. Storing it can cause it to absorb moisture from the air and become sticky.

More Easy Candy Recipes

best Dalgona Candy from squid game

Dalgona Candy Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote
Whether you’re a fan of Squid Games or not, Dalgona Candy, or ppogi as it’s called in South Korea, is a delicious, simple candy.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine Candy

Equipment

  • Metal ladle
  • Chopstick avoid plastic utensils
  • Bucket of warm water
  • Hotteok press or flat-bottomed metal measuring cup
  • Small cookie cutters
  • Parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/16 tsp baking soda

Nutrition

Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 34mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 12g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 2
Calories: 46kcal

Notes

If you have a high-powered burner, you may want to turn it down to medium-low heat so that some of the sugar doesn’t burn before all of it has melted.

Instructions

  • Set out all of your equipment and ingredients. Because the sugar is very hot and can burn quickly, you need to have all of the tools ready to go right away.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of your metal measuring cup.
  • Add the sugar to the ladle.
  • Melt the sugar by holding it over an open flame burner set to medium. Hold it several inches over the flame, raising it if the sugar is starting to darken quickly or lowering it if the sugar isn’t melting.
  • As the sugar heats, it will begin to melt. Stir the sugar constantly with the chopstick or skewer to help it melt more evenly.
  • Continue stirring until the sugar is completely melted. It will go through several stages of melting. First, it will get clumpy; then, the clumps will start liquefying and turning a light brown.
  • Your sugar is ready to pour when it’s a deep amber color and has completely melted.
  • Remove the ladle from the heat and add a pinch of baking soda. Stir quickly to combine it with the melted sugar.
  • Pour the mixture out into two circles on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Allow the mixture to cool for 10-20 seconds. Then, gently and evenly press it flat with the oiled measuring cup. Don’t press it too thin; between 1/8” and 1/4” is good.
  • Hold the cup in place while counting to 5, then carefully remove it.
  • Immediately press into the center with a small cookie cutter, but don’t push it all the way through.
  • Allow the candy to cool completely! You can use a needle to try to help remove the design from the center without breaking it.
KEYWORD: dalgona candy

Don’t forget to share your Dalgona candy with us on Instagram using the hashtag #sugarandclothloves. We always love seeing all of your creations! Looking for more quick and delicious recipes? You can find them all right here with a few cocktails to go along with them.

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