For some folks, watching “Squid Game” isn’t enough.
Solid dalgona candy is different from dalgona coffee, which became all the rage at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of being made from whipped instant coffee, the dalgona candies people are making are thin brittle pieces made from melted sugar.
The candies became a beloved street food in the ‘70s, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s “Seoul Guide Book.”
In episode 3 of “Squid Game,” contestants are challenged with a “honeycomb” game, which requires players to perfectly carve out embossed shapes from pieces of dalgona candy – a brittle treat made from sugar and baking soda. (Netflix)
In “Squid Game,” the candies are a part of a carving challenge that has unfortunate consequences for contestants who are unable to perfectly whittle out its embossed shapes. Outside the nine-episode series, the carving game is a legitimate children’s game that’s played in South Korea – sans gory demises.
Many reportedly know the game by the same name that’s used in the show – “honeycomb.”
TikTokers are getting in on the dalgona candy action by whipping up the sweet at home. The hashtag associated with the dalgona candy challenge has more than 5 million views.
The third episode of the South Korean drama is titled “The Man With the Umbrella.” Here, you see the show’s protagonist Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae) examining his dalgona candy piece, which has an umbrella printed on it. (Netflix)
Here’s how you can make ‘Squid Game’s’ honeycomb dalgona candies
Street vendors traditionally make dalgona candy in metal ladles over open flames. If you’re up for the challenge, you can replicate this cooking method using a gas-powered stove or a portable gas burner. Alternatively, you can switch the ladle out for a skillet or shallow pot.
Materials You’ll Need:
- Metal ladle or skillet
- Metal chopstick or spoon
- Stovetop or portable gas burner
- Miniature baking pan or parchment paper
- Cookie cutters
In this 2019 photo, a street vendor cooks dalgona candy (also known as ppopgi) in Busan, South Korea. This old-school sweet is beloved by nostalgic South Koreans. (iStock)
- Baking soda
- Set your metal ladle or skillet over a flame at medium heat.
- Pour sugar into the container of your choosing and stir the contents with a metal chopstick or spoon.
- When the sugar has melted, it should be amber in color. Sprinkle in a pinch of baking soda and stir some more.
- Once the baking soda and melted sugar are thoroughly mixed, pour the treat into a miniature baking pan. If you don’t have a pan, you can use a sheet of parchment paper instead.
- While the dalgona candy mixture is still wet, place a cookie cutter in the center of the candy and gently push it down. The shape should be a light imprint and not a whole cutting.
- Remove the cookie cutter and let the candy harden as it cools down.
- Serve the candies with needles, so you and your guests can try to carve out the shapes you created.