How to make dalgona candy

photo of dalgona
Eunkyo Jo/Staff

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Since last year’s dalgona coffee trend and its recent feature in the Netflix show “Squid Game,” the Korean sweet dalgona (달고나), also known as Korean honeycomb or sugar candy, has gotten recognition all around the world. As an elementary schooler growing up in South Korea, I always passed by an old man on the way back home from school, making and selling dalgona on a portable stove for a few cents. The sweet, burning smell of sugar always tempted me to buy one, but another part of me would stop myself, knowing my parents would disapprove. If you’re curious about how it tastes, here is how you can make your own dalgona at home!

Ingredients:

  • Sugar
  • Baking soda

Equipment (recommended):

  • Stainless steel ladle
  • Gas fire stovetop
  • Wooden chopstick
  • Stainless steel cookie cutter
  • H​​otteok hand presser
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper or vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or vegetable oil.
  2. Turn on the stove, scoop one full tablespoon of sugar into the ladle and melt it over the fire.
  3. Stir the sugar with the wooden chopstick until it becomes a homogeneous liquid, adjusting the distance to the fire as needed.
  4. Add a touch of baking soda — the pros will simply take the chopstick and peck the baking soda with it.
  5. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes a consistent golden color.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and wait 10-15 seconds for it to cool.
  7. Use the hotteok hand presser to press the mixture for about 5 seconds.
  8. Take the presser off, then immediately put the cookie cutter on it and stamp it with the presser.
  9. Let it harden on the tray for a few minutes, then it’s ready to eat!

Does knowing that dalgona only contains melted sugar and baking soda make you want to make it even more or less? If you do decide to make it, it will take trial and error to find the right timing and formula with the equipment you have. If you find that the dalgona sticks too much to your equipment, try coating your equipment with more vegetable oil or sprinkle some sugar. With that, enjoy your dalgona candy, and make sure to pop out the shape without breaking it!

Contact Eunkyo Jo at [email protected].