How to Make Dalgona (달고나), Squid Game Candy

Jae Won Song

Jae Won Song

Staff Writer

This is part of the ongoing Das Tor series “Global Eats,” in which T-birds share cooking stories  and recipes unique to their culture or travels around the globe.

Gi-hun, one of the protagonists of Squid Game, with Dalgona

Wow, South Korea. You have done it again. The entertainment industry is A1, and we still have much to learn about the rise of the popularity of the country. Starting off with hard hitters such as the popular K-pop group, BTS, to making world renown films such as Parasite, Korea is up and coming when it comes to amusement, and this especially shows in the recent Netflix hit Squid Game. This show is categorized as a battle royale in which a large group of people who are heavily in debt are forced to survive deadly games in an attempt to win a lump sum of money. Throughout the games, we are introduced to a multitude of Korean traditions, with one of them including Dalgona, which is a sweet, toffee-like candy made out of two simple ingredients. 

The History

Dalgona is a candy that was popularized back in South Korea in the 70s and 80s, and it usually comes in a circular shape with a design pattern on the candy, as seen below.

The main objective of the candy is to try to break out the shape with the usage of a tiny utensil, typically either a pin or a toothpick. If you are able to successfully remove the shape you usually either get to get this confectionery for free or get the next one for free. However, it is very difficult to get the shape out in the first place due to the ingredients and chemical reaction they make! Moving forward, this is how you can make this traditional sweet!

Dalgona Ingredients 

  • A heat resistant ladle
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of white sugar
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • Gas burner stove 
  • Metal press
  • Baking sheet or a non stick mat
  • Cookie cutter for desired shape
  • Popsicle/wooden stick

The Recipe

  1. Turn on the gas burner and put a ladle over low or medium-low heat.
  2. Add sugar into the ladle and stir with popsicle/wooden stick until the sugar caramelizes and becomes a brown amber color.
  3. After the mixture turns the color of caramel, add a small pinch of baking soda and stir until it turns a light brown color. After puffing up, remove the ladle from heat and pour the liquid onto a nonstick surface.
  4. While still hot, press down the metal press into the caramel substance and flatten accordingly.
  5. Finally, use the cookie cutter and press it onto the candy with relative force but not all the way through. Cool until solidified.

After waiting until the candy is solidified, be sure to grab a pin or toothpick and try to cut the square out. If you are successful, be sure to tag @dastornewstbird on Instagram!

If you fail, *dramatic music*

Broken dalgona candy

These individuals will be the last you see…

Masked men from Squid Game

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