Who said food can't be fun to play with AND eat!? With Japan, the country of innovation and all things kawaii, they decided to combine food with cute things. And how? Well that is answered in two words, playable food! There is a lot of DIY food places, however what about candies? Kids want to have as much fun as the adults right? Below are the best Japanese DIY candy for anyone who wants to play with their food.
One of the most famous and popular Japanese DIY candy kits, Kracie is known for their Popin’ Cookin’ series; the Popin’ Cookin’ series is a set of DIY Japanese candy set that is supposed to resemble real food with a candy twist. With the use of sugar and water, you can make a variety of foods and desserts. One of the most famously used kits is the Happy Sushi House. The Happy Sushi House lets the user be able to make different types of ‘sushi’ such as tamago (egg sushi), ikura (fish roe) and many more. You can even make your own fake nori (seaweed) and shoyu (soy sauce). Of course all of this is candy and will taste like sugar. It is definitely very fun to use and is suitable for all ages. Though because this is a DIY remember that your candy may not look as good as the picture in the box.
The next candy DIY item is the Oekaki Stick Choco 5 which a brand new way to make creating chocolate fun. The cool thing about this DIY is that you can create your own design. Yes there are designs to help you create very cute pictures like a bunny rabbit, but the ability to do whatever you want must be liberating! You can be as crazy or as bare as you want. Heck you don't even need to design it and just eat the chocolate or m&m's separately if you want! The candy itself is very basic. There is a mold, some tweezers to grab the candy, m&m-esque candy and chocolate. Because it is so basic anyone can do it! All you need is imagination, or lack of.
Like Kracie/Popin' Cookin' Meigum is another very known candy brand company in Japan. Also like their competitor they do amazing DIY candy kits that are supposed to resemble real Japanese food/desserts. This set is based off of the traditional Japanese dessert set that has different types of mochi. In this set you get a taiyaki, or a pancake shaped as a fish, strawberry mochi, and a dango set with the sweet shoyu sauce. The amazing thing about this is that rather than tasting like sugar and artificial flavors, this set tastes like mochi. I don't know what sorcery they did to make this happen but it has a sweet and savory taste with the mochi texture.
Here is another Popin Cookin’ cause they are amazing at it! This time, though they are making an obento or boxed lunch set! Okosama, or kid’s lunch, is a special type of bento where it is made specifically for kids. Okosama lunches have kid friendly and favorite foods such as hamburger steaks, shrimp tempura, spaghetti etc. Also the foods are made very appealing to kids and have cute little adornments such as flags from the countries the food is from. So Popin Cookin’ took this idea and made it into candy form. So to start there is the meatballs which are actually made of chocolate. The fries are apple flavor with the chicken and rice being soda flavor. The omelet is orange flavor and the tempura is a mixed juice flavor. Finishing it off is the ketchup which is strawberry flavor. Its definitely food you can play with and eat.
The next series is the Make Bento! This is very similar to the Okosama series however this also comes in a cute little bento and is made to look like a take home/school lunch. There are a few rules in order to make a good and successful Japanese obento. First, in an obento, rice is almost always present (it can occasionally be substituted with bread or pasta). It is also important that the rice is separated from the other dishes so that the rice will not pick up any additional flavors. Along with this rice are the main dish and the two side dishes. The main dish can be anything from dumplings, to fried chicken, to fish while the side dish can be anything like a simple salad. It is important that the obento not only consist of meat, but also of green and nutritious vegetables.
The obento should consist mostly of strong flavors that can be enjoyed even without the use of a microwave. Again, the texture and the aroma of the food should be carefully chosen so that the person who will be eating it will not get bored. This one comes with a onigiri that is shaped as a panda, a sausage that is shaped as an octopus, spaghetti, egg, broccoli and a meatball.
The next set is a ramen sand gyoza set that seems to be very popular! This DIY set is for making the popular Japanese making Ramen noodle soup and gyoza dumplings. The ramen flavor is soda and the gyoza is cola. And because this is Kracie, you do not need a microwave oven. All you need is water and your imagination. It comes with all the dough candy, gummy and sauces.
The next product is a DIY product that rather than resembling another food product, it is a machine. A washing machine to be exact! The Mokomoko Mokowash is a DIY kit that is very seasonal and comes in 4 different colors. This item is also yogurt flavor! Each machine has it own personality so they are collectables as well. Set up is a bit more complicated than a Kracie DIY kit, however the pay off is amazing. The hardest set up is the actual washing machine. The candy starts off as a powder but turns into a drink that is sweet! You build your Moko Moko washing machine and decorate it with all the kawaii stickers. You fill the water to the line and then put in two scoops of powder and close the lid. You spin it, insert the straw and drink your yogurt drink.
This is one of the few Popin Cookin series I have tried and let me tell you how fun it is to make! The ice cream set is pretty literal, you make different types of ice creams. One of the reasons why I love this one is because it way more colorful. The pinks and white pastel colors of the ice cream is perfect for anyone who loves to look a pretty stuff and is instagram worthy. And the colorful sprinkles that you put on top is even more cute! This set also comes with different types of cones. This set comes with two regular ice cream cones, some waffles to make a sandwich and a parfait-esque waffle bowl. This kit is made for kids and even adults who just want to live their ice cream magazine! Just like the other Popin Cookin sets they all kinda taste the same sweet taste, but the fun comes in the making of your favorite dessert.
The next set is Kracie’s Popin Cookin gummy kit. First the biggest difference between this set and others is that this is complete gummy. Not only that but this set comes in all sorts of different flavors and shapes. This set is almost like a painter’s pallet! Open package. Separate the candy molds. Get a cup of water. Open the color packets one by one and empty the entire packet in one of the square bins. Use your dropper and squeeze water to fill up these color bins. Use a toothpick to carefully mix. The smaller bin above your colored bins is your neutral and should be water only. Next use your dropper to make different colors in the small circular bins. Your neutral is to clean out the dropper before it goes into a new color to not mix colors unintentionally. Empty the green bag into the largest bin. Put a mold in the pectin/sugar blend (the largest bin) and use the dropper to add colors inside the mold. Give it about 2 minutes maybe a little more but use your fork to move the mold and see if it sticks to the extra pectic/sugar around. If it isn't sticking then pick up the mold and gently use your fork to push out the candy. Use the fork again to even out the pectin/sugar to make another. It can be eaten right away and will be slightly gooey or give it a little while to let it dry up more like a store bought candy. These are really good. So simple and fun.
This one has this little octopus that you use like an eyedropper to pick up a liquid you've created-- then you drop it into this other liquid you've made and the 'drops' turn into little beads that are kind of like jello. How it works? No clue. Is it cool? Absolutely. The bonus of this kit is that the little "drops" are actually sort of tasty-- so you get this cool little science experiment AND a tasty treat. (BTW-- for all of this type of kit that we've tried, everything but water comes in the package-- So you get little dishes/troughs, and tiny measuring scoops and all the ingredients, etc-- all you need to add is tap water.) Even if you don't read Japanese, the directions on the back of the packaging are pretty straight forward, and the packets are labeled. If you still don't know what to do, you can look up the name of the candy on youtube and watch people do it. The flavour of the gel ball things is a bit sweet and definitely does taste like soda (Ramune). The fluffy stuff that you dip the gels into is very tangy, but has a flavour reminiscent of artificial cotton candy or bubblegum. One of the only downsides to this treat is that once you finish making it, it's eaten pretty quickly. All in all, nice.