Dragon’s Beard candy was always delighted us as kids. It candy-floss texture was one that came with a slight crunch in the mouth. Hidden inside the wispy strands were a mixture of roasted peanuts or sesame and sugar. The candy wasn’t super sweet like the cotton candy of the western world. It certainly didn’t melt in your mouth per se. But it was a treat that seemed magical to me especially during the Lunar New Year.

My grandfather use to tell me stories about the Dragon’s Beard candy. He didn’t have to tell me that the texture of the candy is an art form in itself — you can just see it. Passed down for generations by skilled artisans it’s definitely a morsel you can appreciate even if you know nothing about the history. It is said that it was a candy that was made for the Han Dynasty and because it was often caught in the beards of the emperors it would take on its name sake. As told growing up, dragons are mystical creatures that hold power and respect. So, I’m still to this day, excited to see find these treats!

Here’s an example of what the traditional Dragon’s Beard Candy looks like. They are made fresh and can sometimes be found in Chinatowns across the country. Image shows ones that are made by Bonbons a la Barbe du Dragon in Montreal.

Apparently Dragon’s Beard Candy is also going viral on TikTok lol Oh…influencers. But that’s okay, hopefully it’s raising awareness that the world has much to offer and worth tasting!

I grew up on these fantastic little treats and was really excited to find this recipe. Often made using corn syrup and corn starch in North America, it’s no surprise that Bake Good’s Dragon’s Beard Candy recipe has seen a spike in popularity.

This recipe may be a fun attempt to recreate the candy at home – the Barbiecore pink makes it a bit more trendy and modern. Try to get it as thin as silk strands if you have the patience.

Dragon’s Beard Candy

What you’ll need…

  • Heavy-bottom pan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Heat-proof plastic deli cup (16oz size preferably)
  • Silicone spatulas
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Medium sized baking, or cookie tray

Lunar new Year - dragon beard candy - Bake Good

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
¼ cup Crown Lily White Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup water
3 to 4 drops pink food coloring gel
2 ½ cups of Fleischmann’s Corn Starch

Instructions:

In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat on medium-high. The mixture needs to heat slowly for about 20-25 minutes, until it reaches 267-268°F, so monitor your heat to adjust as needed

Once it reaches temperature, immediately remove the saucepan from heat and allow to cool to at least 212°F. Transfer to plastic deli container to cool until it turns into a firm disk, or puck shape

Place corn starch on the baking tray or in the large bowl
Release the candy by pressing around the plastic container. Use your thumbs to create a hole in the centre of the candy puck.

Coat generously in corn starch and begin forming a donut shape, rotating the disc, and using your hands to stretch it, making sure all sides are even, taking care not to pull too hard

Once the ring is between approximately 12 inches in diameter, twist into a figure 8 shape, fold back on itself and continue stretching and making a uniform ring. Be sure to constantly dust with corn starch to prevent sticking by resting the area you’re not working on in the corn starch prepped tray.

Continue the process for somewhere between 10-12 loops/ folds

To serve: Using a pair of chop sticks, wrap the dragon beard candy around to create small bushels, snip to size with an oiled scissors and serve to enjoy!

Note: Best served immediately. Dragon’s beard candy has a very short shelf life. It is highly sensitive to moisture and tends to melt when exposed to higher temperatures, notably during warm weather.

*recipe printed with permission from BakeGood.