Recently I purchased a few Japanese Candy kits and I will review all of these for AVO. This is not a sponsored review and because of this I won’t mention where I bought this set, if you do an online search using the name of this kit you’ll be able to find this one in several webshops.
Popin Cookin – Bento – Elaborate
Price: ± €7
Extra supplies: Glass, Water, Scissors, Scotch tape, Cocktail pick.
Most of the Popin Cookin kits have English instructions, which you can find here.
With this kit you create a cute bento, with lots of snacks in it. You’ll get to make a piece of broccoli, an eggroll, a sausage shaped like a squid, noodles, a meatball, an onigiri and a panda onigiri. Using the packaging you can also make a little tray, a wrapper for the broccoli and a heart you can put on top of the cocktail pick. I was busy putting these together for about a quarter of an hour, because it’s quite a bit of precise folding work and work with the scissors. It took me about half an hour to make all the candies.
This kit is easy to make, but still fun because of the many parts of it. On top of that I thought it was fun to make the tray, wrapper and cocktail pick decoration.
The final products looks cute, as long as you take the time to do everything neatly. As you can see on the picture overall it looks pretty similar to the candies on the package, although the colours and texture seem a little different for some of them. On the box it looks a lot less edible, in my opinion. The ears of the panda unfortunately wouldn’t stick to the head, no matter how hard I pressed them on, so I put those next to the head.
The noodles clearly tasted like lemon and had the texture of a paste. If you let it sit for a little while then you can pick the noodles up without them losing their shape, if you’re careful.
The meatball tasted a bit like a mandarin, in my opinion. This flavour was a lot less dominant than the lemon flavour of the noodles. The texture was comparable to that of the rice, only a little softer.
The rice already smelled strongly like chewing gum when I opened the packaging and that’s also what they tasted like. Fruity chewing gum rice, tasty and sweet. The black powder however was pretty sour, which I did not dislike, since I like sour flavours quite a bit. The black powder had a way stronger taste than the rice. When I took a bite with black powder in it I mainly tasted the sour taste of the black powder. The aftertaste of the powder was a little bitter.
The eggroll tasted like lemon and the sausage tasted a little like strawberry. The flavour of the broccoli was hard to pinpoint for me, but it reminded me of cleaning supplies or something similar to that, either way I didn’t like the taste of it. It reminded me a little of the pink colour, used to colour in the candies, from the Kyan Land set. The texture of the broccoli, sausage and egg were a little gelatine-like, only a little less smooth. A little bumpy, it wasn’t gritty but it had some little bumps in it.
TIPS: There is no cocktail pick included in this set, so you have to have these on hand. If you do have a cocktail pick and you want to decorate it, cut it a bit smaller at the top, because the meatball that the pick goes into is pretty small and otherwise your pick will stick out a lot.
Press the little ball which is supposed to become the panda face into the ‘stamp’ firmly. If you don’t do this the face might be a bit unclear.
Want to enjoy this kit again?
Clean the mould with warm water, after using it, and let it air dry. Don’t use soap when cleaning this mould.
If you want to reuse the mould you could use fondant or mochi for this. You could use cocoa powder to make the face of the panda and the stripe of the onigiri, or you could use black colouring powder. The broccoli, egg and sausage you could make out of jelly. The noodles you could make out of powdered sugar and a time bit of water or lemon juice, for instance.
You could choose to reuse the decorated pick.