Crispy Grilled Caramel Puffs (Karumeyaki)

Category Cookies
These meringue-like cookies, known as crispy grilled caramel puffs (Karumeyaki), are a traditional Japanese dessert. Created in a copper ladle, they transform from a liquid to a solid little treat right before your eyes.


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This is my mother's childhood recipe for a traditional Japanese grilled caramel called Karumeyaki. It is said this recipe is over 400 years old. It's mostly sugar but with a little help and the high heat from a copper ladle, it turns into this beautiful meringue-like cookie. It's actually quite the edible science experiment!

I've attached a video so you can see its awesomeness yourself. In the video, the Karumeyaki maker sprinkles baking soda onto the sugar. In this recipe, we dip our mortar into egg white, then baking soda, then stir. See what works for you!

Total Time: 7 minutes

Link: Karumeyaki in the making (Japan)


  • water
  • crystalized sugar in the raw
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • copper ladle
  • wooden mortar


  1. To make one serving, add two heaped tablespoons of the sugar in the copper ladle.
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  3. Add one tablespoon of water to the sugar.
  4. Place the ladle over high heat. The sugar water will start to make big bubbles.
  5. After a few minutes, the bubbles will get smaller and the sugar water will become syrupy.
  6. When the sugar crystals have all melted, quickly dip your wooden mortar into the egg white.
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  8. Then dip into the baking soda.
  9. Remove ladle from heat and quickly stir the sugar syrup with the wooden mortar with the baking soda on it. As you quickly stir, the mixture will turn white. Stop stirring and it will puff up into your treat.
  10. To remove treat from ladle, hold bottom over high heat and it will easily come out. Enjoy!
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