For those unfamiliar with Popin’ Cookin’, it’s essentially a Japanese Easy Bake Oven. All ingredients come in a plastic package, in powder form. Recipes include pizza, hamburger, bento box, donuts, and my personal favorite, sushi.
Let’s take a moment to conceptualize sushi made from powder (ew, right?). Ok, moment over.
A friend ordered Popin’ Cookin on Amazon (from Japan!) and generously shared this bizarre experience with yours truly. We tried two recipes, the Bento Box and donuts.
Let’s talk about it. The box includes 7 powder packets and instructs you to mix each powder with water and place the mixture into the container provided. In reality, we had to look it up on YouTube because we are clueless when it comes to reading Japanese.
Each combination, except the “rice,” is neon and resembles jelly. The rice, however, feels like fake snow (is your mouth watering yet?). You’re instructed to dip the rice into the squishy black concoction to make it look like seaweed.
However, ours turned out to be a hot mess. The “seaweed” went everywhere and the rice ultimately turned black. The next step was to combine the orange powder with water to form a paste and spoon it into a piping bag. Time for noodles — we are about 90% sure they’re noodles (??). We piped the “dough” to resemble noodle-like things, and voila — it’s the poop emoji.
The final step is to make the “chicken.” Combine the brown powder with water and roll the final product in your hand as if you’re making cookies. Yum. Who doesn’t want hand-rolled chicken??
Ok, let’s eat.
Due to an allergy, I could not taste the final product, so the following are comments made by brave individuals who tasted the food.
“The broccoli smells like grape!”
“Is that supposed to be ginger or an octopus?”
“Ew, the rice tastes like bubble gum.”
“The chicken tastes like a sweet tart.”
“The noodle is stuck to the roof of my mouth!” (said before spitting it into a napkin)
Overall Consensus: Broccoli and chicken are decent, noodles are vile.
Next up were the “donuts.” After the bento box results slightly improved our opinion of Popin’ Cookin’, we were optimistic. This box includes 6 powder packets plus a bag of sprinkles (ah, sprinkles).
There’s a packet for vanilla dough and another packet for chocolate dough plus powders for vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry frosting. The box also contains one regular donut mold and one bundt mold (is anyone else thinking about My Big Fat Greek Wedding now?).
Ok, let’s start “cooking.” Mix the vanilla and chocolate powders with water to form the “donut” and repeat the process with the leftover powder packets to make the frosting.
Time to get creative. After a few glazes, drizzles, and sprinkles, the donuts are complete. Get out that Snapchat and Instagram because these tiny donuts are surprisingly photogenic.
Now for the group commentary.
“The dough tastes like a stale cookie.”
“Has the consistency of Play-Doh.”
“The dough looks like a gummy.”
“Strawberry frosting is way too sweet.”
Overall consensus: Never again. Had to be washed down with olive bread and truffle oil.
As you can see, we really did try Popin’ Cookin’ — and don’t worry, you don’t have to.