Short grain rice flour

Mepssalgaru 멥쌀가루

Many people who watched my rice cake videos that use frozen rice flour and who haven’t used rice flour before asked me many questions about it.

Rice flour (ssalgaru) is flour made from finely milled rice. Koreans usually use one of two kinds of ssalgaru for making rice cakes: chapssalgaru (sweet rice flour) and maepssalgaru. Maepssalgaru is made with short grain rice and usually sold frozen to keep it moist.

Traditionally in Korea and even today, most neighborhoods have a local mill where you can get grains and seeds ground and pulverized into powders, grains, oils, liquids and even cakes. So you can bring your sesame seeds to the mill, and they will make sesame oil from them for you.

I live in New York City, and there are no local mills at all. Whenever I want to make rice cake, I have to buy frozen rice flour (naengdong mepssalgaru) from a Korean grocery store.

Some of my readers tell me:

“Maangchi, I really want to make your rice cake but I can’t find the rice flour you use.”
“The Korean grocery store I shop at doesn’t sell the rice flour.”
“How can I make this rice flour at home?”

I did some experiments and developed this method of making maepssalgaru at home with a food processor or coffee grinder. So now you can make homemade rice flour and your own rice cakes whenever you want them! I hope this helps!

Ingredients (makes 4 cups of rice flour)


  1. Wash the rice. Put it in a bowl of water and scrub it by hand for a full 10 seconds. Rinse, stir, and drain. Repeat until the water drains clear.
  2. Soak in clean water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours.rice flour_soaking
  3. Strain the rice. It should have expanded to about 3½ cups’ worth.rice flour_strain
  4. Grind the rice finely with a coffee grinder or food processor.rice flour_grind
  5. Sift the ground rice flour into a bowl. If any rice pieces are too big to sift, grind them again until they can be sifted.riceflour_sifting
  6. You’ll end up with about 4 cups of rice flour. Use it right away, or put it in a plastic bag and in the freezer until you need it.



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  1. Cassandre France My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted November 21st, 2015 at 9:33 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi,
    Thank you for this recipe ! :)
    I’m a student on a budget and I live in a dorm room, so I don’t have blender or coffee grinder… All I have are a mortar and a potato masher.
    Can I use it to powder the rice or do you have any other suggestion ?

    Have a nice day !

  2. ChayaChop My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 13th, 2015 at 2:35 pm | # |

    Is sweet rice the same as glutenous rice?

  3. ChayaChop My profile page joined 8/15
    Posted August 13th, 2015 at 12:34 pm | # |

    My husband and I have tried looking for short grain rice but can’t find it. Can I use medium grain rice instead?

  4. elleykat My profile page joined 7/15
    Posted July 10th, 2015 at 9:15 am | # |

    Hihi! I love your recipes and my husband especially loves when I make him homemade kimchi. :) I am trying to make short grain rice flour for use in making tteokbokki – yum yum! I soaked short grain rice overnight (10 hours) and let it strain for about an hour, but it is still very VERY wet, especially the rice on the bottom. When I try to put in the food processor, nothing much happens to the rice! It is definitely not soft and powdery or small enough to go through a sifter like in your photo. Is the issue probably that my rice is too wet? Or not soaked long enough? (It is very hard rice, but has turned opaque white.) Or is my food processor just a no-good piece of junk? haha. I saw someone ask if they could use a blender to grind, I think my food processor is probably better than my blender… Please help! I really want to make gungjung tteokbokki for dinner tonight. :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 12th, 2015 at 11:40 am | # |

      Soaking rice overnight and straining 1 hour sounds you did the right thing! I’m not sure why the rice turns too wet. Usually a coffee grinder works well to mill the soaked rice.

      • elleykat My profile page joined 7/15
        Posted July 12th, 2015 at 6:05 pm | # |

        Thank you for your reply! My food processor was not very good. I used my mom’s nut nutribullet and that worked much better! The rice flour turned out great, and so did my rice cakes! Yum yum!! Thanks again. :)

  5. SteveInPortAngeles My profile page joined 6/15
    Posted June 2nd, 2015 at 9:35 pm | # |


    Thank you so much for posting your videos and writing your books…just got your latest and I’m so excited. I really enjoyed reading your personal story as I’m also a therapist working with families. My step grandmother was from Korea, and your food takes me back to a very happy childhood (lots of Bulgogi, Mandu, and Kimchi).

    My question is regarding short grain rice. I can only find Koshihikari rice here in my small town. It says it is sushi rice, and that it is short grain, but I don’t see any reference to it in Korean cooking. Would this work to make short grain rice flour?


    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 4th, 2015 at 8:13 pm | # |

      Hi Steve,
      Koshihikari rice is short grain rice that Koreans and Japanese eat everyday. “I really enjoyed reading your personal story as I’m also a therapist working with families.” I’m glad to hear that you like my stories along with my recipes. Happy cooking!

  6. rizqjiwoo96 My profile page joined 5/15
    Posted May 27th, 2015 at 12:10 am | # |

    HI Mangchi~ 안녕하세요~ ^^ just want to ask whether I can use a blender instead of food processor?

  7. NannyXiong My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 19th, 2015 at 1:10 am | # |

    Unnie, I love your recrecipes, you’re the best, jinjja!!!

  8. apeabody318 Texas My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 10th, 2015 at 4:17 pm | # |

    What is the difference between this kind of rice flour and the regular rice flour on the shelf at the Asian grocery store?

  9. flanella Singapore My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted February 5th, 2015 at 9:13 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I manage to make the recipe and it’s successful!! How long we can keep the flour in the fridge as I put them in a ziplock bag?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted February 6th, 2015 at 4:52 pm | # |

      Oh you made the rice flour! It’s a little wet, so you have to keep it in the fridge and use it in a few days. If you freeze it, it will last longer, up to 1 month.

  10. Happydays Australia My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted January 19th, 2015 at 2:30 am | # |

    Maangchi, can we use short grain brown rice for this recipe?

  11. mamoo cavite My profile page joined 1/15
    Posted January 17th, 2015 at 5:06 am | # |

    hi… i am new here. can i ask if i can actually used glutinous rice flour to make a dough for the rice cake?

    • Lynnjamin New York My profile page I'm a fan! joined 11/14
      Posted January 18th, 2015 at 6:23 pm | # |

      That very same question was asked in this thread a while ago, and Maangchi herself answered it. She says use the same method with glutinous rice to make sweet rice flour (chapssalgaru). But she says not to use use sweet rice flour in recipes that call for short grain rice flour (maepssalgaru).

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted January 20th, 2015 at 10:10 am | # |

      It depends on what you make. If the recipe calls for short grain rice flour, you must use short grain rice flour. If the recipe calls for glutinous rice flour, you have to use glutinous rice flour.

  12. olive101 United States My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 23rd, 2014 at 2:25 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi. Do you think I could use brown rice? How would this rice cake or ‘songpyon’ turn out if I use brown rice powder? Thanks in advance.

  13. teikiri hawaii My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 16th, 2014 at 2:31 am | # |

    How long do I strain the rice for? i am trying to figure out how to get it through the strainer because it seems too wet.

  14. pavithrakb South Korea My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 30th, 2014 at 5:34 am | # |


    I live in Gwangju, korea. I want to make my own rice powder ask you mentioned. But I dont know whats local mills are called in hangul? can you help me?

  15. shalysewb Texas My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 26th, 2014 at 10:18 pm | # |

    Super happy with how this turned out. Thanks for the recipe. Can’t wait to try the rice cake soup with it.

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