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.

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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)

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Directions

  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.

riceflour_homemade

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76 Comments:

  1. misomui London joined 12/16
    Posted December 30th, 2016 at 12:06 pm | # |

    Just made the flour since I wanted to make tteok but they didn’t sell the flour or the rice cake at the local asian shop. I soaked sushi rice (a korean brand) overnight for 12 hours. I drained it and placed a paper towel underneath the stainer to extract more liquid. After leaving it for around 3 hours, the rice was dry enough to mill. I used my blender since it’s better than my food processor at grinding flour finely. I had to do around 4 batches and another batch at the end for all the big pieces that didn’t sift through. Made about half of a gallon ziploc bag! Delighted with the result.


    See full size image

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  2. feebztr Singapore joined 10/16
    Posted October 26th, 2016 at 11:06 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi!
    How long should we strain the rice for? :)
    Thank you

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  3. Kaykay24 California joined 7/16
    Posted July 15th, 2016 at 2:47 am | # |

    Hi maangchi. Do we follow the same steps as the short grain rice flour if we want to do it with sweet rice flour?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 15th, 2016 at 11:48 am | # |

      yes, you can use this method with sweet rice (glutinous rice).

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  4. annab6 USA joined 7/16
    Posted July 13th, 2016 at 7:50 pm | # |

    Do I just add sugar or powdered sugar to make it sweet rice flour?

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  5. Cassandre France 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 !

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

    Is sweet rice the same as glutenous rice?

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  7. ChayaChop 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?

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  8. elleykat 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. :)

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    • Maangchi New York City 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.

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      • elleykat 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. :)

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

    Maangchi,

    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?

    Steve.

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    • Maangchi New York City 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!

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  10. rizqjiwoo96 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?

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  11. NannyXiong joined 3/15
    Posted March 19th, 2015 at 1:10 am | # |

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

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  12. apeabody318 Texas 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?

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  13. flanella Singapore 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?

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    • Maangchi New York City 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.

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    • Iyan Malaysia joined 6/16
      Posted June 16th, 2016 at 1:57 am | # |

      Hi flanella, i would like to know the type of rice u use to make the sweet rice flour. Is it the typical type of rice we use in malaysia and singapore to eat everyday, or did u use sushi rice? I hope u can respond to this asap. Thank u in advance

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

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

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  15. mamoo cavite 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?

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    • Lynnjamin New York 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).

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    • Maangchi New York City 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.

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  16. olive101 United States 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.

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  17. teikiri hawaii 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.

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

    Maangchi,

    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?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 30th, 2014 at 7:47 pm | # |

      Great! It’s called Bang-aat-gaan”(방앗간). Good luck!

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  19. shalysewb Texas 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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  20. Seulgi Korea joined 10/14
    Posted October 17th, 2014 at 9:14 am | # |

    Hi! Can I use sticky rice instead of short grain rice? what’s the difference between them?

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  21. zeelatiff Kuala Lumpur joined 6/14
    Posted June 19th, 2014 at 8:40 am | # |

    Just bought some short grain rice.I’m going to make this tomorrow!With the steamer since I don’t have a microwave.Wish me luck!

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  22. ice cream malaysia joined 6/14
    Posted June 13th, 2014 at 7:56 am | # |

    Hello !
    I want to ask uhmm..can I use long long grain rice to make a rice flour?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 19th, 2014 at 9:29 am | # |

      No, short grain rice (known as sushi rice) is needed.

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      • ice cream malaysia joined 6/14
        Posted June 26th, 2014 at 9:55 am | # |

        Oh i see..!!!
        Btw, my rice cake is successful done !!
        I follow your recipe..hehe
        Oh..thank you for your awesome recipe!!! <3

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  23. dnsrdn Singapore joined 4/14
    Posted May 1st, 2014 at 12:16 pm | # |

    hello maangchi sorry for bothering again >. < I have another problem now. my helped me grunring the rice while I was out and I learnt that she pour in little of excess water from the rice because the blender was making weird sounds. The flour has now became very wet as moist as if it was already mixed. Is there any way to make it becomes powder again? ㅠ.ㅜ

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  24. nozomi05 ILLINOIS joined 5/14
    Posted May 1st, 2014 at 2:46 am | # |

    hello maangchi,

    how long can i soak the rice without spoiling it?

    the rice was soaked in water for about 24 hrs since i had an emergency at work and was not able to grind it.

    i did grind it and made garaetteok but i am not sure if its safe to eat. i wanna know if its okay to use. i will be making tteokbokki.

    please help and thank you.

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 1st, 2014 at 11:45 am | # |

      I usually soak my rice overnight for 8 to 12 hours. 24 hours is too long, I guess. Don’t worry, it’s safe to eat the garaetteok. Good luck with your Korean cooking!

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    • Susan.353 Manila joined 8/14
      Posted September 10th, 2014 at 11:38 am | # |

      I’ve tried to soak for 24 hour, but its get sour..
      so perfect timing was as what maangchi suggest 8 – 12 our is perfect !

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  25. JJt UK joined 2/14
    Posted February 18th, 2014 at 7:38 am | # |

    So I left the rice to soak overnight and just checked it. The rice doesn’t seem to have expanded at all? Is the rice supposed to be still quite hard or soft at this point?

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    • dnsrdn Singapore joined 4/14
      Posted May 1st, 2014 at 5:10 am | # |

      I’ve been wondering about that, too. It has been 9hours since I soaked the rice, but it still looks hard and not expanding. But, well, I’m gonna wait a little more as Maangchi said to soak it for 9 to 12 hours. Maybe it will expands on the 12th hour ^^ Btw, I’m curious… do I have just to refrigerate it or at where we put the fishes n ice..

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      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted May 1st, 2014 at 12:04 pm | # |

        Rice doesn’t expand much when soaked. The color of each grain will turn opaque (white) from semi-translucent.

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  26. byul Singapore joined 2/14
    Posted February 6th, 2014 at 11:09 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!!~ I love your recipes! There’re great! Well, since Im very into korean stuffs, I tried out spicy rice cake (Tteokbokki *yum* :D’) However, I got a problem ): In singapore there’s hardly any short grain rice flour……..cant find any ;n; Therefore for the tteokbokki recipe, can i make my own rice flour using GLUTINOUS rice flour instead??? O.O Soaking them overnight in cold water like the method used for the short grain rice flour??????? 0o /SOS/ i would greatly appreciate your reply! Tx!~ (n_n)/

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    • theresatqw Melbourne/Singapore joined 7/11
      Posted February 16th, 2014 at 1:35 am | # |

      You can easily use sushi rice or, in Singapore, you can also use “Australian” rice. Sushi rice should be available in larger NTUC branches in Singapore. I would try the one in AMK Hub.

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  27. Vyvynini123 Cincinnati joined 12/13
    Posted December 11th, 2013 at 2:38 am | # |

    Can I use sushi rice?

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    • Bluestar1908 United States joined 6/12
      Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 4:39 am | # |

      Sushi rice grains are short grain rice, so I think you’ll be fine. Even though I’m not Maangchi, I have an expertise in Asian foods :D

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      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 5:12 pm | # |

        Thank you very much for the answer on behalf of me. : )

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  28. Bama1801 United States joined 12/13
    Posted December 2nd, 2013 at 5:54 pm | # |

    I love this recipe! I love all of your videos and recipes! You are someone I look up to when it comes to cooking! :) Is there a way to make homemade sweet rice flour?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 2nd, 2014 at 5:13 pm | # |

      yes, use the same method. Soak sweet rice (glutinous rice) in cold water overnight, drain, and grind it.

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  29. zipurlip2 USofA joined 7/11
    Posted October 28th, 2013 at 10:12 pm | # |

    hahaha ….. I’m laughing at myself right now! I wanted to make your dessert for my daughter and at that time you didn’t have these instructions, so I ground up my own grains. I knew you said you had it from the freezer section and that it was sorta wet out of the bag, but i couldn’t quite figure out how to make it wet and still have flour. I made the dessert and steamed and steamed and steamed it. It was beautiful – to look at, but horrid to eat!!! Now thanks to your instructions I think I can try to make it again w/good results. Thank you for your efforts, Maangchi.

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  30. Korean fan Canada joined 10/13
    Posted October 23rd, 2013 at 8:38 pm | # |

    Hi. I did try it but when i add water for the rice cake, it became a sticky dough. Why?

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    • joyful8581 NJ joined 8/14
      Posted August 7th, 2014 at 11:39 am | # |

      Mine came out to a horrible sticky dough, too! I think I just ruined this batch when attempting to make Baekseolgi-tteok :( Should we not be adding water to ‘fresh’ mepssalgaru?

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      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
        Posted August 7th, 2014 at 12:16 pm | # |

        oh you were going to make baekseolgi with your homemade rice flour.
        http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/baekseolgiddeok
        Yes, I added some cold water to the frozen rice flour that I bought from Korean grocery store.
        Most people make baekseolgi with store-sold frozen rice flour. The wetness of the rice flour varies for every package of rice flour. It shouldn’t be too dry or too wet.
        So it will be hard for you to know how wet the flour should be. I think I explained this in the video. When you squeeze some of the rice flour by hand, it should be gathered 1 lump but if you drop it, the lump should be broken 2 to 3 pieces. That’s the right wetness of rice flour for steaming rice cake.
        So if your homemade rice flour is wet enough for you to reach the moisture, you don’t need to add water.

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  31. carspyder Pennsylvania joined 10/13
    Posted October 17th, 2013 at 2:29 pm | # |

    I have a foodmill – would that work? I am assuming yes but thought I would ask before I try :D

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  32. Angel Blue Zagreb, Croatia joined 7/13
    Posted October 8th, 2013 at 3:24 pm | # |

    Thank you so much, it turned out perfect! I’ve been loking for a way to get this kind of flour for a long time (It’s not possible to buy it where I live). :)

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 8th, 2013 at 10:03 pm | # |

      ” it turned out perfect! ” fantastic! : )

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  33. ayukusuma Indonesia joined 8/13
    Posted September 5th, 2013 at 10:25 pm | # |

    I put my soaked rice even barely under the sunshine before I grind it because it (rice & flour) turns out too sticky here n there on my processor’s pot. I can’t even sift it. Otherwise, I put my rice flour on the freezer in about 2 hours n it turns out very good enough to call “wet”. thakyou maangchi ;)

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 7th, 2013 at 7:39 am | # |

      wow, it sounds like you worked very hard to make rice flour! If the rice flour was too wet, the soaked rice was not strained well. You will have to strain the soaked rice nicely (step 3)

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  34. Ireojimajebal Indonesia joined 6/13
    Posted June 30th, 2013 at 4:04 am | # |

    Hi maangchi.. Thank you for this recipes, i will definietely try this out! But i have one little problem here, can we blend the rice using fruit mixer? Because i only have that kind of mixer.. Thank you very much!

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  35. curla360 philippines joined 2/13
    Posted February 14th, 2013 at 1:10 am | # |

    hi Maangchi! im 6 months pregnant and im craving for korean foods. i was getting excited to try your recipes. just want to ask how to make homemade sweet rice flour. does it have the same procedure like the short grain rice flour? please help..thanks in advance!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 14th, 2013 at 9:18 am | # |

      Have a good and safe pregnancy! : ) yes, basically you can use this method to make sweet rice flour, too.

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      • curla360 philippines joined 2/13
        Posted February 28th, 2013 at 12:54 am | # |

        does it (sweet rice flour) have to be wet? or can i make this dry and use for some other recipes? i’m so confused Maangchi..

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        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
          Posted February 28th, 2013 at 12:54 pm | # |

          It depends on the recipe. Check out the recipe to see if it calls for wet sweet rice flour or soaked and drained rice flour please.

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  36. Jichin Yeohaengja Artesia, CA joined 1/13
    Posted January 24th, 2013 at 3:54 am | # |

    So, the flour is actually moist? I’ve never, ever seen flour like that before seeing this. That would also explain why my garaddeok came out so horribly (and why I got a terrible stomach ache), because my “plain rice flour” was dry… I really do want to try it one more time using SGRF I’ll make myself, because although my local Korean market doesn’t carry frozen SGRF, it does carry SGR to make the flour with.

    But moist flour, wow! Just like there are some moist sea salts out there. Everyday you learn something new. :)

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  37. nati georgia joined 1/13
    Posted January 21st, 2013 at 12:28 pm | # |

    hii Maangchi ^^ can’t you make video about this??i tried so hard but it became something really different,so please hepl me ^^love you very much :*:*:****

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  38. Matilda.Kramer Sweden joined 1/13
    Posted January 19th, 2013 at 7:07 pm | # |

    Thank you Maangchi for this recipe! I´m one of those who can´t find frozen rice flour in my Korean or Asian store. Now I can´t wait till my rice flour is ready to use =)

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  39. Gerrydizon Guam joined 1/13
    Posted January 19th, 2013 at 3:53 am | # |

    Maangch, do you grind the rice wet or do you dry it out?

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 19th, 2013 at 9:35 am | # |

      The rice will still be wet. Please read the step 3 and 4 in the recipe please.

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