Recipes

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):

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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46 Comments:

  1. pavithrakb South Korea My profile page 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?

  2. 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.

  3. Seulgi Korea My profile page 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?

  4. zeelatiff Kuala Lumpur My profile page 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!

  5. ice cream malaysia My profile page 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?

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

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

      • ice cream malaysia My profile page 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

  6. dnsrdn Singapore My profile page 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

  7. nozomi05 ILLINOIS My profile page 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.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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!

    • Susan.353 Manila My profile page 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 !

  8. JJt UK My profile page 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?

    • dnsrdn Singapore My profile page 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..

      • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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.

  9. byul Singapore My profile page 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)/

    • theresatqw Melbourne/Singapore My profile page 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.

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

    Can I use sushi rice?

    • Bluestar1908 United States My profile page 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

  11. Bama1801 United States My profile page 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?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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.

  12. zipurlip2 USofA My profile page 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.

  13. Korean fan Canada My profile page 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?

    • joyful8581 NJ My profile page 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?

      • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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.

  14. carspyder Pennsylvania My profile page 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

  15. Angel Blue Zagreb, Croatia My profile page 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). :)

  16. ayukusuma Indonesia My profile page 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 ;)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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)

  17. Ireojimajebal Indonesia My profile page 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!

  18. curla360 philippines My profile page 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!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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.

      • curla360 philippines My profile page 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..

        • Maangchi New York City My profile page 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.

  19. Jichin Yeohaengja Artesia, CA My profile page 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. :)

  20. nati georgia My profile page 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 :*:*:****

  21. Matilda.Kramer Sweden My profile page 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 =)

  22. Gerrydizon Guam My profile page 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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