Long, cylinder-shaped rice cake

Garaetteok 가래떡

Hello everybody!

Today I’ll show you how to make a homemade Korean rice cake called garaetteok.


Most of you know what tteok means, right? That’s rice cake. But what about garae? What is it, and what does it have to do with this rice cake?

There are a few theories about that. One of them is that garae comes from the verb gaeuda which means “to divide.” Some people think this rice cake got its name because it’s always “divided” into pieces before it’s rolled and stretched.

garaeThe other theory is the name comes from a Korean farming tool called a garae, which is a type of spade. A garae has 2 thick ropes attached to the side of it so that 2 helpers can pull the ropes and make the digging go faster.

Some people think those ropes look a lot like garaetteok, which is how the rice cake got its name.

I had never made homemade garaetteok until I developed this recipe for my website, but when I was growing up in Korea, I watched my grandmother in Korea make it once. I remember her pounding the rice cake with her long wooden pestle in her large stone mortar. Kong kong kong! When she was finished pounding it was elastic, chewy, and soft. Then she started rolling out pieces of it with her hands.

Rolling and stretching, rolling and stretching, until it became long like a rope.

I must have watched her pretty closely because my memories of her working are very vivid! And I also remember her huge smile when she saw me watching her. It was not easy work, and she probably sweat a lot, but she ever frowned.

Developing this recipe, I realized how much hard work it must have been for her. I have a microwave to help me, and I am only making a small amount. She made a lot more, and all by hand. Now I really understand how much work it was, and she still had the energy to give me a smile.

Several hours after she made it, the rice cake would get a little dry and hard. Then she cut it into thin discs for rice cake soup. I remember that she used to cut it straight across, not diagonally, so each rice cake looked exactly like a coin.

I miss her and I miss her smile. She passed away long time ago.

You can use a microwave or a steamer to make garaetteok, whichever one you have at home and feel comfortable with. The dough ratio is a little different depending on which method you use, so be sure to use the right one.

After it’s made, you can cut and prepare it for tteokbokki or tteokguk. Both methods are described below.

A note about short grain rice flour: the flour you buy at your local store or the flour you make may have more or less moisture in it than the rice flour I use in this recipe. This is because of many different things like how long it’s been in the freezer in the store, or the atmospheric conditions where you live. You may need to add more or less boiling water, depending on how dry or wet your short grain rice flour is.


  • 2 cups of short grain rice flour (buy it frozen, or make your own)
  • ½ ts salt
  • ¾ cup of boiling water if using a microwave, 1 cup of boiling water if using a steamer (you may need more or less depending on how much moisture is in your short grain rice flour, see the note above)
  • 1 ts sesame oil



  1. If you bought frozen rice flour from a Korean grocery store, put it in the fridge overnight until it thaws out and the flour becomes a powder. If you made your own rice flour, you don’t need to do this

Making rice cake with a microwave:

  1. Combine the rice flour, salt, and boiling water in a bowl. It should have the consistency of the mixture in this photo:rice-cake-dough
  2. Cover it with plastic wrap, leaving a small gap to let the steam release. Microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix the rice cake dough with a rice scoop or wooden spoon.
  4. Re-cover with the plastic wrap and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Spread ½ ts sesame oil on your cutting board. Put the hot rice cake in the oily spot on the cutting board. Pound it with a pestle for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.ricecake-poundingricecake-folding

Making rice cake with a steamer:

  1. Combine the rice flour, salt, and boiling water in a bowl.
  2. Line a steamer rack with parchment paper. Add the rice cake dough and steam for about 25 minutes over hight heat.
  3. Spread ½ ts sesame oil on your cutting board. Put the hot rice cake in the oily spot on the cutting board. Pound it with a pestle for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. The rest of process is the same as the  method of using a microwave oven.ricecake_steamingricecake_steamedricecaked_pounding

Prepare the rice cake for ddeokbokki:

  1. Cut it into 8 equal pieces, then roll each piece out into a 4 inch long cylinder shaped rice cake.
  2. Put ½ ts sesame oil onto your hands and gently rub the rice cakes to coat them in a thin sheen of oil. This will give them a nice flavor and keep them from sticking to each other.ricecakerice cakerice cake

Prepare the rice cake for ddeokguk (rice cake soup):

  1. Cut it into 2 equal pieces, then roll each piece out into two 10 inch long cylinder shaped rice cakes.
  2. Let them cool at room temperature for several hours, then slice diagonally into thin discs.
  3. Use right away, or put in a plastic bag and freeze for later use. This amount is for 1 serving of ddeokguk, so if you want to make two bowls of soup, make two batches.





  1. suryasai india joined 1/17
    Posted January 2nd, 2017 at 10:08 am | # |

    I followed the process exactly like above said directions,and it turns out very well…thanks..

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 3rd, 2017 at 10:47 am | # |

      Congratulations! It looks very smooth and chewy!

  2. Meli048 Switzerland joined 5/17
    Posted May 27th, 2017 at 12:35 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi, Can i use normal rice flour too? I wasnt able to find the korean rice flour. Please Help :'(

    • yzxchn San Francisco joined 6/17
      Posted June 16th, 2017 at 5:58 pm | # |

      Hey, normal rice flour wouldn’t likely to work, as the dough would be dry and hard to work with and the resulting rice cakes powdery instead of chewy.
      However, I found a way that seems to produce decent rice cakes as far as I can tell.
      You see, AFAIK, medium grain rice or long grain rice have a lower content of Amylopectin(google it) compared to short grain rice, and I highly suspect that it is Amylopectin that makes rice cakes chewy (as it gelatinizes when being cooked in water).
      So I tried increasing the amount of this thing in my rice cakes. How? By mixing cornstarch into normal rice flour, since it has a much higher Amylopectin content. I tried different batches with various rice flour vs. cornstarch ratios, and it seems that higher cornstarch content=stickier, chewier rice cakes.
      I can’t say what ratio would be a good balance since it depends on the types of rice flour and cornstarch you use, but 30% cornstarch(by weight) should be a good starting point, you can adjust this ratio depending on your liking.

      TL;DR Mix in something that has higher Amylopectin content, such as cornstarch or glutinous rice flour.

  3. wined abu dhabi joined 5/17
    Posted May 27th, 2017 at 10:06 am | # |

    Since i already made the flour, here is my freshly made rice cakes. Looks amazing.i immediately made 떡볶이. Its gewy and so delicious. 고마워요 마앙치 ^.^

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted May 30th, 2017 at 2:12 pm | # |

      Yes, it looks amazing! Your garaetteok looks perfect!

  4. Hollie Western australia joined 4/17
    Posted April 22nd, 2017 at 10:29 am | # |

    Now I can make good rice cake I’m looking for things to do with it besides spicy rice cake and the soy one, and soup. I read a comment about someone frying them in butter which sounded lovely, also I read you can make a nice sweet version with honey and butter or savoury with honey butter and garlic. I just really love butter lol…. would you just fry them in melted butter? Or should I boil it first?

  5. Hollie Western australia joined 4/17
    Posted April 22nd, 2017 at 1:01 am | # |

    Thankyou, made it using the rice flour recipe too, might not look pretty but worked perfectly. Cheated and used the dough hook instead of the pestle Thanks again

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 28th, 2017 at 8:07 am | # |

      It looks amazing! Did you make rice cake soup with this?

  6. chaeyoung0415 Korea joined 4/17
    Posted April 8th, 2017 at 9:54 pm | # |

    hello. nice recipe. so…how long can i keep this in the freezer?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 9th, 2017 at 10:49 am | # |

      You can freeze it up to about 1 month.

  7. arodrake United Kingdom joined 2/17
    Posted February 27th, 2017 at 6:07 pm | # |

    I tried this recipe, it looked very nice and looked very similar to yours.
    However, when I tasted it, it was quite bad.. very powdery and not chewy tasted very bad.

    Am I missing something or doing something wrong?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 1st, 2017 at 9:57 am | # |

      Yes, definitely there must be something wrong! : ) Did you use short grain rice? Did you steam it well? Did you pound the cooked rice cake until very chewy? It should turn out smooth and chewy. Good luck!

  8. Boiling Kimchi Waterloo, Ontario, Canada joined 6/17
    Posted June 16th, 2017 at 7:04 pm | # |

    Hey Maangchi, it would be helpful if you could write down how much time it takes to make each recipe. It’s little inconvenient for me to figure out what to cook when i don’t have a lot of time and stuff! Thank you :)

  9. SachiKimi_ Malaysia joined 5/17
    Posted May 24th, 2017 at 4:55 am | # |

    is short grain rice flour is the one that is made with the sticky grain rice or can be any type of rice flour?

  10. wined abu dhabi joined 5/17
    Posted May 20th, 2017 at 4:26 pm | # |

    I used to buy the rice cake in our local korean store but it looks dried and cracked probably due to overfreezing. And since the store.is also far.from my flat, i decided to make it my own. Starting first with the short grain rice flour. I followed your instruction in making fresh rice cake.by firstly making the.flour itself. I used sushi rice, soaked 12hrs and dried 12hrs. And.used blender to pulvurized it. Im so happy for the yield. Im excited.to make.tteokbokki later
    =) Here is end result,

    See full size image

  11. eva28924 - joined 1/17
    Posted January 11th, 2017 at 5:58 am | # |

    Hi, after shaping them can i immediately use it for making ddeokbokki? also, can I freeze them? after freezing them do i just thaw it or are there special procedures to be taken? thank you

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