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.

Using a garae

The 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.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of short grain rice flour (buy it frozen, or make your own)
  • ½ ts kosher 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 toasted sesame oil

Directions

  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, kosher 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 toasted 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, kosher 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 toasted 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 tteokbokki:

  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 toasted 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.

garaetteok

garaeddeok

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274 Comments:

  1. Mansa India joined 3/23 & has 3 comments

    can I use glutenous rice flour?

  2. krrrn EU joined 4/23 & has 1 comment

    Hi, can you please let me know if these need to be cooked again once I shape them? Or are they good to eat straight away? When I try boiling them along with my soup like store bought garaetteok, they turn very soft and not chewy at all.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 578 comments

      You don’t need to cook it again.
      To make rice cake soup, it’s important to cook the freshly made rice cake for a short time. Once the broth turns delicious, you can add the rice cake and cook it for just 1 or 2 minutes. Overcooking the rice cake can cause it to become soggy.

  3. lolerito Mexico joined 2/23 & has 1 comment

    Hello, can I cook with them right after I finish making them or I have to wait until they are dry?

  4. Ollygreen499 United States Ohio joined 6/22 & has 1 comment

    I made my own short grain rice through the other recipe. By soaking the short grain rice, and blending it to powder. Took time cuz i had a tiny blender that was powerful enough to do it and had to do it in tiny batches. But I think it came out cool I made about 5 cups worth of the flour. and i’m cooking them in a sugar syrup water as a snack with a tiny bit of honey. :D


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  5. jillzee NY joined 12/20 & has 2 comments

    I was so nervous at first because my mix of water and homemade rice flour did not look like your first photo. It was completely watery. I went ahead with it anyway, and I’m so glad I did! It worked like a charm and was so delicious! I used it to make rabokki (used your tteokbokki recipe, and just added a bit of cooked ramen noodle), and it was perfect. :) Thank you, Maangchi!

  6. AgnesNg Indonesia joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi, Maangchi.
    Thanks to your recipe I have been getting better at making Garaetteok.
    Just wondering do you have any tips for me in how to roll the Garaetteok? I found an issue with rolling the Garaetteok when it’s getting cold already. My Garaetteok looks so rough. I’m keep trying to roll it to smoothen the Garaetteok surface but it’s just not working.
    Thank you.

  7. oshines28 USA joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

    My rice cakes were so delicious! I used run of the mill short grain sushi rice to make the rice flour and then just followed all the steps carefully. I would recommend letting your rice cakes dry out a tad before cooking with them or else they won’t be as chewy in your dish. Thanks maangchi!

  8. Mimi1016001 USA joined 4/20 & has 2 comments

    my Tteok ended up very hard and grainy and too tough I was not able to use it .. I used mochiko flour and a microwave .. what should I do ? how do I fix it ? and it was more yellow then yours

  9. Amandatrant East Sussex, UK joined 3/20 & has 2 comments

    Hi, I’ve just made these and I’m so pleased with myself. I’m cooking Dak Galbi and needed some rice cakes but not being able to go and get any, I thought I’d have a go. Thank you so much for your clear instructions. Yum

  10. Clairey123 Scotland joined 3/20 & has 1 comment

    Hello, I am new to Korean cooking! I tried making these today, I ordered rice flour from my local supermarket but it didn’t say on the pack what kind of rice flour it was. They came out tasting like flour cylinders :( I have attached a picture of the brand I got, does anyone know if I can use this kind of flour for this recipe?


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    • RachelC England joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

      I just made it using this same flour and it LOOKS like it turned out okay I just had to use a lot more water.
      Was there any answer if this is an okay flour? I haven’t tasted yet and now I’m worried to waste food ingredients on making Tteokbokki if these rice cakes done taste good.


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    • RL Maria London joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

      This is Chinese rice flour and wont be as sticky as short grain rice. You can still use this rice flour to make Korean rice cakes but have to mix with some
      glutinous rice flour which will make the rice cakes more chewy. However I dont like using this because the rice cakes will end up with little rice flavour and less chewy than using wet flour. But still a good alternative if you cant get the proper wet flour.

    • MartaBuka Warsaw joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

      Can one use glutinous rice flour?

  11. Redsea Israel joined 3/20 & has 1 comment

    Hello maangchi!
    I tried making it with the flour I made according to your recipe, but it turned out too dry, grainy and hard… I think it may be because of the microwave… I made flour from round rice and another one from sushi rice, both weren’t good….
    How many watts is your microwave?

    • Okjuliette Montréal, Canada joined 4/20 & has 1 comment

      Hi, I couldn’t find short grain rice so I made rice flour from medium grain rice and they turned out pretty good, texture was a bit off but I enjoyed them! Made the flour with a hand robot!


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    • Mimi1016001 USA joined 4/20 & has 2 comments

      I tried and mine came out like this as well … did you ever figure it out ?

    • Rosa286 Uk joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

      I tried making my own flour too and it became quite graining. I put it back in the blender with some more hot water, and kneaded it with my hands for about 10 minutes and they turned out okay. The rice flour might not have been fine enough. Or at least that’s my theory.

      • Julez25 Philippines joined 7/20 & has 2 comments

        I believe it has to do with the sifting of the flour too. Whatever it is that doesnt pass through the sifter should go back to the blender which goes very well with rice grains for me. Then after sifting everything, you have to repeat the sifting process again just to make sure. Dont rely to much on maangchi’s measurement of the water to put on the flour because we have used different rice grains too, take notice of her NOTE of the texture and look of the rice flour when u put water. It truly depends on the wetness of the rice flour that ur gonna use.


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        • Julez25 Philippines joined 7/20 & has 2 comments

          And may i add that SHORT GRAIN rice is truly IRREPLACEABLE, i have tried everything & experimented on every grain & flour that i could find in our place but sadly its not the same no matter how i followed this recipe. Only short grain rice could give u the texture of the tteok and mixing the rice flour and glutinous rice wont do coz it would just keep on sticking to your teeth. So it all boils down to SHORT GRAIN RICE + MAANGCHI’S RECIPE.

  12. scanese Asunción, Paraguay joined 10/18 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi. I bought some frozen garaeddeok and sliced garaeddeok from the store. How long can I keep them in the freezer before they go bad? They still taste good when I add them to my jjigae.

  13. ElyseM Michigan joined 7/19 & has 1 comment

    Hello. I have a quick question. Can you use Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour?

    • annis Butte, MT, USA joined 10/19 & has 2 comments

      You can’t use mochiko because to make this you need to grind fresh rice. Maangchi is making her flour with either medium or short grain non-sticky rice. She says short but you can use medium just as well, it has a very similar starch profile. Look for something that says “Calrose Rice” at your local supermarket, like Nishiki, Botan, Kokuho Rose, or for short grain, look at an Asian market or Amazon for Koshihikari, Nozomi, Tamanishiki, etc short grain Japanese style rice. I know nothing about Korean rices so I can’t advise on that.

  14. Yash India joined 6/19 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I made Garaetteok today with my own homemade sweet rice flour (using your recipe) I used the steaming method since I wasn’t confident enough to do the microwave method. It came out wonderfully.

    I’ll be making tteokbokki and Gimmari this saturday for my family. :) I’m so excited. I had been wanting to eat tteokbokki for a long time from watching eating shows and k dramas :D But I couldn’t find rice cakes in India. Now thanks to you, I’m finally able to make my own.

    My rice cakes are a bit uneven though. I’ll try to perfect it the next time I make it.


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  15. Mandarinede Germany joined 5/19 & has 3 comments

    I am wondering if I could make the rice cake when I don’t have a microwave. Is there an alternative for the microwave? I really would love to try your recipe. Thank you!

  16. janelei Melbourne joined 1/19 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi. I went four Korean grocery stores and cannot find frozen rice powder you recommended. They only have rice flour and gluten rice flour, which made in Thailand. Which one should I buy to make rice cake?
    Thank you

  17. hammbeen Palembang, Indonesia joined 1/19 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi! I live in Indonesia and although there are Korean restaurant here, buying Korean food for takeout can be so pricey, this is also the case for buying ready made tteokboki. I know making the tteok yourself will be so much cheaper , so today i made this recipe using local rice flour, ‘tepung beras’, readily available ingredients here! I steamed the batter and I was worried when i took it off the heat because it crumbles a lot but after some vigorous pounding it came together nicely, the garaetteok is chewy, soft, and fresh! It’s so good!


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  18. Wippia Quebec, Canada joined 12/18 & has 3 comments

    Hi !

    I made my own rice flour to make some garaetteok but something went wrong normally when I buy them at the store they have some elasticity to them but the one I made have a texture closer to mashed potato ? and they were super fragile while I was making tteokbokki some of them broke in half…i am very confused is my rice the problem ? or did I make them wrong ? I have a picture of the rice I used, I was told that it was sushi rice but was it wrong ? I need help


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  19. As suggested by the comments, I made do with dry regular rice grain powder and added extra hot water to reach the desired consistency.

    I microwaved it for 2 minutes and found it too dry / cooked, so I microwaved it for another minute and kept pressing the dough together until there were few creases and rolled them out in small batches, coating my hands in sesame oil. At this point they were still a little raw, so I steamed them in the rice cooker for around 5 – 10 minutes. The consistency was perfect for tteokbokki!

  20. mirwur Minesota joined 7/18 & has 4 comments

    Could I make this with , Mochiko sweet rice flour? I don’t have frozen rice flour and i cant really get it anytime soon, could i used regular long grain rice flour?

  21. MaxyBoii Sweden joined 7/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I just made this and I realized that I used long grain flour… is this a huge mistake? Have I made a complete fool out of myself? What’s the difference?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      What do you think of the outcome? Did the rice cake turn out chewy?
      I’ve never made rice cake with long grain rice before, but I heard from a reader a while ago that it will work. Short grain rice is stickier and chewier than long grain rice.

  22. michellesunjaya indonesia joined 7/18 & has 1 comment

    i have tried make this, but i didnt steam the batter.
    i just boiled the batter the result is the garaettok didnt bouncy….
    should i steamed the batter?

  23. Shermain Malaysia joined 7/18 & has 6 comments

    Maangchi, my rice cakes seem fine but the only problem I have is that when I chew it, it is sticky. Is it supposed to be soft and sticky? I am not sure because I have never eaten fresh rice cakes. But compared to the store bought rice cakes, they and harder and more chewy. I don’t know if what I am doing is correct. Can you help me?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Yes, rice cake is supposed to be sticky! But to make it more chewy, pound it longer and use a bit less water. Make sure you use the correct rice flour, made with short grain rice (Mepssalgaru 멥쌀가루).

  24. Nydragonfly Delaware joined 6/18 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I made these today and they did not turn out like yours. I used the correct flour, water etc. However, I did the flour before measuring. When I added the boiling water, it turned to the consistency of very thick paste. I had to add alot more sweet rice flour in order for it to just stick together enough for me to roll out… Help!

    • Shermain Malaysia joined 7/18 & has 6 comments

      I actually had it become a bowl of rice water after using her measurements haha my suggestion to you is to slowly add the boiling water until you reach maangchi’s consistency. Remember to still use the boiling water still because mine turned out grainy (feels like the flour didn’t dissolve properly) when I used room temperature water

  25. crisw Portland, OR joined 6/18 & has 1 comment

    I made these last night and it was a total disaster :(

    I used the frozen rice flour from a Korean grocer. The dough came out OK, though VERY sticky. As others have mentioned, it was difficult to shape. When I put the rice cakes into my Gungjung-tteokbokki, they MELTED! It looked like I had dumped a pound of mozzarella in there, but didn’t taste nearly as nice ;)

    Any ideas what could have caused that?

  26. Heidifromoz Perth joined 5/18 & has 6 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    Tried these today. All good until I get to the rolling into cylinders. They don’t keep their shape but revert to a misshapen blob. Was doing it while they were warm. Should I let them get colder first? Appreciate your help. Thanks.

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