Long, cylinder-shaped rice cake

Garaetteok 가래떡

Hello everybody!

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

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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.

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

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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 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 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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264 Comments:

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

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