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 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


  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.



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  1. honey167 malaysia joined 4/13 & has 4 comments

    hi aunty maangchi!!

    i have made your recipe…but my dough became like a rock and the taste not chewy…
    i made it twice…is it because i use blended flour??that contains corn flour+rice flour
    please answer me!!
    thank you :)

  2. Vietnamese VietNam joined 3/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi
    I’m not a Korean but I love tteokbokki very much. In my country, it’s really hard to find rice cake to make tteokbokki. I often buy rice cake at Lotte Mart, but now they don’t sell it anymore. By a chance, I read how to make rice cake on your webpage, I tried to make it at home and it’s perfect. It’s beautiful, chewy, rice fresh smell even better than Lotte Mart sold, i love it so much.
    I did it twice, the first time, I pound it with a pestle, but my thumb is hurt even after 2 days ^_^. So the second time, I used “The Stand Mixer use for kneading bread dough” knead my rice cake, and it turned out great such as I used a pestle.
    I write lots of words because I am too happy about my rice cake. And I really want say “THANK YOU SO MUCH, MAANGCHI”. Have a Great day! ^_^

  3. ShadowMidget Canada joined 3/13 & has 3 comments


    i got the rice flour from a korean store but when i made it, it looks exactly like yours but its not very chewy its more of a soggy kind.


  4. funkychild Pennsylvania joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    I used Dry Rice Flour but it came out a ROCK! not a dough you showed us.
    Do you have any idea about the hot water measurement again for Dry Rice Flour. You used Frozen/wet rice flour, right? Then how about the Dry one? Please Help! JK

  5. dat_charlottesville Charlottesville, VA joined 2/13 & has 2 comments

    I made these tonight and they look great! I can’t wait to simmer them in some spicy korean sauce. I can’t believe making rice flour was so easy.

  6. vickyjay United States joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    can i use glutinous rice flour? and how many servings of this recipe make up 1lb? i want to make ddeokguk. =] thank you

  7. I love spicy rice cakes but it’s difficult to get garaeddeok in my place. Finally! a recipe on how to make garaeddeok! thanks Maangchi for sharing this! i’ll definitely make one tonight…wish me luck. (-;

  8. another_adam Grinnell, IA joined 12/09 & has 6 comments

    Hooray, now we can make ddeokguk in the middle of winter in Iowa, when it’s hard to drive all the way to the nearest Korean market! I made some ddeok tonight, and I have two observations:

    1) I made my own rice flour according to your recipe, and maybe it wasn’t as “thirsty” as the commercial one— when I added 3/4 cup to 2 cups of flour, the result was actually quite wet and paste-like, not a crumbly dough at all! After the first couple minutes in the microwave, it was becoming quite hard and glue-like, but I just broke it up and mixed it some more and microwaved it more, and everything turned out OK in the end. I pounded it for a few minutes and then I put it in the KitchenAid with the dough hook for a couple minutes, and it got nice and smooth and elastic.

    2) I had tried an earlier batch, putting it directly into the KitchenAid from the microwave, and pounding it afterwards. That didn’t work nearly as well, since the result turned out a little bit “rough” (not as perfectly smooth). I think it might end up tasting OK still, but it just seems a little more rustic/homemade, and less refined :) So, it seems that the key for smoothest texture if you’re lazy is pounding first, and then KitchenAid afterwards!

  9. dr.moongyeunyoung Philippines joined 6/11 & has 11 comments

    I can’t wait to make this! rice cakes is one of my favorites! =) I miss cooking! I miss Maangchi! =)

  10. aspensattic Nevada joined 1/13 & has 1 comment

    My ABSOLUTE favorite from when I was little, now my daughter’s favorite!
    Thank you so much for sharing this :-)

  11. vb38 joined 7/10 & has 36 comments

    Maangchi, u are simply amazing! It is such tedious work to mk fm scratch!!! Luckily for me, i can get fresh ones made by the Korean ladies here. Nothing compares to the freshly made stuff, that’s for sure!
    ps. Lovely outfit. U look so so cute!

  12. woah…now i know how to make ddoek from scratch:) thank u

  13. xelloss1989 United States joined 1/13 & has 15 comments

    That reminds me of how we made dumpling skin in China. Sometimes when adding water, we add in flavored water, such as the water we soak mushroom in. Sometimes we even blend spinach with a little olive oil and water in a blender and add the mixed water into the flour. Then the dough would be light green, and the rice cake would have more flavor! I am thinking of adding in the spicy sesame oil instead of the regular one to make rick cake for ddeokbokki~ ^ ^

    Thanks for the recipe!

  14. smochs Seoul, South Korea joined 9/10 & has 3 comments

    I used to live near a store in Seoul that made and sold fresh rice cakes every day. They were so delicious. The frozen ones I can get in Minnesota now can’t compare to the fresh ones. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and the story about your grandmother. I’m really excited to make fresh rice cakes!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      Actually this recipe idea came up for those who can’t access a Korean grocery store. I had never made my own garaeddeok at home before I did some experiments to make this recipe. But I found homemade rice cake is much chewier and more delicious than store bought rice cake.
      I’m glad you love my grandmother’s garaeddeok making story. : )

    • jinjelle Saint Paul, MN joined 3/11 & has 6 comments

      Can you tell me where in Minnesota you find these – – what stores and where? I am in Saint Paul.. Thank you.

  15. ina78 Jerteh, Terengganu, Malaysia joined 4/09 & has 45 comments

    Hohoho….. I’m waiting for this recipe for a long time….. Thank you so much for share this recipes with us….. {^_^}

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