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.


  • 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.



Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 5/5 from 668 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  1. tamy23 Brasil joined 3/14 & has 4 comments

    Hi maangchi! I tried to make this but the texture didn’t turned out right. When I buy it it’s quite chewy and when I bite it feels like I’m chewing octopus, but when I did mine it turned out with an porous texture like it was made o tiny little pices hold together and when you chew they separate in your mouth. Do you know what could have possibily gone wrong?

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

      “when I bite it feels like I’m chewing octopus,..” haha, that’s right!
      I think you could pound the hot steamed rice cake longer and more vigorously.

      • tamy23 Brasil joined 3/14 & has 4 comments

        Success!!! It took me a while to try again but this time I did it! I pounded the rice cake more vigorously and it turned out perfect! Very chewing and firm. I would post an proof-shot but I ate it all already today when I did Ddeokbokki hehehhehehe ^.^v

  2. kikimo900 Québec joined 2/14 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    I would like to know if it is okay to use olive oil instead of sesame oil?
    Thank you

  3. Thank you so much , i always wanted to learn how to make it
    I will visit the Korean store next to me very sone and get what i need to make the tteokguk , thanks a lotttt .

  4. millangyn Sweden joined 1/14 & has 2 comments

    Can I use Thailand jasmine rice – royal umbrella?

  5. chawisssse Manila joined 1/14 & has 4 comments

    i love the way you dress, Maangchi :) will be doing ddeokbokki in a few days for my family…i hope it goes well :)

  6. MsHmong Wi, USA joined 1/14 & has 4 comments

    At our local oriental store there is only white rice flour or glutinous rice flour, would either of those work. They are both dry and come in small plastic bags, I really want to know how to make these

  7. Vyvynini123 Cincinnati joined 12/13 & has 3 comments

    Can I use Japanese Sushi rice grain?

  8. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    Maangchi ,

    i have made this rice cake few times before today and always turned out really good .. i never ran into any problems before , even when i made it the first time . But today .. i tried making the rice cake 2 times and both times .. did not turn out well . I followed your direction of course .. i wonder why the dough comes out very sticky still . Is it possible that maybe during the 2nd step of steaming in the microwave i need to steam it longer ? The weird thing is this is the same microwave i used when i made it few times before .. does humidity in the house can effect the dough ? i am at lost right now :(

  9. Candy87 South Lake Tahoe joined 12/13 & has 6 comments

    Love your website and your cooking!
    I just made these by following your recipe for making my own rice flour.
    Tomorrow I’ll make ddeokbokki for my birthday. Hopefully they come out good.

  10. Krynauw Otto Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    How long does this keep in the freezer?

  11. EMin USA joined 10/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!! I love your website! It’s very nice. Yesterday I successfully made your pork skewers and they were very delicious. But I am having problems cooking garaedeokk it keeps coming out hard and the inside is like the rainbow deokk. I’m using rice flour and I added more water but its not the same. I love deokk so I was trying to make it but its frustrating me! Please help Maangchi!! And what’s the difference between frozen and regular rice flour?

  12. miss happyness Moscow, Russia joined 12/11 & has 2 comments

    Hello, Maangchi!
    I wanna ask if you know the recipe of steamed Korean sweet rice cake, unfortunately I don’t know how it’s called. Dough is made from short grain rice flour with special ferment, then it’s formed into flat cake about 5 cm and steamed. Usually it’s decorated with red flower.

  13. irenekxh malaysia joined 9/13 & has 1 comment

    hello ms maangchi, i have made ddeok from short grain rice, but it was kind of soft, especially after cooked as tteopokki, the rice cake almost dissolved. =( may i know how to improve it?

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

      How frustrated you must be!
      Next time if you make it again, pound the rice cake longer to make it more chewy. And when you make ddeokbokki, add the rice cake in the last couple of minutes of cooking to stop the rice cake going soggy. Freshly made rice cake is very soft, so if you dry it for several hours before cooking, it might help, too
      Good luck with making good rice cake and ddeokbokki!

  14. Nimrod Sabah, Malaysia joined 7/13 & has 2 comments

    Hiya & Shallom aunty Maangchi :),

    I’ve tried making this homemade Garaeddok and cooked it to make Ddeokbokki. I used dry rice flour and yes, it’s hard and not elastic but I modified it until it’s edible..haha..

    Aunty, I’ve one question. Can I mix rice flour with glutinous rice flour so that the Garaeddok turns chewy? :3

  15. mbluzzer north dakota joined 9/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi I can’t get short grain rice flour in my town they only sell the sweet rice flour. I am going to attempt to make my own flour. Regular short grain rice is difficult to get I wondered if I can use sushi rice?

  16. Daisyduck93 Houston,Texas joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    Hi! I want to try making this recipe but I dont have a microwave, is there some other way to cook the rice cake dough?

  17. Star_Princess USA joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

    For the rice flour, how do you thaw it correctly if you bought the frozen one from the store?

  18. Ireojimajebal Indonesia joined 6/13 & has 3 comments

    Hi maangchi! Can i make the dough using cooked rice? I ever heard this method before and people said it actually works. If it is possible, can you please kindly tell me the measurement of the water and cooked rice? Cause i don’t have any coffee maker or that kind of mixer.. Soo i really hope you will reply my question. Thank you very much :)

  19. olivialim indonesia joined 4/13 & has 1 comment

    hi there! i was glad to find this garaeddeok. i have tried n i failed. the result is not as good as the photo. as i steamed the dough, it became hard. and inside it’s like rock n the the white rice flour can be seen white. it looked like it’s not mixed well. then i gave a little more water.but still there were part that are stil hard.can u give solution please?!

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

      Did you use short grain rice (sushi rice)?

    • jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

      I’ve made this rice cake many many times since Maangchi posted the recipe here . I have never failed making her garaeddeok . It always turns out smooth and chewy when i made ddeokbukki . You have to follow the recipe , if it calls for frozen rice flour , then go get that frozen rice flour , don’t be mistaken with indonesian rice flour , it’s not going to turn the same . And you should mix it well with the spoon or wooden spoon . I think your problem is laying on the type of flour you use .

    • VeronicaBoe Indonesia joined 7/13 & has 1 comment

      Hi Olivia! I think we have the same problem here. I tried using Rosebrand Rice flour and it did not turn out very well. Since I couldn’t find short grain rice flour in mu gung hwa, maybe I will try making short grain rice flour from short grain rice. Will update you how it turns out.

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

    oh!! one more things…can i use rock pestle???
    thank you! :)

  21. 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 :)

  22. 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! ^_^

  23. 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.


  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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

  27. 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. (-;

  28. 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!

  29. 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! =)

  30. 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 :-)

  31. 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!

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

  33. 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!

  34. 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 12,045 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.

  35. 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….. {^_^}

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.