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. __sawaa Saudi Arabia joined 8/14 & has 3 comments

    I wondering if the water amount depneding in each flour ? , cause i made my own and it turned really hard dough i don’t know what’s wrong with it ! Is it microwave heat or water or my kind of flour . i’m not sure if it shrt grain rice flour but kept it in freezer so i think it is short grain but i’m not sure because there is no information about the kind on package i tried to make my own flour and it didn’t work too ! I really want to make it but these problem stopped me *heart breaker*

  2. Susan.353 Manila joined 8/14 & has 11 comments

    Hi Maangchi, i am failed at doing rice cake i’m use glutinuos flour instead od shortgrain rice flour..cos i can’t found it. So sad
    I’m thinking to try again tmr …wish i can found shortgrain rice flour.. 😇

  3. Lucero nj joined 8/14 & has 1 comment

    Hey Maangchi I was just wondering if this is the same rice cake you use for patbingsu or is it a different kind of rice cake?

  4. LoveFood14 United States joined 7/14 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi
    I love Korean Drama and Kpop so i was introduced to Rice Cakes. I’ve never tried it before and i really want to make my own’s so badly. I tried today but i failed. I have a few questions on how to make it.
    1) When you mean dried rice flour or short grain flour, how can you tell the difference ? Because my mom bought the flour from the store and it only says Rice Flour on it, and it wasn’t frozen so I’m not sure if that’s the reason i failed.
    And 2) Do i need to add sesame oil on the bowl ? Because i put rice flour and water in it but after i microwaved it for 2 minutes, some of it stuck to the bowl. Then another 2 minutes and it was dry and completely hard. Please help me. Thank you.

  5. Isobelle Malaysia joined 7/14 & has 1 comment

    Annyeong Maangchi-sshi.
    I was wondering~ can i use the normal rice flour?
    P/S: i looooovveee the way you make cooking much more fun then always ^w^

  6. ReyHand98 - joined 11/13 & has 3 comments

    Hai! Maangchi.Can I replace short grain rice to jasmine rice? If it is possible,Does the recipe change too?Please help me.Thanks:)

  7. dnsrdn Singapore joined 4/14 & has 4 comments

    Hi. I tried to make for the first time because I’ve ran out of in-store bought garaeddeok, and I failed. The rice cake turns out to be very moist, and wet~ I was using steamer and the cake is so sticky to the parchment paper. Do I have to sprinkle some sesame oil on the parchment paper before I pour on the dough so that it won’t stick to each other later? Do I have to cool it down first before I pound it with pestle? And as for the cutting board, does it has to be wooden cutting board, instead of the plastic one? Or could it be the mistake from the measurement? (I made smaller batch). 2 cups of rice flour + 1 cup of hot water + 1/2ts salt… Is there any problem with that? :( I’m feeling so wasted and in vain..

    p/s I bought the flour but it wasn’t frozen, so do I have to refrigerate first? I didn’t do this.

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

      I can understand your struggle to make good rice cake
      First you need right ingredient. What type of rice flour did you use? “It wasn’t frozen”, then that means you used dried rice flour? You have to use rice flour (short grain rice) which is soaked overnight and ground finely. The rice flour is a little wet, so it has to be kept in the freezer. Otherwise it will go bad easily.

      Dried rice flour won’t be cooked properly even though you steam it for hours and hours.
      So if you want, make your own wet rice flour: https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/mepssalgaru

      • dnsrdn Singapore joined 4/14 & has 4 comments

        Hi. Thank you for the reply. I have asked my Korean penpal whose currently lives in Malaysia. She lives in almost remote area where Korean mart is impossible to find. She told me that she uses rice glutinous rice flour as alternative because this is what the short grain rice known as. She told me that I could freeze it on my own by putting in into my freezer for one night (maybe for few days). Do you think this is illegible? By the way, I was wondering if it is possible to deliver garaeddeok by courier service, which could take one or two days to arrives. I heard it could be ruined and will grows fungus, some say it was okay depends on how you parcel it.

        Sorry for the long comment. Thank you.

  8. qian malaysia joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    Short grain rice flour same as glutinous rice flour?

  9. giligil11 Israel joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    hellow maangchi shi~
    I’m nomi from Israel ^^
    I made your recipe several times And the ttok came out great!
    After I take out of the microwave I process it using the mixer for 30 minutes just using the dough hook.
    thank you ~~~

  10. Isabel1991 Belgium joined 3/14 & has 2 comments


    It’s the first time i make it, i don’t even now how it must taste.
    i made it 2 times and I follow all your steps, but Always the same problem
    i made it in the microwave but it turned out dry?
    i’m not using frozen rice flower, is than the problem?
    What changes must i make if it’s not frozen rice flower?
    & another question …
    you write “Pound it with a pestle for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.”
    Can i also use a bread machine? it’s because i don’t have a pestle.

    best regards


  11. 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 12,047 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

  12. 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

  13. Swingfire912 USA joined 2/14 & has 1 comment

    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 .

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

    Can I use Thailand jasmine rice – royal umbrella?

  15. 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 :)

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