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. stitch08 Manila Philippines joined 5/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I am planning to try this recipe using steamer. I am not sure if should I steam it with close lid or steam it with no cover? Hope you can help me. Thank you.

  2. Fany joined 12/15 & has 20 comments

    How much rice flour should I use to make 1 cup of these thin discs?

  3. Fany joined 12/15 & has 20 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    If I want to use it in cheese Buldak, should I freeze them?

  4. Hanah San Jose joined 4/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Ms. Maangchi!
    I would like to ask that could i use sweet rice flour to do rice cake?
    Thanx so much

  5. Moonie Vietnam joined 4/16 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I have made this and it turned out really pretty, soft and chewy. But I’m not really sure about the taste… It tastes a little bit like raw rice I guess (I’m absolutely sure that my dough was completely cooked) Is it because of sesame oil or it’s just its common taste?

  6. RosalinaS Indonesia joined 2/16 & has 8 comments

    Maangchi, attached is how mine turned out. It looks so pretty but IT didn’t taste good bcs in Indonesia we commonly eat long grained rice. I made it from SCRATCH by following your recipe, Oh I can’t thank you enough.

    So, could you pls recommend special brand of short grained flour that you usually use so I could buy it via Amazon or ask my friend whos gonna travel to south Korea??

    Thankyouuu so muchh!! Terima kasihh

    See full size image

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

      Hi, Rosalina
      Your garaetteok looks awesome even though it was made with long grain rice! If you use short grain rice, it will not only look good but taste better. The rice cake should be chewy. I don’t have any particular brand of rice flour because Korean rice flour for making rice cake is usually made by a small local company. When I need to buy rice flour, I pay attention to getting right rice flour which is mepssal-garu (short grain rice flour). You can make your own short grain rice flour, too. https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/mepssalgaru
      This is a list of Korean grocery stores in Indonesia. https://www.maangchi.com/shopping/indonesia

  7. RVD Woodinville, WA joined 1/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I made this today and it turned out well. I could not find the rice cake powder at my local Korean market (H-Mart in the Seattle area) so I made my own with your recipe using my food processor.

    A few notes:

    1) When I initially mixed my rice powder with 3/4 cup of water, it was very watery (like soup) and nothing like your picture. I thought I really messed this up so I added some more rice powder (I used 2 cups of raw rice so it made about 3 cups for rice powder) to try to make it look like yours. I ended up putting all of my rice powder in there but it was still like soup.

    2) After 2 minutes in the microwave, I was surprised to see that it looked like your picture. The rice absorbed all of the water in the soup and it was like dduk. However, it was a bit dry and hard. I mixed it up but was still a bit dry and breaking apart (I probably should not have added that extra cup of homemade rice powder).

    3) After 1 more min in the microwave, it looked ok. I did not do 2 more minutes because I was afraid that it would get really hard and dry.

    4) I added a little bit of water while I was pounding away. I pounded a lot to make sure that it has the right texture and probably pounded for about 15 minutes.

    5) To my surprise it actually turned out well!

    See full size image

  8. firehaze India joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    Hello maangchi :)
    I have a store nearby which sells fresh rice cake. How long do you think it will last if i keep it in a freezer/refrigerator? I asked the store salesman he said to use it within 24 hours, but the quantity is too much!

  9. lidiyaad MN joined 12/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maagchi!

    Do you have any suggestions for alternative to Microwave? I don’t like to use Microwave. Thanks!

  10. The first time I made this I used the microwave method andassume I severly overcooked it because it was extremely tough and the edges crunchy. Has anyone else had this problem? Next time I will try steaming it instead :)

  11. I have just tried to do it and it works. I made the flour by rice. Its good just it not so solf and smooth like yours.

    See full size image

  12. rocknchick Rockford, IL joined 12/14 & has 11 comments

    What kind of pestle is best to use for making the dough? Plastic? Wood? Porcelain? Stainless Steel? Stone? I don’t have one and am lost in the options available. Are some more heavy duty, rather than for crushing herbs and grains?

  13. Hello, Maangchi-ssi~~ I am from the Philippines and it is so hard to look for specific products that you use. So, I kindly asked my student (because I am an online teacher for Koreans. kkk) to maybe send me some rice flour. But my student sent me some rice powder instead. kkk. Would it still work out when I make rice cake using this powder? I attached a picture of the powder. Please help, Maangchi-ssi~ :)

  14. hello maangchi, i have tried this recipe and i failed twice.. and at that time i was using the microwave, because i dont have any parchment paper to cook it with a steamer.. is it okay to cook without the parchment paper? if i only cook it in a steamer with a plate?

  15. luckyme joined 6/15 & has 2 comments

    hi maangchi. i tried doing this recipe several times and i failed. the outcome is the rice cake is soft on the outside but the inside is hard and is not cooked . what did i do wrong

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