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. Meli048 Switzerland joined 5/17 & has 2 comments

    Hey Maangchi, Can i use normal rice flour too? I wasnt able to find the korean rice flour. Please Help :'(

    • yzxchn San Francisco joined 6/17 & has 1 comment

      Hey, normal rice flour wouldn’t likely to work, as the dough would be dry and hard to work with and the resulting rice cakes powdery instead of chewy.
      However, I found a way that seems to produce decent rice cakes as far as I can tell.
      You see, AFAIK, medium grain rice or long grain rice have a lower content of Amylopectin(google it) compared to short grain rice, and I highly suspect that it is Amylopectin that makes rice cakes chewy (as it gelatinizes when being cooked in water).
      So I tried increasing the amount of this thing in my rice cakes. How? By mixing cornstarch into normal rice flour, since it has a much higher Amylopectin content. I tried different batches with various rice flour vs. cornstarch ratios, and it seems that higher cornstarch content=stickier, chewier rice cakes.
      I can’t say what ratio would be a good balance since it depends on the types of rice flour and cornstarch you use, but 30% cornstarch(by weight) should be a good starting point, you can adjust this ratio depending on your liking.

      TL;DR Mix in something that has higher Amylopectin content, such as cornstarch or glutinous rice flour.

      • pieter Amsterdam, Netherlands joined 7/17 & has 4 comments

        Hi Maangchi, Here a Dutch fan of your recipes. We eat your raw fish bibimbap (forgot the word, too difficult) every week. Sooo good! And healthy. I just made your cilinder shaped rice cakes. I did not have that frozen Korean rice flour, so I used 75% dry rice flour and 25% sticky rice flour. I needed a little more water (about 1 and 1/3 cup, but it worked very well using your microwave method. Thanks for all your great recipes and videos. Tonight I will make the spicy tteokbokki with the sticks (they’re shorties…). Looking forward! Best from Amsterdam, Peter

        See full size image

  2. wined abu dhabi joined 5/17 & has 3 comments

    Since i already made the flour, here is my freshly made rice cakes. Looks amazing.i immediately made 떡볶이. Its gewy and so delicious. 고마워요 마앙치 ^.^

    See full size image

  3. SachiKimi_ Malaysia joined 5/17 & has 1 comment

    is short grain rice flour is the one that is made with the sticky grain rice or can be any type of rice flour?

  4. wined abu dhabi joined 5/17 & has 3 comments

    I used to buy the rice cake in our local korean store but it looks dried and cracked probably due to overfreezing. And since the store.is also far.from my flat, i decided to make it my own. Starting first with the short grain rice flour. I followed your instruction in making fresh rice cake.by firstly making the.flour itself. I used sushi rice, soaked 12hrs and dried 12hrs. And.used blender to pulvurized it. Im so happy for the yield. Im excited.to make.tteokbokki later
    =) Here is end result,

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  5. Hollie Western australia joined 4/17 & has 4 comments

    Now I can make good rice cake I’m looking for things to do with it besides spicy rice cake and the soy one, and soup. I read a comment about someone frying them in butter which sounded lovely, also I read you can make a nice sweet version with honey and butter or savoury with honey butter and garlic. I just really love butter lol…. would you just fry them in melted butter? Or should I boil it first?

  6. Hollie Western australia joined 4/17 & has 4 comments

    Thankyou, made it using the rice flour recipe too, might not look pretty but worked perfectly. Cheated and used the dough hook instead of the pestle Thanks again

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  7. chaeyoung0415 Korea joined 4/17 & has 1 comment

    hello. nice recipe. so…how long can i keep this in the freezer?

  8. arodrake United Kingdom joined 2/17 & has 1 comment

    I tried this recipe, it looked very nice and looked very similar to yours.
    However, when I tasted it, it was quite bad.. very powdery and not chewy tasted very bad.

    Am I missing something or doing something wrong?

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

      Yes, definitely there must be something wrong! : ) Did you use short grain rice? Did you steam it well? Did you pound the cooked rice cake until very chewy? It should turn out smooth and chewy. Good luck!

  9. eva28924 - joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    Hi, after shaping them can i immediately use it for making ddeokbokki? also, can I freeze them? after freezing them do i just thaw it or are there special procedures to be taken? thank you

  10. suryasai india joined 1/17 & has 1 comment

    I followed the process exactly like above said directions,and it turns out very well…thanks..

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  11. misomui London joined 12/16 & has 3 comments

    Just made thise with homemade rice flour. I didn’t use all the water per the recipe since it looked too wet after about half a cup of boiling water. It looked dry after 2 mins in the microwave though so I put another 2 tbsp water before putting it back into the microwave for the second round. Instead of kneading by hand, I rolled it into a ball and put it in my stand mixer for 10 mins on high. I had to hold the mixer down to keep it from flying off but the results were great! Thanks for the recipe!!!

    See full size image

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

      Wow looks perfect! Thank you for sharing this with me, I’m going to share this with my letter subscribers!

      • misomui London joined 12/16 & has 3 comments

        Oh yes, to clarify, I put it in my stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (normally used for bread dough).

        The final tteokbokki came out great! I made this (with lots of other Korean dishes using your recipes) and had so many compliments! The guests loved how chewy the tteok was – the texture was perfect and much better than the ready made store bought kind which can taste like powder.

  12. Sio lover Ksa joined 12/16 & has 46 comments

    Maangchi hi I made today rice cake I know it looks horrible but its really chewy and very soft like a gum I really like your recipe you are amazing

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  13. yanghi98 Indonesia joined 11/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi! i’ve tried your recipe to make the tteok but everytime i cooked it with the spices, it will become too mushy and sticky :(
    is it because of steamer ?(the steamer that i used produce a lot of dew)
    should i make the dough like dry sand?
    thank you~

  14. Mossy Mos Thailand Bang Pa-In joined 9/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I can use Long Grain Rice Flour to make this rice cake? because on my country Short Grain Rice is not available…

  15. aiucepe Indonesia joined 6/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi ^^
    Thank you for the recipe. It is hard to find short grain rice here, so I did a little experiment. I made my own flour using long grain rice because the store-bought ones tasted bad (as I experienced). I grind the rice manually, it is tiring but fun. I added 2 tablespoons of glutinous rice flour for a cup of rice flour I made. It turned out well! I hope this can help those who find it difficult to get short grain rice.
    Thank you ^^
    (Photo was taken from my ig account, I added watermark because sometimes someone took my pics without permission)

    See full size image

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