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. TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16 & has 26 comments

    well, I tried…!

    Used 2 cups of glutinous rice flour, but then, 3/4 cup of water was absolutely not enough – I actually had to add 1 and 3/4 cups – but to be honest, I forgot that it had to be boiled water, and added cold water instead (maybe that’s what the problem was…?!) then, I did a total of 4 minutes in the microwave, as you did, (mixing in between) and it eventually came out of the microwave very translucent. It was also really too rubbery to roll! I had to break it into sections, and pull and squeeze it into approximate cylinder shapes – but they look very lumpy and uneven. I carefully put them into a plastic ziplock bag (even with a coating of sesame oil, they insisted on sticking together if they touched!) and now they are in the freezer. Any ideas where I could improve – ?! :D

  2. juls51 Sacramento, CA joined 4/18 & has 1 comment

    Can this be fried and dunked in sugar as a snack? My great-grandmother used to make something like this and I remember my grandmother calling it tteok but it was oval. It reminded me of mochi (oval shape and texture). Can this recipe be used the in the same way?

  3. Newbie Finland joined 8/17 & has 1 comment

    Hey, can I use vegetable oil instead? I want to try making garaetteok today, but i don’t have time to go to a grocery store :'(

  4. ellenite Indonesia joined 1/18 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    i followed your recipes, but since our country also produce rice, i tried using normal ricebor thailand rice.
    Well, either i added too much water or what, the dough get so sticky even my pestle get too sticky and i already give sesame oil on surface of cutting board or pestle surface.so it really need alot sesame oil haha.

    the shape lookes good, but problem happens when i cook along with the sauce… After I stir wait the consistency as desired…then, i saw the garaetteok i made vanished hahaha, it dissolved with the sauce. Some saved but became so tiny , the taste of sauce was great! only nowhere i can see my rice cake, so in the end i laufh hard on my fail try.

    I guess i will try use sushi rice next time, or just rice flour can?

    Help me Maangchi T_T

    See full size image

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

      Your garaetteok looks awesome but like you said, it shouldn’t dissolve in the sauce.

      Next time use sushi rice, and also heat up the sauce for a longer time before you add the rice cakes, so you only stir them for one minute.

    • SiaT Uk joined 2/18 & has 1 comment

      There is an ancient Gujarati / Indian way to make steamed rice cakes, it’s called Khichi and uses ANY rice flour. The rice flour has to be cooked first on a high heat then steamed and it can then be dropped into any broth. I actually used khichi without green chillis with the broth recipe here and it worked beautifully.

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

    I will cook this forever people are asking me to cook for them korean dish❤

    See full size image

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

    The best thing is to make rice cakes am really enjoying the process as my friends ask me to get them lots of this rice cake and I became famous in school by korean dishes all thanks to you maangchi

    See full size image

  7. jjolynne Philippines joined 11/17 & has 1 comment

    Can I use Glutinous Rice instead? Thanks

  8. Bianca1983 Uk joined 11/17 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    When I was living in Korea, we used to eat cheese filled garaetteok… do you happen to know how to make those??


  9. RuthC Colombia, South America joined 6/17 & has 8 comments

    Hi maangachi, I do not currently have microwaves, is there another method to replace it?
    I really want to try this recipe

  10. Yostina Egypt joined 10/17 & has 3 comments

    Hello Maangchi,

    I tired this recipe and I steamed the rice cake dough for 25 minutes, but it turned out hard and was very hard to shape. What did I do wrong? By the way, I waited till the water was boiling then I added the rice cake dough in the steamer and l lined it with parchment paper. Did I steam it for too long? Otherwise please please advise.

    Thank you ^^

  11. diani indonesia joined 9/17 & has 2 comments

    hello maangchi. I really like your recipe. I’ve tried to make tteok using rice flour, but because I did not find short grain rice flour in my place, so I wore the rice flour. and it does not work. I read on other blogs, they mix rice flour with glutinous rice flour, is it ok? please give me advice, I also can not make rice flour myself because there is no short grain rice sold here.
    and can you tell me how long tteok will survive inside and outside the freezer?

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

    Today I made it and it was for an order my friend is sooo amazed by it that she told me to make lots of this rice cake cooked and non cooked to keep it in her freezer thanks for the recipe maangchi I also made the short grain rice flour by myself its soooo yummy and gummy❤❤❤

    See full size image

  13. eliiem Mexico joined 8/17 & has 2 comments

    마앙치!!!!! I tried doing this really easy recipe and i was able to make really nice tasting 가래떡!!!! They’re not really pretty, but they taste really good!!! I might make this recipe again in the future.
    Is there something sweet you would recommend eating them with? Thank you!!!!!

    See full size image

  14. Sagi Canada joined 8/17 & has 2 comments

    Maangchi, you’re one of my absolute favorite food blogs and have been for such a long time. I first tried making Kongnamulbap and haven’t looked back~ My sister had a Kimchi making party using one of your recipes and my whole family loves it! Even my picky dad. He loves his really spicy<3 ((too spicy for me so he doesn't have to share eheheh))

    I just saw this recipe today and got really excited. My sister and I both love rice cakes a lot. She learned how to steam mochi for strawberry Daifuku while in Japan. I really want to try this to share with her, but I'm a little worried. When making the mochi with her, she warned me to not have too thick of a layer in the steamer or it wouldn't steam properly. Is that a problem with steaming garatteok?

  15. Boiling Kimchi Waterloo, Ontario, Canada joined 6/17 & has 1 comment

    Hey Maangchi, it would be helpful if you could write down how much time it takes to make each recipe. It’s little inconvenient for me to figure out what to cook when i don’t have a lot of time and stuff! Thank you :)

    • TaraMaiden Nottinghamshire, England joined 12/16 & has 26 comments

      Maangchi either cooks everything in real time, or tells you as the video goes along, how long to simmer, steam, soak, brine or boil things for. So add up the times she gives you, and then add the time of the video. That will give you a pretty accurate idea.

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