Rice cake

Gyeongdan 경단

Rice cake is very familiar food for Koreans. Whenever special occasions come, the first thing my mother and grand mother planned was to make rice cake. However these days people are more likely to buy rice cake than make their own. I am going to make gyeongdan, rice cake balls and show you it can be a good gift.


Step 1:

Make red bean paste

  1. In a pot, place 1 cup of washed red beans and 4 cups of water and heat it over high heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to low medium and simmer for 50 minutes.
  3. Check if the beans are cooked fully. Remove extra water from the beans and crush them with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add 1 cup of brown sugar, ¼-½ ts of kosher salt, 1 ts of cinnamon powder into the red bean paste and set it aside.

Step 2:

Prepare 3 bowls where 3 different kinds of powder will be placed for the rice cake balls

  1. Black sesame seeds:
    • Rinse and drain ½ cup of black sesame seeds in running water using a strainer.
    • Heat a pan over medium heat and pour in the sesame seeds.
    • Cook the sesame seeds by stirring with a wooden spoon.
    • The sesame seeds will pop, then lower the heat and keep stirring until they are crispy. (5- 10 minutes)
    • When the sesame seeds cool down, grind them with a coffee grinder.
    • Transfer the sesame seeds powder to a bowl and add 2 tbs sugar and a pinch of salt and mix it.
  2. Put ½ cup of toasted soybean powder (kong gaa ru in Korean) in a bowl and add 2
    tbs of sugar and a pinch of salt and mix it.
  3. Put ½ cup of mugwort powder (ssook gaa ru in Korean) in a bowl and add 2
    tbs of sugar and a pinch of salt and mix it

Step 3:

Make rice cake dough.

  1. In a bowl, place 2 cups of sweet rice powder, 2 tbs of sugar, ½ ts of kosher salt.
  2. Pour 1 cup of hot boiling water little by little while you are mixing it with a spoon
  3. Mix the dough by hand.
    *tips: if you feel the dough is too wet, add some plain flour
  4. Put the rice cake dough into a plastic bag and set it aside

Step 4:

In a big pot, place a lot of water and boil it

Let’s make rice cake!

  1. Take the rice cake dough out from the plastic bag and place it on the cutting board.
    Tip: To protect the dough from being stuck to the board, sprinkle some plain flour before placing the rich cake dough.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 and roll each one to make cylinder shape and cut it into 18-20 pieces.
  3. Roll each piece of rice dough with your hands and make a hole in the middle of the ball with your thumb. Then turn the ball into a cup.
  4. Put the bean paste into the middle.
  5. Close it tightly and place it on a plate.
    Tip: While you are making rice balls, the rest of dough may get dried, so cover them with wet cloth or paper towel.
  6. Carefully put all the rice cake balls into boiling water. When the rice cake balls are cooked, they float. It will take about 3 -5 minutes until they float.
  7. Prepare lots of cold water in a big bowl.
  8. Put the cooked rice balls into cold water and drain them.
  9. Roll the cooked rice balls in the 3 different colors of powder and transfer them to a plate.

Enjoy it!


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  1. First up, thank you so much for this amazing website!

    These are really good, authentic Korean food recipes. I grew up eating my mom’s Korean food, and your recipes taste like home.

    I would buy all of your recipes if you sold them (and I’ve already bought your book). Thank you, thank you for making videos and web pages of all your work! You deserve a medal. Seriously.

    I hope you stay healthy and well in this new year. Fighting!
    BBP ~ Baking Boba Princess

  2. Kadiya joined 3/15 & has 1 comment

    HI Maangchi,

    Love your site! and your recipes are the same as the one’s my mom uses which is a huge deal for me bc I’ve learned some Korean’s versions of a particular dish can vary quite a bit.

    I am planning to throw my daughter a Baek-il and Chok Dohl. You have most of the rice cake recipes I need except susu gyeongdan. I was hoping you would know if it is just the same as your gyeongdan recipe with coursely ground red bean coating instead? Thank you for any help you can provide!

  3. Lynnjamin New York joined 11/14 & has 31 comments

    What a fun project for a snowed-in day. I made these for the first time and I learned a lot. I ground the Glutinous rice to make flour in a Vita-mix blender. It just wouldn’t get fine enough. The result was a slightly grainy dough, but it’s not awful. The recipe made quite a bit of extra bean filling. Not a bad problem to have, since I read that it freezes well.

  4. KrynauwOtto2 Pretoria, South Africa joined 9/13 & has 54 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    Do you know how can I make ssook garu from fresh mugwort?

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

      oh, you left this question on the forum. I forgot to answer this.
      Do you have some fresh mugwort? I made my own ssukgaru this spring with the ssuk (mugwort) that I picked at the park. shhh! : )

      Blanch the ssuk in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Strain and rinse it in cold water a couple of times. Squeeze out excess water. If you have a lot of ssuk, at this point, you can divide it into portions. Put it in a plastic bag and freeze it. I still have some of my frozen ssuk. I sometimes make doenjangguk or make rice cake.

      Good luck with your Korean cooking!

  5. Klaris Stockholm joined 10/13 & has 1 comment

    I’m gonna do this recipe for my friend because it’s her birthday very soon ^_^ I was wondering if you can make the red bean filling the day/night before and than put it in the refrigerator and use the next day? ^_^

  6. MEXAMERICAN Colton, California joined 1/13 & has 1 comment

    i have gone to every Asian store possible and i just can’t find the mugwort powder nor the Japanese kind.. so what do you recommend for a substitute

  7. janicedale Australia joined 2/12 & has 16 comments

    I am craving for this rice cake, I like sweet rice cake too because my family loves to do rice cake but this one is different from others. I will surely do this for snacks and it’s a good business too.

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

    Maangchi , gyung dan was a success !! And i love the soy bean flour ! It reminds me of my childhood :D

    And my husband who doesn’t like red bean paste fillings , ended up liking these ! He said it’s delicious . It is super easy to make , and i had fun rolling them . I didn’t have black sesame seed , plus my grinder isn’t here with me , so i just picked to use just the mugwort powder and soy bean powder .

    Thanks for the recipe !!

  9. sicaabella Jakarta, ID joined 12/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi maangchi ;D

    tried this yesterday, ANDI IT WAS SO AMAZING AND DELICIOUS

    i swear by the first 15 minutes i served it, it’s totally gone!!
    i will definitely make this again to improve my gyungdan cooking skill

    thank you maangchi!! :D

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