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. Deborah Toronto, ON joined 4/09 & has 47 comments

    oh those are awesome!!! i made something very similar to those while i was staying in taiwan two summers ago. taiwanese make it slightly different.. it’s so much fun though!

    yours look great!! :)

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

    Wow, I’m impressed with your passion about making totally new food!

    Regarding your question:
    “do i need to set the dough aside for a period of time to like “set” or sth? if so, how long? isit okay if i dont put any coating on it :D”

    No need to set the dough aside a long time. You make gyungdan right after finishing the dough. If you like to make it later, put the dough in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator and use it when you are ready (less than 3 hours).
    I can’t imagine gyungdan without coating powder. It’s like naked body exposed. : )

  3. hello! I’ve decided to try out ur recipe for the gyung dan. Ive just made the red bean paster and its in the fridge right now. i intend to make the gyung dan tmr morning, which is like a few hours later LOL. but the steps to make the dough and all seems a lil hard.. anything to take note of? do i need to set the dough aside for a period of time to like “set” or sth? if so, how long? isit okay if i dont put any coating on it :D

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

    keikei mama,
    oh, thanks a lot.
    Actually lots of korean housewives can cook as well as me. : )
    I’m happy to hear that I could motivate you to cook. Yes, homemade food is number one.

  5. you are absolutely amazing!!!! I was impressed with all of your cooking skills on all of your previous videos (which I’ve enjoyed watching more than a few times each!!!), but this one takes the cake! most korean people know how to make some of the dishes you’ve demonstrated, but don’t know how to make dduk very often. and also, you make it look so simple and easy! i am really impressed at your cooking skills as well as your teaching skills. you are very good at both. you really inspired me to cook some dishes i was reluctant to do. my mom lives 3 hours away and i miss her food very much. with your videos & recipes, it makes me want to cook more dishes for myself. thank you, maangchi!!!!

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

    Hello anonymous,
    Sesame seeds powder and toasted soy bean powder are very delicious, but sage brush powder (ssook gaa ru) has strong herb flavor. I recommend using only sesame and soy bean powder because you are not accoustomed to the strong “ssook” flavor. Let me know how it goes. Good luck! : )

  7. Hi Maangchi, I was wondering what sagebrush powder and soybean powder tastes like since I’m going to make this recipe. I’ve never had those but I have had black sesame seeds before and I’m kinda afraid to try the sagebrush and soybean powder because I might not like it. Can you give me a little insight? Thanks!

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

    Yes,using food coloring is ok.
    However, rolling them in powdered sugar sounds strange for me.

    I would rather roll them in potato starch powder than sugar. Don’t forge to fill sweet red bean paste inside the balls.

  9. Hello Maangchi!

    This video is so awesome. Thank you for taking the time and putting up your recipes.

    For the rice cakes, I was wondering if its okay to put food coloring in the dough? Or possibly rolling the balls in powdered surgar? (would that make it too sweet?)


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

    You made songpyun rice cake before, so it was a good practice.

  11. I just know it’s gonna be hard to fill and seal these puppies up coz when I made 송편 last year I tried stuffing some of it with jam. That was a mess, heheh. I will try to make 경단 for a friend. I’m sure it will be appreciated. I just hope it turns out OK. Thanks for the recipe.

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

    Hi, Lillian,

    yes, problem is that you can’t eat the rice cake for a long time. One day after, it usually gets hard. So I usually keep the rest of rice cake in the freezer after eating some.

    Whenever I want to eat, I just thaw it at the room temperature or use the microwave oven.

    By the way, follow the recipe in my blog. Use 3/4 cup or 1 cup of hot water instead of 2/3 cup (in the video, I said) when you make rice cake dough for 2 cups of sweet rice powder. ok?

    Today I followed my own recipe exactly again to make “daan pot juk”(sweet red bean porridge with rice balls) to use the leftover bean paste from the gyungdan video, but I found out the 2/3 cup of hot water was too less than enough. I am sure I probably I put less than 2 cups of flour. : )

  13. Mmm these look so good. I like to get these things in the store but they’re so expensive and not always fresh! I had a Chinese roommate who would make them with black sesame filling and no coating, and those were good too.

    Maybe I will make these for Mother’s Day!

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

    Thank you!

  15. This is great, I always wondered how they make these. You make it look easy, Maangchi!

    Grace, from Boston, MA

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