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. Hi Maangchi, I LOVE your website! This is my first time leaving a comment, but I’ve made several of your recipes, and they always turn out amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to post these videos on recipes, it’s very much appreciated :)

    I have two questions:
    1. I have a container of red bean paste in the fridge. Can I use this? Or should I make my own?

    2. Is there anything else I can roll them in to get different colours? I’m making these for christmas gifts, so I’d like them to be colourful. I’ve eaten some before that were pink and yellow, what could I use for those colours?

    Thank you! :)

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

    That’s “kayakumsanjo-gutkuri” (가야금 산조 굿거리)played by Shim sang gun (심상건).

  3. hey wow i made this it ws so good and your this videos background music is so good can u tell whioch music is this

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

    I meant you can keep it in the freezer right after making it if you don’t eat it right away. When I filmed the gyungdan video, it was evening. I made the package for my friend’s daughter to give her next day. If you consume it all after making it, of course you won’t need to put it in the freezer. You can thaw it out at room temperature before eating it.

    Actually white kimchi sometimes goes with injeolmi (sweet rice cake). I’m going to post the white kimchi recipe (non-spicy kimchi and it’s called baek kimchi)later. Thank you!

  5. Maanchi,
    You said these rice cakes may be frozen – is that before rolling in powder or after (I assume before??)?

    Thanks! PS I’m an American, I love rice cakes AND kimchi (not together!)


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

    myla – does your husband like chicken? Try my dakkangjung recipe, many people love it.

    I’m not sure how much it will cost, I usually buy a big bag of red beans and use them over time. But anyways I don’t think this will be expensive. Most important is your effort, and this gyungdan will be very precious for him because you work so hard.

  8. hi again,,,
    actually im planning to make this tommorrow morning
    I will wake up early and find your ingredients in Korean town, I just wanna know How much will it cost?
    will it cost me a lot? Bco’z Im also planning for another gift to give ~~

  9. Hi Maangchi,,,
    Thanks for these recipe, actually yesterday was my husbands birthday but his busy in his work and i also forgot to greet him…
    Maybe making your Gyungdan will make him happy,
    Thanks a lot,,,
    and please please please can u suggest another recipe
    for his special occasion???
    Just if your not busy Thanks a lot agin!!!

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

    Wonderful! You must be busy Korean cooking all the time these days. Ok, I will keep your request in mind. More snack! Hobakjuk I posted last night will be good snack,too. Thanks!

  11. hi i use to make snack for my husband everyday for work to bring and all of that are from your website i use to cook almost everything I see on your video and it all turn so delicious it makes me feel proud that i can cook different korean food. and thanks to you^^ could you make some other recipe for snack.. you know^^ i want to make different dishes for my husband coz my husband works from monday to friday so it is 5 days of thinking what will i prepare what will i prepare.. hmn,, thank you in advance

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

    No, this rice cake is served by itself. You could serve it as dessert or just snack.

  13. What is this usually served with?
    Im planning on making them soon!
    I wanted to try something Korean and at the same time vegetarian! This recipe is awesome!
    But is it served with rice? Or by itself?

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

    Shiyonnie mom and Christine choi,
    Thanks a lot. I’m your fan, too! : )

    yes, green tea powder will be too bitter. But I’m sure it was so pretty color. I am planning to post more rice cake recipes later. Thank you very much.
    Please wait until I post the recipe.

  15. I tried making today… was pretty successful… but tried green tea powder instead… was too bitter as too much was stuck to the gyungdan… thinking of peanut powder the next round…=)

    I was also searching for the recipe of steamed white rice cake with red bean (whole), shaped like a normal westerned cake… do you have the recipe to share?? I’m really crazy about rice cake now!! =)

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