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. Hello! I am looking forward to making the rice cakes.They look really yummy! I do have a quistion though. Since I can not find the anko-type red beans, is it okay to use red kidney beans? Or some other kind of bean? I’m in the middle of Iowa and can’t get to a Korean grocery store.V_V;

    Thank you very much for your wonderful recipes and any help you can give me!


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

    Yeah, it’s injulmi, but the recipe is a little different from the recipe for gyungdan. I will post injulmi recipe someday.

  3. Hello Maangchi~

    I was wondering if I made the rice cake with no filling and just used the toasted soybean powder, would it turn into IN-JUL-MI? I really like that rice cake and thought to make it because I bought the sweet rice flour to make some of your pumpkin porridge.

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

    I don’t know, there can be a lot of reasons : )
    But it sounds like it turned out good. That’s the important thing.

  5. Dear Maangchi,

    I’ve just prepared it and it turned out really good :)
    One thing though, I had to put much more water in the dough than you suggested because it was toi dry – even though I had Korean sweet rice flour. Why is that?
    Thank you very much!

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

    lilian Ph,
    oh, I’m sorry to hear that! Next time, use more water and cook longer. Don’t give up! : )

  7. i tried making it before but at the end
    the dough is un-cook in the middle.
    and it turn out hard

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

    I think you have to get a right ingredient. Sweet rice is used for this recipe. Sweet rice is more chewy than usual rice. If you get it, soak it in cold water for more than 12 hours and drain it and grind finely.

  9. Hi Maangchi!
    I’ve been a YouTube subscriber of yours for a while now, I love your videos and recipes!

    I live live in Mexico and doubt I can find rice flour easily, so I’ve been looking up ways to make rice flour. I can wash and then grid white rice. Is this a good substitute for rice flower?


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

    Sure, hodduk is already included in the list of my upcoming video recipes. Thanks!

  11. O! I always thought that it was rice flour because the ones that I have eaten are a bit chewy and glutinous. If it is not too troublesome, is it possible to get the recipe for hodduk? Thank you!!


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

    Yes, you can pan fry it. Hodduk is different from rice cake gyungdan. Hodduk is made with flour and other ingredients.

  13. You are the best at this!! I love this site and your recipes!!! I have a question though! For this recipe, is it possible to pan fry it instead of boiling them to make Hodduk??


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

    Hi, you don’t have to use a different container for the hot pepper paste that you buy.

    You can think about using food coloring from natural food: butter nut squash could be used for yellow, …

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