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. Laury Tan rowland heights, california joined 3/10 & has 11 comments

    maangchi, is there anything else i can use besides coffee grinder?D:

  2. fridabag15 New Jersey joined 5/10 & has 12 comments

    I love your website. My first recipe was from your jjajangmyun and it was delicious. I want to try making rice cakes with red bean paste filling. Can I make it by using this recipe and instead of boiling the rice cakes can I steam them?

  3. Warren Arizona joined 4/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi, I made these and brought some to my Korean class and they all really liked them. I received a lot of complements on them. My Teacher was pretty excited when she saw them too. Now they all want to come over to my place for a get together at the end of the year and have me make them Korean food. I really love all your recipes!

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

      wow, good news! I’m so proud of you! Actually making good gyeongdan is a little difficult for a beginner cook, but you made it! I think you will be able to make all Korean recipes that I have posted easily.

  4. Great videos!
    Could you in the near future show us how to make “Rice Cake” Doughnuts or also known as “Chop Saul” doughtnuts? The Korean bakery in my area no longer makes them and I am so craving those wonderful doughnuts.

  5. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love Korea’s rice desserts!
    DO you have a recipe for the Korean “hotak” doughnuts?
    Also, I love the glutinous rice buns with black sesame seeds. Do you have a recipe for those? I am leaving Korea after 3 years and I am going to miss these things!!!

  6. Hi Maangchi,

    Thank you for your recipes.

    Last time i went to Korea, There is a shop selling sticky rice with dried fruit and nut,they call it Heukmi Joomeokbap. My mother like that sticky rice very much. Hope you can show us how to make this sticky rice. Thank you.

  7. Veronica Lee& has 1 comment

    Good evening.Maangchi;D I just came back from the Christian meeting. Believe me or not, I would love to try to make your Koran Traditional Rice Cake as soon as possible.(If there is no school.) I will go to the Korean H-mart to buy the ingredients that you provide to us. I love to eat desert, and I made a few times before. They came out nice and delicious. You Korean Traditional Rice Cake is pretty similar to Japanese Mochi. They look very beautiful and scrumptious…. I hope that I can eat what you made in one day….I live in New York…Looking forward to meet you if possible…Goodnight…

  8. I am wondering if I can grind rice by myself and use this instead of the rice flour. I can’t find this rice flour anywhere, they didn’t even sell it in a korean market

    • Grinding rice yourself works. You just have to make sure it’s fine enough, and you may need more water. If you have a Newflower market, I think they stock Long Grain Sweet Rice. That’s what I used. Hope this helps! :D

  9. I am so very excited to see your video. I have been driving 3 hours to buy these and cannot wait to try them on my own. One ???, where I am from “red beans” are technically ‘pinto beans’. Are what you are using “kidney beans” perhaps? I just need to know EXACTLY what kind of beans you are using. I am planning to take these to our family thanksgiving get together and I KNOW that everyone will love them as much as my husband and I do. Thank you for stopping the arguments over who is getting the ‘last one’ because now I will be able to make as many as we can eat!!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!
    내 마음의 바닥에서 당신을 감사합니다 !! (I hope I got that right.)
    Laurie, from Anson, Texas

  10. Hi,

    I recently spent a year in Korea and these are one of the things I miss, I can`t wait to try this recipe out!!

    I was wondering if you could help me identify the other two things that I loved while I was there but don`t know the name toÉ

    1. A pancake like thing with lots of Zuccini in it, i`m not sure what else…and the soya like sauce that you eat with it?

    2. A rice dessert very similar to Gyungdan but it has a honey and ground hazelnut (I think) filling, and no coating on the outside. They are usually dyed different colors… any idea?

    Thanks so much for the recipe, and any insight you can provide.

  11. maam can i use other ingredients than mugwort powder or roasted soy bean ? coz i cant find it easily in japan im screw up getting wrong stuff hahaha .. can i use cocoa instead? just for replacement n_n im havinf fun doing your recipe and my friends and family loves it .

  12. Hi Maangchi,
    I made this Rice Cake, twice (which is all really yummy). I used the red bean paste from can that I told you last time, it is thick paste, but little wet. I put it in refrigerator to make it more hard and easy to form a ball. In step 3, I also use Mochiko powder but I mix with water 1 cup:1 cup and put in microwave for 6.5 minutes instead, then put on soy bean powder, and then red bean paste, then roll the rice ball in soy bean powder. The result is I can save time but the rice ball is not quite perfectly round like in your picture. It is very soft smooth rice ball with very sweet red bean inside (I think do red bean paste by ourself follow your recipe is better so that we can control the sweetness of red bean paste). However, I am happy with the result at this time, and my family enjoy it :)
    Can we use black sesame paste instead of red bean paste, if so do you know how to make black sesame paste?
    Many thanks for your great recipe ;) you have share us our family happiness by enjoy your great recipe ;) Thanks again ;)

  13. I love your recipes. I am learning to make many things my mom makes. I have watched her make foods, but it was always hard to remember everything. Your site helps so much to stay close to my Korean side. There is a puffy steamed rice cake with red beans that we used to eat all the time. The were really big and more like cake. Do you know the recipe for this type of rice cake? I think my mom said they were Hoppang (Hop bang?) I don’t know how to spell it. Thank you so much for your wonderful site. So far I can make bulgolgi and kimchi very good. My husband is American and he likes them very much.

  14. Lindsey& has 1 comment

    hi, i really love this recipe but is there any other coatings i could use instead of black sesame seeds, mugwort powder, etc?

  15. 안녕하세요~ 비디오 잘 봤읍니다 :)
    경단 레시피로 모찌떡 도 만들수 있나요?
    감사합니다 ^_^

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

      I don’t think you could use this recipe for mochi ddeok because the size of gyungdan is much smaller than mochi ddeok. To make mochi ddeok, you will have to make rice cake made with sweet rice powder (chapssal) first, then put the sweet red bean filling inside.

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