Short grain rice flour

Mepssalgaru 멥쌀가루

Many people who watched my rice cake videos that use frozen rice flour and who haven’t used rice flour before asked me many questions about it.

Rice flour (ssalgaru) is flour made from finely milled rice. Koreans usually use one of two kinds of ssalgaru for making rice cakes: chapssalgaru (sweet rice flour) and maepssalgaru. Maepssalgaru is made with short grain rice and usually sold frozen to keep it moist.


Traditionally in Korea and even today, most neighborhoods have a local mill where you can get grains and seeds ground and pulverized into powders, grains, oils, liquids and even cakes. So you can bring your sesame seeds to the mill, and they will make sesame oil from them for you.

I live in New York City, and there are no local mills at all. Whenever I want to make rice cake, I have to buy frozen rice flour (naengdong mepssalgaru) from a Korean grocery store.

Some of my readers tell me:

“Maangchi, I really want to make your rice cake but I can’t find the rice flour you use.”
“The Korean grocery store I shop at doesn’t sell the rice flour.”
“How can I make this rice flour at home?”

I did some experiments and developed this method of making maepssalgaru at home with a food processor or coffee grinder. So now you can make homemade rice flour and your own rice cakes whenever you want them! I hope this helps!

Ingredients (makes 4 cups of rice flour)



  1. Wash the rice. Put it in a bowl of water and scrub it by hand for a full 10 seconds. Rinse, stir, and drain. Repeat until the water drains clear.
  2. Soak in clean water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours.rice flour_soaking
  3. Strain the rice. It should have expanded to about 3½ cups’ worth.rice flour_strain
  4. Grind the rice finely with a coffee grinder or food processor.rice flour_grind
  5. Sift the ground rice flour into a bowl. If any rice pieces are too big to sift, grind them again until they can be sifted.riceflour_sifting
  6. You’ll end up with about 4 cups of rice flour. Use it right away, or put it in a plastic bag and in the freezer until you need it.




  1. Yan27 Malaysia joined 4/17
    Posted April 1st, 2017 at 5:38 pm | # |

    Hi.Its short grain rice is the same rice to make Kimbap ? I can’t find any short grain rice flour at supermarket I just found rice flour. So I decide to make it.There is short grain rice I always use to make Kimbap, Sumo. Please help me.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted April 4th, 2017 at 5:32 pm | # |

      Look for sushi rice, please. Short grain rice is sushi rice. Good luck!

  2. misomui London joined 12/16
    Posted December 30th, 2016 at 12:06 pm | # |

    Just made the flour since I wanted to make tteok but they didn’t sell the flour or the rice cake at the local asian shop. I soaked sushi rice (a korean brand) overnight for 12 hours. I drained it and placed a paper towel underneath the stainer to extract more liquid. After leaving it for around 3 hours, the rice was dry enough to mill. I used my blender since it’s better than my food processor at grinding flour finely. I had to do around 4 batches and another batch at the end for all the big pieces that didn’t sift through. Made about half of a gallon ziploc bag! Delighted with the result.

    See full size image

  3. feebztr Singapore joined 10/16
    Posted October 26th, 2016 at 11:06 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi!
    How long should we strain the rice for? :)
    Thank you

  4. Kaykay24 California joined 7/16
    Posted July 15th, 2016 at 2:47 am | # |

    Hi maangchi. Do we follow the same steps as the short grain rice flour if we want to do it with sweet rice flour?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 15th, 2016 at 11:48 am | # |

      yes, you can use this method with sweet rice (glutinous rice).

  5. annab6 USA joined 7/16
    Posted July 13th, 2016 at 7:50 pm | # |

    Do I just add sugar or powdered sugar to make it sweet rice flour?

  6. Cassandre France joined 1/14
    Posted November 21st, 2015 at 9:33 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi,
    Thank you for this recipe ! :)
    I’m a student on a budget and I live in a dorm room, so I don’t have blender or coffee grinder… All I have are a mortar and a potato masher.
    Can I use it to powder the rice or do you have any other suggestion ?

    Have a nice day !

  7. ChayaChop joined 8/15
    Posted August 13th, 2015 at 2:35 pm | # |

    Is sweet rice the same as glutenous rice?

  8. ChayaChop joined 8/15
    Posted August 13th, 2015 at 12:34 pm | # |

    My husband and I have tried looking for short grain rice but can’t find it. Can I use medium grain rice instead?

  9. elleykat joined 7/15
    Posted July 10th, 2015 at 9:15 am | # |

    Hihi! I love your recipes and my husband especially loves when I make him homemade kimchi. :) I am trying to make short grain rice flour for use in making tteokbokki – yum yum! I soaked short grain rice overnight (10 hours) and let it strain for about an hour, but it is still very VERY wet, especially the rice on the bottom. When I try to put in the food processor, nothing much happens to the rice! It is definitely not soft and powdery or small enough to go through a sifter like in your photo. Is the issue probably that my rice is too wet? Or not soaked long enough? (It is very hard rice, but has turned opaque white.) Or is my food processor just a no-good piece of junk? haha. I saw someone ask if they could use a blender to grind, I think my food processor is probably better than my blender… Please help! I really want to make gungjung tteokbokki for dinner tonight. :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 12th, 2015 at 11:40 am | # |

      Soaking rice overnight and straining 1 hour sounds you did the right thing! I’m not sure why the rice turns too wet. Usually a coffee grinder works well to mill the soaked rice.

      • elleykat joined 7/15
        Posted July 12th, 2015 at 6:05 pm | # |

        Thank you for your reply! My food processor was not very good. I used my mom’s nut nutribullet and that worked much better! The rice flour turned out great, and so did my rice cakes! Yum yum!! Thanks again. :)

  10. SteveInPortAngeles joined 6/15
    Posted June 2nd, 2015 at 9:35 pm | # |


    Thank you so much for posting your videos and writing your books…just got your latest and I’m so excited. I really enjoyed reading your personal story as I’m also a therapist working with families. My step grandmother was from Korea, and your food takes me back to a very happy childhood (lots of Bulgogi, Mandu, and Kimchi).

    My question is regarding short grain rice. I can only find Koshihikari rice here in my small town. It says it is sushi rice, and that it is short grain, but I don’t see any reference to it in Korean cooking. Would this work to make short grain rice flour?


    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 4th, 2015 at 8:13 pm | # |

      Hi Steve,
      Koshihikari rice is short grain rice that Koreans and Japanese eat everyday. “I really enjoyed reading your personal story as I’m also a therapist working with families.” I’m glad to hear that you like my stories along with my recipes. Happy cooking!

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