Can I Use Glutinous Rice Flour for Tteokbokki?

Tteokbokki, a popular Korean dish, is a beloved street food known for it’s chewy rice cakes bathed in a spicy, savory sauce. Traditionally, these rice cakes are made using a specific type of rice flour called "tteokgalgi ssalgaru." However, if you find yourself craving this delectable dish but can’t get your hands on the authentic flour, fear not! Glutinous rice flour can be a suitable alternative for making tteokbokki, providing a similar texture and taste that will satisfy your cravings. By delving into the world of culinary experimentation and adapting to the ingredients available to you, you can still enjoy the delightful experience of indulging in homemade tteokbokki, showcasing your creativity and resourcefulness in the kitchen.

What Flour Is Tteokbokki Made Of?

In the wonderful world of Korean cuisine, tteokbokki holds a special place. This delicious dish is a staple street food in Korea, loved by both young and old. But have you ever wondered what flour tteokbokki is made of? Well, the answer lies in rice flour, specifically a type known as maepssalgaru.

Maepssalgaru is a special kind of flour that’s made from soaked short grain rice while it’s still moist. This soaking process allows the rice to soften and become pliable, making it easier to grind into a fine powder. The resulting flour has a slightly grainy texture, perfect for creating the chewy and springy texture that tteokbokki is known for.

To make traditional Korean rice tteok, the maepssalgaru is steamed and then shaped into various forms. These can include cylindrical tubes, thin slices, or even bite-sized balls. The steaming process ensures that the tteok is cooked through and becomes soft and pillowy.

Furthermore, maepssalgaru can also be pounded or pan-fried to create different variations of tteok. These preparations result in different textures and flavors, adding even more versatility to this beloved Korean treat.

While sweet rice (glutinous or sticky rice) is commonly used in making tteok, the flour used in tteokbokki specifically requires regular short grain rice.

Other Common Ingredients in Tteokbokki Besides Flour

Tteokbokki, a popular Korean dish, consists primarily of rice cakes made from rice flour. However, there are various other ingredients commonly used to enhance it’s flavor and texture. Some examples include gochujang (a spicy chili pepper paste), soy sauce, sugar, garlic, onions, sesame oil, fish cake, boiled eggs, and scallions. These ingredients come together to create a delicious and savory dish enjoyed by many.

It’s important to note that Rice Flour and Glutinous Rice Flour aren’t interchangeable in most recipes. These flours possess distinct textures, cooking behaviors, and end results. Thus, using glutinous rice flour instead of normal rice flour can significantly alter the outcome of your recipe.

Can I Use Glutinous Rice Flour Instead of Normal Rice Flour?

Using glutinous rice flour instead of normal rice flour isn’t recommended in most recipes, unless specified. Both flours have distinct differences in terms of texture, cooking properties, and the final outcome they provide. Glutinous rice flour, as the name suggests, is sticky and has a chewy texture, while normal rice flour has a lighter and finer consistency.

The cooking process of these flours also varies considerably. On the other hand, normal rice flour is commonly used in batters, doughs, and as a thickener, as it tends to cook relatively faster.

It’s commonly utilized in traditional Asian desserts like mochi or as a binding agent in certain recipes.

Therefore, it’s crucial to adhere to the recipes specific flour requirements to achieve the desired outcome.

How to Substitute Glutinous Rice Flour for Normal Rice Flour in Recipes

  • Step 1: Check the recipe to determine the required amount of normal rice flour.
  • Step 2: Measure the same amount of glutinous rice flour.
  • Step 3: Keep in mind that glutinous rice flour tends to be stickier and has a higher starch content than normal rice flour.
  • Step 4: Adjust the recipe accordingly by reducing the liquid content slightly to compensate for the stickiness of the glutinous rice flour.
  • Step 5: Use the substituted glutinous rice flour in the recipe as you’d with normal rice flour.
  • Step 6: Be aware that the texture and taste may vary slightly when using glutinous rice flour as a substitute.
  • Step 7: Enjoy your recipe with the substituted glutinous rice flour!

Additionally, glutinous rice flour can be a great alternative to traditional thickening agents like cornstarch or flour. It’s unique sticky and chewy texture gives a different dimension to sauces, making them more luscious and satisfying. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of thickness to your stir-fry or create a velvety sauce for your favorite dishes, glutinous rice flour can be a wonderful addition to your pantry.

Can I Use Glutinous Rice Flour to Thicken Sauce?

However, when it comes to using glutinous rice flour as a thickening agent for sauces, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, glutinous rice flour has a tendency to clump together when added directly to a hot liquid. To prevent this, it’s best to mix the flour with a small amount of cold water or broth before adding it to the sauce. This creates a slurry that can be easily incorporated into the sauce without forming lumps.

It adds a unique chewiness and viscosity to the sauce, which may not be desired in all recipes.

In some cases, other thickening agents such as cornstarch or arrowroot powder may be more suitable for achieving the desired consistency. These alternative thickeners have neutral flavors and can be used in a wider range of sauces and recipes without affecting the overall taste.

Experimenting with different thickeners and techniques will help you find the best option for achieving the perfect sauce consistency and flavor.

If you don’t have access to glutinous rice flour, there are several substitutes you can use in your recipes. Rice flour is an excellent alternative, providing a similar texture and taste. Additionally, other starches like potato starch, cornstarch, and tapioca starch can also be used as substitutes for both glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flour. These substitutes can be easily found in most supermarkets and can work well in a wide range of recipes.

How Do I Substitute Glutinous Rice Flour?

These substitutes work well because they’ve a similar texture and binding properties as glutinous rice flour. Rice flour, for instance, is made by grinding regular rice into a fine powder. It’s commonly used in Asian cuisines and can be found in most grocery stores. It’s mild flavor and sticky texture make it a suitable substitute for glutinous rice flour in recipes like dumplings or mochi.

Potato starch is another viable alternative for glutinous rice flour. It’s a gluten-free ingredient derived from potatoes and has a light and fluffy texture.

It’s made from the endosperm of corn kernels and is known for it’s thickening properties. Because of it’s fine texture, cornstarch helps to bind ingredients together, making it suitable for recipes like puddings or custards. However, note that cornstarch may alter the taste slightly, so it’s important to consider the overall flavor of the dish.

Tapioca starch, also known as tapioca flour, is another alternative for glutinous rice flour. It’s derived from the cassava root and is often used as a thickening agent. Tapioca starch has a smooth texture and imparts a slightly chewy consistency to recipes, making it a suitable replacement in dishes like dumplings or breads.

With the wide variety of substitutes available, it’s possible to find an alternative that suits your needs and still allows you to enjoy delicious gluten-free dishes.


The versatility of glutinous rice flour allows for diverse culinary experimentation while still maintaining the essence of this popular Korean dish.

Scroll to Top