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 toasted sesame seeds to the mill, and they will make toasted 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 pound (about 2 cups) of short grain rice
- 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.
- Soak in clean water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours.
- Strain the rice. It should have expanded to about 3½ cups’ worth.
- Grind the rice finely with a coffee grinder or food processor.
- 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.
- 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.