Homeade Garaetteok, Korean Rice Cake Cylinders For Making Tteokbokki

I find when I'm looking for recipes to make, sometimes I end up going down the rabbit hole of recipes, usually from eastern Asia, looking at first one recipe and another and another, deciding that I needed to make every last one of them.

Tteok, Korean rice cakes, was something I discovered in one of these forays, when I learned about tteokguk, Korean New Years' rice cake soup, and garaetteok, the rice cakes that you use to make it. As someone who is learning names online, I must say I was pronouncing this wrong, and this video and others I watched corrected me. The garae is pronounced kara and the tteok is pronounced somewhere between tok and dok, so this dish is basically pronounced karatok.

Tteok is the name for Korean rice cake, and garae either comes from the word divide, or the word spade, according to Maangchi, the site that I learned how to make garaetteok from. People generally buy garaetteok from Korean stores, but I make it myself. I wouldn't say this is the easiest recipe, but it is a fun one to make.

Once you make the garaetteok, you can freeze it to use for another time. Or you can use it immediately. My favorite thing to do with them is making sweet and spicy rice cake stir fry, tteokbokki, generally together with eomuk, Korean fish cake, recipe soon to come on this blog.

Tteokbokki, sweet and spicy rice cake stir fry.
Since the process is a bit complicated, I made a video, together with my son Lee, to show how I do it. Scroll down to see it.

This recipe, I find, doesn't make a large enough amount for our family, so I tend to double this recipe every single time. I don't make any more than that because there's a limit to how much can fit in my steamer.

I've heard people say they attempted to make garaetteok and it didn't hold together, and I asked them how they made it and they mentioned something about soaking rice before grinding it. I don't do any of that. I use ground short grain rice flour, which is sold under a few names, sticky rice flour, glutinous rice flour (which despite its name is completely gluten free), sweet rice flour, but all it is is taking short grain white rice and grinding it in a grain grinder.

While I make this with a steaming basket, you can also make this using a microwave.

As written, this recipe is gluten free, vegan, allergy friendly, and you can then use the results however you want. Once you have your garaetteok, you can eat it plain immediately, dipped in various sauces, keep it for a few days in the fridge before using, or freeze for later use. There are so many different ways to use your garaetteok, many in the various types of tteokbokki, rice cake stir fry. Wikipedia, for example, lists tteokbokki served together with noodles, with curry, in cream sauce, and stir fried with meat and vegetables in soy sauce.

Have fun!

Homeade Garaetteok Recipe, Korean Rice Cake Cylinders For Making Tteokbokki

2 cups short grain rice flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 -1 1/4 cup boiling water
Toasted sesame oil as needed


1. Pour the boiling water into your flour, add salt, and mix well. You'll get a mixture that looks like this. You'll need more or less boiling water depending on how moist your flour is. If yours is stuff kept in the freezer, it will probably be more moist and need less water; if its freshly ground like mine it will need more. If you plan on steaming yours, you'll need more. If you microwave it, you'll need less.

2. Steam or microwave your garaetteok mixture. If microwaving, put in a covered container with a slight opening, microwave for 2 minutes, mix, then repeat for another 2 minutes. If steaming, steam in a steamer lined with parchment paper for 25 minutes.

3. Now your mixture will look like this, which doesn't look that different from your uncooked mixture, but trust me, there's a difference.

4. At this point, typically you'd be using a mortar and pestle to pound your mixture, but I find whacking it with a rolling pin does just fine. Put a little sesame oil on some parchment paper or your counter and on your rolling pin, and then begin to whack your mixture.

5. As you whack your mixture, your particles will come together to make a dough. At the same time, your dough will cool off enough to be able to handle it, at which point you'll gather the little peices into your dough, and then whack some more. Whacking is supposed to make it more chewy.

I know that this explanation might not make so much sense and you might want to see how it's possible, so my son Lee and I made this video together.

6. Once your dough is nice and workable, divide it into 8 equal parts, and make them into snakes. If they don't come out perfect, if some are thicker or thinner than the other, or if the snakes break in half, it doesn't matter. that's part of the beauty of homemade garaetteok.

7. Rub your garaetteok with sesame oil to prevent them from sticking to each other.


Have you ever heard of garaetteok before? Have you ever had any dishes made with Korean rice cakes before? If you've made dishes with them, have you tried making the rice cakes from scratch or do you buy them? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? If you try this, how do you think you'd want to use these rice cakes?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I loved this video and hope to try the recipe since I have some glutinous rice flour that I was thinking of using to try to make mochi. You have a lovely calming and reassuring voice and you cheered me up! Well done to Lee for the videoing it was great.Please tell him that many world class chefs are male and that even if he has no interest now these life skills will enhance his life. We used to tell our daughters that they could do anything boys could. They are now doctors. Cooking is creativity and a hobby you get to eat! Loved it, thanks to you both!x

  2. I love Maangchi and her website. Great job on the rice cakes! I have made them once, using her recipe but it has been a long time. They are yummy though, store bought OR homemade. :)

  3. I love your video.
    I think you should do more of them.
    Perhaps you could use a shtender with light that you attach your phone to.
    People use it for make up tutorials, but it would come in handy here.
    I would love to see more videos and more recipes.

  4. "Whoa that's hot! Hot, hot, hot!!!"
    I love your unscripted candor.
    I've never had any Korean food, but by chance, I've just read two wonderful Korean novels by Min Jin Lee: "Free Food for Millionaires" and "Pachinko." In the latter, Korean food is contrasted (positively) with Japanese cuisine. I recommend both books highly. This post may move me out of my comfort zone to trying something very different.

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