What is Rice Cake Flour (Maepssalgaru) ?
Maepssalgaru 멥쌀가루 or Short grain rice flour is created by finely milling non-glutinous short grain rice and can be made from both white and brown rice. It can be milled wet or dry, however in Korea it is commonly wet-milled, which is when the rice is soaked in water, drained, milled and sifted.
Even though Maepssal itself just means nonglutinous rice, when Koreans say Maepssalgaru it has often implied the wet rice flour used for making Tteok. This wet rice cake flour is also called Seupsik 습식 (wet) Maepssalgaru vs Geonsik 건식 (dry) which is what most non-Koreans think about when thinking of 'rice flour'.
With this wet Maepssalgaru, Koreans make various Tteoks. More in the How to Use/Cook section.
In Korea, you can buy wet rice cake flour fresh from the local mill (방앗간 Bang-at-gan) or you can buy frozen bags at the store. In the US, you can buy frozen bags of Maepssalgaru. You can also make it at home with a powerful blender (How to make Rice Cake Flour) but it's hard to get it as fine as the commercial ones although it does the job.
Not To Be Confused With
Dry sweet rice flour or Dry short grain, non-glutinous rice flour that's sold at most grocery stores in the US or outside for Korea.
NOTE, this is NOT sweet rice flour or Mochiko flour.
Where and What To Buy
Usually outside of Korean, there is not too many different brands available and there shouldn't be too much of a difference so just buy whatever you are able to get.
How to Use/Cook
Koreans use the wet Maepssalgaru (rice cake flour) to make Garaetteok, Tteokbokki, Seolgitteok, Songpyeon and more. The wet rice flour is usually made into dough by adding hot boing water, then shaped and then steamed. Sometimes it's pounded further to make it more chewy like Garaetteok which is then sliced thin into ovals to make Tteokguk (Rice Cake Soup).
You can make your own Rice Cake Flour by soaking rice, draining it then blending it until it's super fine. I have instructions on how to make Rice Cake Flour at home.
How to Clean/Store
Korean Wet Rice Cake Flour (Maepssalgaru, Tteokgaru) spoils quite easily - even if refrigerated. So it is best to store it in the freezer until you are ready to use. It will keep for several months in the freezer.
- white rice is high in carbohydrates with a bit of protein, low in fiber but also has good amount of Manganese.
- if you have diabetes or need to watch your carb intake, it would be better to mix with brown rice flour when making tteok since brown rice has more fiber and vitamins.