Our 15 Best Sweet Rice Flour Recipes

published Jan 19, 2023
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Hawaiian butter mochi sits stacked on top of each other
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

All-purpose flour is the dependable basic of flours — a very necessary component to many plush cakes, chewy cookies, and pillowy dumplings. But when I crave something with next-level texture, I turn to sweet rice flour (sometimes referred to as glutinous rice flour or mochiko flour).

I keep sweet rice flour in my pantry at all times. It’s shelf-stable and naturally gluten-free, not to mention as versatile as its all-purpose counterpart. The tasting notes of the finely milled flour are gently sweet and pretty mild overall, but the real magic happens when it comes into contact with a liquid and is then cooked — like, for instance, in a wet cake mixture or a savory sauce. Rice flour lends a chewiness or thickness that you just can’t get with anything else. Step aside, corn starch and potato starch.

While sweet rice flour is typically associated with plush mochi, there’s a whole universe of recipes that harness the power of this amazing pantry ingredient. If you want to make something for the Lunar New Year, sweet rice flour is your best friend because many Asian culinary traditions use it in their celebratory dishes.

To help you get started, we rounded up 13 recipes to cook and bake with sweet rice flour.

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Taiwanese Fresh Peanut Mochi

Sweet rice flour gives fresh mochi a subtle sweetness and pleasant QQ texture. A crunchy peanut mixture coats each bite-sized piece.

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2 / 15
Squash Vine Kimchi

In this Mexican-inspired take on the classic Korean pickle, squash blossoms, vines, and leaves are fermented with a rice flour-thickened seasoning paste that gets its flavor from a trio of Mexican chiles.

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3 / 15
Nian Gao

Nian gao (Mandarin for “higher year”) is a traditional steamed Chinese cake most often eaten to celebrate Chinese New Year. The humble-looking cake is chewy, sticky, and not too sweet. You only need a handful of ingredients to make it: Chinese slab brown sugar, water, sweet rice flour, and vegetable oil.

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4 / 15
Quick and easy to whip up, these chewy rice cakes are showered with shredded coconut and filled with just the perfect amount of sweetness.
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5 / 15
Sweet Sticky Rice Balls in Soup (Yin-Yang Tong Yuan)

If you like ice cream-filled mochi, you’ll want to bust out your sweet rice flour and make these soft, chewy rice balls. As an East-meets-West twist, these Tong Yuan have a black sesame-chocolate ganache filling and get topped with a warm syrup.

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Honey Butter Rice Krispies Tteok Treats
This fun treat features a chewy sweet rice cake sandwiched between layers of buttery, honey-sweetened Rice Krispies treats.
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7 / 15
Ricotta Bibingka

Bibingka is traditionally a cake made from glutinous rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk. It's often eaten during Christmas, but it can easily be an everyday treat and this recipe is the proof. These bite-sized ricotta bibingka are extra rich, thanks to evaporated milk, cream cheese, and coconut milk.

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8 / 15
Korean Pumpkin Porridge with Rice Dumplings (Hobakjuk)

Rice flour in this velvety pumpkin porridge doubles as the base for the delightful rice balls and as a thickener that gives the porridge a smooth, nicely viscous texture.

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9 / 15
Hawaiian Butter Mochi

Both kids and adults won't get enough of the extreme taffy-like pull of this coconutty, gluten-free treat.

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Ube Butter Mochi

This showstopping ube riff on classic butter mochi is buttery, bouncy, and highly crave-worthy.

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Sesame Balls
These sesame balls stuffed with black sesame filling are crunchy, chewy, and sweet.
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Biko (Bibingkang Malagkit)
This Filipino sticky rice cake, which requires just four ingredients, is topped with a layer of homemade coconut caramel.
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Gluten-Free Gravy

Sweet rice flour is a hero cooking ingredient for those who follow a gluten-free lifestyle. Here's how to thicken classic gravy with the flour for gluten-free holiday tables.

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14 / 15
Sweet Potato Sformato

Like any good soufflé, this earthy sweet potato sformato starts off with a bechamel sauce. In order to make it more accessible, we used sweet rice flour to make a bechamel that's silky and gluten-free.

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Gluten-Free Cut-Out Cookies

With sweet rice flour on hand, you're just a few more ingredients shy of making your own custom gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. This recipes gives you 4 1/2 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour, some you of which you use to make these festive cut-out cookies and some you can use to make other tasty treats.

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