12 easy Asian Glutinous rice flour recipes that go beyond Nian Gao and mochi: spanning from Filipino Kalamay to Korean kimchi.
First things first, glutinous rice flour is not rice flour- the 2 types of flour are made from different varieties of rice (long grain rice vs glutinous rice which comes in both long and short grain) and are usually not interchangeable.
If you're looking for substitutes for glutinous rice flour, click here.
How to use
Also known as sweet rice flour, glutinous rice isn't flour but is used for the chewy texture it produces (after being mixed with a liquid)- most commonly in Asian desserts but I also have some savoury glutinous rice flour recipes below. You can also use it as a gluten-free substitute for all-purpose flour to thicken foods such as stews, sauces and soups.
Note: the snacks made with glutinous rice flour are so sticky, if they're not chewed properly, they can get stuck in the throat and suffocate you so CHEW CAREFULLY.
In Japan, a few people die each year from seemingly innocuous mochi so care should be taken when glutinous rice flour snacks are served to the very young or old.
Where to buy
Glutinous rice flour has become quite widely available- it used to only be available in Asian markets (typically the Thai brand Erawan) but you can now find it in some mainstream supermarkets under the Bob's Red Mill brand (labelled as sweet white rice flour.)
Tip: go for Erawan if you're on a budget- it's cheaper! Just be careful you pick up the right bag as both rice flour and glutinous rice flour have the same packaging under Erawan, just marked with different colours!
Whilst glutinous rice flour is most commonly associated with Asian sweets such as tang yuan and mochi, did you know that it is also used to make dim sum such as Ham Sui Gok dumplings?
This crispy fried snack, filled with juicy pork and shrimp, is a very unique Chinese treat thanks to its texture and a must try!
The flour is used to make shao bing (glutinous rice cake), which has a similar chewy texture to mochi.
Another sweet rice flour recipe is the skin of snowskin mooncakes - unlike traditional mooncakes, these are not covered by a golden brown layer but instead a translucent, thin skin.
If you're wondering what you can make with glutinous rice flour that isn't a Chinese recipe:
- in Korean cooking, it's used to make dasik 다식 cookies (which require no baking), rice cakes (Yeongyang-chaltteok 영양찰떡) and even kimchi!
- In Philippines, glutinous rice flour is used to make Kalamay sa Latik, a coconut and jackfruit dessert and Epasol rice cakes, so you can see that this flour is very popular in many Asian countries!
- and, of course, Japanese mochi!
What is your favourite Asian glutinous rice flour recipe?
Let us know in the comments-if you've found these ideas useful, it would be super helpful if you share it on your social media!