How To Make Mochi Without Rice Flour?

How To make Mochi Without Rice Flour

If you love Japanese food, specifically rice cakes, and haven’t tried mochi yet, then it is time to explore this delicious Japanese cuisine. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of mochigome – a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. Water, sugar, and cornstarch are added as additional ingredients. 

The process of making a mochi is to pound the flour to create a mochi dough or paste and mold the dough into a desired shape. Mochi is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki in Japan. 

Mochiko or glutinous rice flour is essential to achieve the sticky and chewy texture of the traditional mochi. The real mochi would taste like rice but has a chewy, stretchy, soft, and sticky texture. Mochi is a versatile rice cake with endless flavor possibilities and is used in a number of different Japanese dishes.

One popular variety of mochi is the mochi ice cream. It is a popular Japanese dessert made from a sweet pounded rice dough wrapped around ice creams. It has a texture similar to the chew of boba and has a twist of homemade ice creams.

How To make Mochi Without Rice Flour


Why Do You Need Glutinous Rice Flour for Mochi?

The reason why you need glutinous rice is to achieve the chewiness and right mixture of the mochi. Glutinous rice is a type of rice known for its high content of starch called amylopectin. This is a component of starch that determines how stretchy and chewy the rice can be, which is essential for mochi.

On the other hand, regular rice flour would provide a less sticky dough as it is rich in a starch component called amylose. It affects the texture and would not create the chewiness, instead it allows for more brittleness. 

Substitutes to Make Mochi Without Rice Flour

You might question how to make mochi without rice flour as it plays an important role in achieving the sticky dough. Mochiko flour is a type of Japanese rice flour that is made from short-grain white rice. 

This glutinous rice flour has a light, fluffy texture and a mild flavor. It is used in both savory and sweet dishes. Due to its versatility, mochiko is commonly used to make the Japanese sweet rice cake – Mochi. It can also be incorporated to make dumplings, bread, and other baked goods.

Here are some good substitutes if ever you don’t have any mochiko flour or glutinous rice flour: 


This is a kind of jelly made from the starch extracted from the root of the Warabi plant. To have that jelly-like substance, the extracted starch should be boiled and cooled down. Warabiko has a slightly rubbery texture and a sweet, nutty flavor that can be perfect to replace the missing sweet rice flour. 


Shiratamako can be a perfect substitute if you don’t have mochiko rice flour. It is a type of Japanese white rice flour often used to make sweets. With its fine, delicate texture and a slightly sweet flavor, it is perfect to create Mochi.

Shiratamako can also be found easily in most Japanese grocery stores. If you can’t, online stores would be a good option to look for this rice flour. 


One of the easiest ways to create a substitute is to mix Water, Sugar and Cornstarch mixture. Just be reminded that using a mixture of water, sugar and cornstarch in making mochi will provide a different taste from the usual mochi that is made with rice flour. 

Tapioca Flour 

Tapioca flour is one of those that can be easily found in stores and can be used to make mochi if you don’t have mochiko. Also, tapioca is a starchy flour made from the root of the cassava plant. 

Tapioca flour can be perfect for mochi as it can provide a neutral flavor and a slightly chewy texture. No wonder why it is used mostly as a thickener or binder in recipes.

Potato Starch

Combining Milk with potato starch will make a good substitute to make mochi without rice flour. Though potato starch won’t provide the exact texture as it will be a bit harder and less fluffy than mochiko, your mochi should still taste delicious. 

Dango Flour

Dango Flour would be a great substitute to make mochi without rice flour as it has a slightly sweet flavor and a fine, powdery texture. This type of wheat flour is made from grinding Dango, a traditional Japanese sweet treat made from rice flour.

This flour is also available in most Asian markets, so you can easily buy one if you want to make mochi right away with rice flour. Though Dango can make Mochi, it won’t provide a very smooth texture as it is not as finely grounded as Mochiko. 

How To Make Mochi Without Rice Flour

Making mochi without rice flour doesn’t need fancy or a lot of special equipment and ingredients. If rice flour is hard to find, you can make mochi by getting glutinous rice (not flour) and sweet red bean paste. You can get them at a grocery or through online stores

Glutinous rice is the best option to use to make mochi if you don’t have any flour. In this way, you’ll be able to get the perfect stretch, chewiness, and texture. The sweetened and mashed red beans would be perfect for the filling of your mochi. 

  1. The first thing to do is to soak the glutinous rice for a few hours. This process allows the grain to state with water. After soaking the rice, drain it properly and ground into a paste with a few tablespoons of water. Once you achieve the consistency and smoothness of glue, mix the grounded rice with some sugar. Pour the mixture into a parchment paper set inside of a steamer basket. 

  2. Microwave will be the best option to cook the mixture if you don’t have a steam basket. Once the mochi goes from a milky white to a slightly translucent white, it means it is cooked already. 

  3. On a surface covered with corn starch, add the cooked mochi. Cornstarch would help prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands and the surface. Shape the mochi into a rectangle then cut it into squares.

  4. The next step is to get some red bean paste and roll it into a ball. Use plastic gloves as it could be messy during this process. Wrap the cut mochi around the red bean balls and give it a final light coating of cornstarch on the bottom. 

  5. There are four things to remember when making mochi. First is to grind the rice properly. Blend it into a paste by using a food processor or blender. In this way, you can save your time and energy. 

  6. Next thing to do is to soak your rice before cooking. Soak it for 2-4 hours prior to grinding. Soaking the rice will ensure that the mochi will get the right chewiness and texture. Shape the cooked mochi fast as it will begin to stiffen as it cools. Also, warm mochi is pliable, flexible, and can be shaped easily.

  7. Lastly, mochi shapes need to be eye-catching. Make it fun by shaping it nicely or decorate it with some edible stickers. Mochi is not just for desserts, it can also be enjoyed in savory soups and with soy sauce.

Easy Recipe on How to Cook Mochi Without Rice Flour

To make make mochi without using a flour made of rice, you will need to use these simple ingredients: 

  • 150g of Glutinous rice
  • Sweet red bean paste
  • 2 Tbsp of Sugar 
  • Water 

Procedure To Make Mochi: 

  1. In a large bowl, add the glutinous rice with some water or until it is completely submerged. Soak the rice for 2-4 hours.
  2. Drain the rice and put it in a food processor or blender. Add about 3 tbsp of water with sugar and grind it for a minute. 
  3. Open the lid and check if the mixture is already smooth with the consistency of white glue. If the right consistency is not yet achieved, add a teaspoon of water and continue to grind for another minute or until you get the desired consistency. 
  4. In a steam basket, add a sheet of parchment paper. Pour in the ground glutinous rice or the mochi mixture. Steam it under low heat with a cover for 10 minutes. When it turns from a milky white to a translucent white with many small holes dotting the surface, that means the mochi is cooked. 
  5. Meanwhile, roll the sweet red bean paste into about 7 – 8 balls that weigh about 20g each.
  6. Remove the parchment paper and the cooked glutinous rice from the steamer carefully. Once removed, scrape the mochi off gently from the parchment paper and transfer it to a work surface dusted with cornstarch.
  7. Shape the mochi into a long rectangle, then cut the mochi into 30 gram squares. Do this as quickly as you can while the mochi is warm. 
  8. Place the mochi on the palm of your hand and gently stretch out the edges. Ensure that  the thin layer are the edges instead of the center of the mochi.
  9. Get your rolled sweet red bean paste and place the ball into the center of the mochi. Wrap the edges around and pinch them to seal.
  10. Turn the mochi seal side down and gently roll it on the palm of your hand. On a plate with cornstarch, dip the bottom lightly to prevent sticking.
  11. Continue this process with the rest of the mochi until it is done. You can now serve the cooked mochi. 

It is indeed easy to cook mochi even if you don’t have a flour made of rice. You can also use different fillings aside from the classic sweet Red Bean Paste. Try adding fruit into mochi filling to achieve a unique flavor. Thank you for investing your time in reading this article.

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