Home South East AsianKorean Injeolmi (Korean Sweet Rice Cake) in 10 minutes

Injeolmi (Korean Sweet Rice Cake) in 10 minutes

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Injeolmi pin

Injeolmi is a popular Korean rice cake that’s perfectly soft, chewy and just slightly sweet. And nutty too with the soybean powder coating. You may have thought that this can only be made by professional tteok makers but with my recipe, you can make it easily at home (with no special equipment) in less than 10 minutes! 

What is Injeolmi?

Injeolmi 인절미 is a type of Korean rice cake made with glutinous rice. Traditionally, sweet sticky rice is steamed, then pounded until it becomes a nice blob 😝 with a chewy texture which we call Tteok 떡. This method of making tteok normally takes hours when you include hours of soaking the sweet rice, then steaming and then pounding.

The tteok is then cut into smaller pieces and often coated with either roasted soybean powder 볶은 콩가루 Bokkeun Kongaru, ground black sesame seeds or cooked (unsweetened) Azuki red beans (단팥 dan-paat). This rice cake is also eaten without any coating but just by itself, dipped in honey or sugar.

Note, there are 2 different categories of Korean Tteok based on what kind of rice is used. Chapssal Tteok (찹쌀떡) are rice cakes that are made using glutinous/sweet/sticky rice, this includes tteok like Hwajeon 화전, Bukkumi 부꾸미, Kyeongdan 경단, and of course Injeolmi. Maepssal Tteok (멥쌀떡) are made using regular short-grain rice and some common ones are Songpyeon 송편, Sirutteok 시루떡, Hobaktteok 호박떡, Danja 단자, Sultteok 술떡 and more.

So one thing about this tteok — I grew up hearing the adults talk about how Injeolmi was easy to digest and was really good for the stomach. I half believed it when I was little because I was thinking in my head – it’s this blob of a thing that’s even kind of hard to chew and sometimes it can even get stuck on the way down to your stomach. How can this be easy to digest? lol…

But as it always turns out, the wisdom of our ancestors is never to be ignored. My sister #3 always struggled with an acidic stomach and her father-in-law (who is a family physician) told her to just eat Injeolmi every morning instead of taking antacid medications. So she ate it for a year for breakfast every morning and she swears that it helped her heal fully from it. I’ve also personally found tteok to help with my acid stomach so I know there’s something there but I haven’t been able to stick it with it long enough. I get bored with eating the same thing every day..lol.

I did a quick search and interestingly, there’s research done by Korean scientists that conclude “Our results suggest that glutinous rice proteins are useful for the prevention and treatment of gastritis and peptic ulcer.” But somehow other than that, I could not find other scientific evidence so it’s up to you. Maybe because only a small section of the world population eats sweet rice..?

Chef’s Tips

  • Follow instructions in order and closely – Injeolmi dries up pretty quickly and it’s only nice and stretchy when it’s still hot so you have only a narrow window of time to spread it out, coat and cut.
  • Whole sweet rice grain vs flour – traditionally, sweet rice is soaked, steamed then pounded. I’ve tried grinding the sweet rice at home and then tried making with it. But because I can’t pound it fully, it just didn’t give as good results as using flour.  Best results are produced with commercial finely ground sweet rice flour or Mochiko flour.
  • Other flavors/coating – ground black sesame seeds (Heukmija 흑임자) or cooked azuki red beans (Paat 팥) can also be used. Note, cooked azuki red beans (not sweet bean paste but the actual beans just cooked in water and ground) spoil easily in summer so make this only in cool seasons.
  • Storage – Store at cool room temperature, tightly covered for up to 12 hrs or less. Best to freeze in airtight container or bag to maintain freshness.
  • Reheating/Thawing – Frozen Injeomi is best thawed at room temperature. Alternatively, reheat in a non-stick pan at medium-low heat for a couple of minutes on each side. For softer and moist results, sprinkle some water when the pan is hot (with rice cake in it) and cover with a lid for a couple of minutes. You can also leave it in a warm rice cooker for a few minutes. My least favorite option is to reheat in the microwave – a lot of times, it will reheat unevenly and tteok will become really hard once it cools so use the microwave if you know that you will eat all in one sitting.

How to make Injeolmi

Servings: 4        Cooking Time: 10 minutes           Difficulty: Medium

What you need: Sweet Rice Flour, Sugar, Salt, Water and Roasted Soybean Powder

Directions

  1. Divide soybean powder into roughly two portions. On a sheet pan or a brownie pan, coat the bottom of the pan by spreading half of the roasted soybean flour. I spread about 9×7 inch area of my 9×13 brownie pan for one batch of the recipe (2 cups flour). You can also do it in a 8×8 pan.
    soybean powder spread out in pan

    Soybean powder (콩가루 Konggaru)

  2. Sprinkle about 1/2 to 1and  tsp of sugar and a light sprinkle of salt (1/4 tsp) on top of the soybean flour. Set aside.
    sugar and salt sprinkled soybean powder in pan

    Sugar and salt sprinkled soybean powder

  3. In a microwavable bowl, add sweet rice flour (aka mochiko flour), salt and sugar. Mix with a whisk.
  4. Add water to flour mixture and mix with a spatula until everything is well blended and no dry flour exists. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to mix in all the flour. Even and smooth out the top with a spatula and cover with a plastic wrap.
    step by step pics of adding water and mixing rice dough

    Making Dough for Injeolmi

  5. Put the covered bowl in the microwave and cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. The first pic is how it looks after 2 min – it’s all puffed up!
  6. Take out the bowl from the microwave, uncover the wrap (be careful of the hot steam as you uncover). You will see that only the top layer is cooked. Using a spatula, mix it so that the cooked top layer goes to the bottom and the uncooked bottom layer comes to the top. Smooth out the top, cover with a plastic wrap once again.
    step by step pics of mixing dough after microwaving

    How to mix Inejolmi Dough after cooking in Microwave

  7. Microwave HIGH for 2 minutes again. Uncover, mix (repeat step 6 above) and cover with wrap one last time.
  8. Now, microwave HIGH for just 1 minute.
  9. Take out the bowl from the microwave, uncover the wrap and dip the spatula in cold water and mix/knead the dough. Mix/knead for 30 seconds while dipping the spatula in water a 4-5 more times. This helps the rice cake not stick to the spatula too much and also cools down the tteok a little bit while adding moisture. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer using the dough hook to knead the Injeolmi dough. 10 seconds should be enough. Sprinkle about 2 tsp of water while you knead it. This is how nice and stretchy it looks after I hand mixed it.
    sticky rice cake stretched and extended up with a spatula

    sticky rice cake finished

  10. Have the soybean flour sheet pan and bowl of cold water ready next to the rice cake. Put disposable plastic gloves on. The plastic gloves are not a must but it just makes things easier (not have your hand all covered in tteok).
    spreading out injeolmi with hands in pan

    Spreading out Injeolmi

    Form the Injeolmi rice cake into one ball using a spatula (because it will still be too hot for your hands) and transfer it over to the center of the sheet pan. Now, wet your plastic gloves with cold water and quickly press down the rice cake to spread it out evenly. Repeat wetting your gloves if you feel it’s too hot or it’s sticking. Press and spread until it covers most of the soybean powder area or until you get your desired thickness – about 1/2 inch at least or thicker. WATCH VIDEO below to see how I do this.

  11. As soon as you are done spreading it out, cover the top with more soybean powder. Using scissors, cut rice cake into long strips and then each strip into smaller squares or rectangles. For each cut piece, cover the cut sides with soybean flour so it’s fully covered all around. The soybean powder prevents Injeolmi from drying out and adds a wonderful nutty flavor.
    • NOTE – if the top dries out before you cover it with the soybean powder, the powder may not stick to the tteok. If this happens, just lightly wet the top with water and then the powder will now stick.
      coating rice cake with soybean powder and cutting into squares

      Coating Rice Cake with Soybean Powder (Konggaru) and Cutting into sqaures

  12. Enjoy with some lovely tea ☕️ and honey 🍯 for dipping!
Injeolmi plated in front and chrysanthemum tea in Korean celadon cup and saucer

Injeolmi and Chrysanthemum Tea

And here are some close-up shots – this recipe really yields just as good results like the ones you buy from the store. So, really, there’s no need to buy it from the store anymore!

close up of cut cross section of injeolmi tteok

Injeolmi cross-section

korean injeolmi coated with soybean powder and piled on black plate

Korean Sweet Rice Cake (Injeolmi)

FAQ

What is Roasted Soybean Powder (Bokkeun Kongaru 볶은 콩가루) and where to buy

Bokkeun Kongaru is made by roasting whole dry soybeans then grinding them into powder. This ingredient is common in both Korean and Japanese recipes and you can use them interchangeably. Below are 2 commonly available packages (the left is Assi brand and the right one is Japanese Shirakiku Kinako) that you will probably see at your local Asian grocery store or online. I’ve added them to my Amazon store so you can buy them there too.

2 different soybean powder packages - Korean one on the left and Japanese one on the right

Roasted soybean powder packages

Can I make my own roasted soybean powder?

Yes, you can. The recipe is to soak the dry soybeans for 30 min or so, then drain and cook and roast in a frying pan. Once it’s roasted, you need to grind it to a fine powder. The issue is most of our blenders or choppers are really not powerful or have a way to make such a fine powder.

Don’t I need to pound it or knead longer for authentic chewy Injeolmi?

My recipe says to only knead or mix it for 30 seconds or so but I know some recipes will say to knead it longer. I have tested the recipe by kneading with a stand mixer for a few minutes (which would be much longer by hand) versus just hand mixing for around 30 seconds. And I have to say, I really did NOT see any difference in the texture. But it’s up to you. You can certainly knead it longer – no harm in doing that.

Other recipes using Sweet Rice Flour

Now, guess what?!! You can now make Injeolmi Toast even if you can’t buy it from a store. I know NOT everyone could buy the rice cake to make this sandwich before. But now you can make it yourself!!

Drizzling honey on Injeolmi for Korean Rice Cake Sandwich

Drizzling honey on Injeolmi for Korean Rice Cake Sandwich

And if you want to try other rice cakes using the same sweet rice flour, here are a couple of other recipes that you can try!

Bukkumi and Hwajeon - 2nd photo shoot

Bukkumi and Hwajeon – 2nd photo shoot

The top left one is called Bukkumi and it’s a sweet dumpling stuffed with Sweet Red Bean paste. The bottom ones are called Hwajeon and it’s the most simplest little mini sweet rice pancake topped with fresh flowers or greens.

Or you can also make my Oven Baked Rice Cake which is also called Tteokppang – it’s a tteok and it’s a cake!

Watch How to Video


 

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Enjoy! ❤️,

XOXO

JinJoo

korean injeolmi coated with soybean powder and piled on black plate

Injeolmi (Korean Sweet Rice Cake)

Injeolmi are Korean rice cakes made with sweet glutinous rice flour. This recipe is the most simple recipe that can be made in 10 min or less but with just as yummy results as store bought ones.

Print Rate

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack

Cuisine: Korean

Keyword: gluten free, korean rice cakes, tteok flour

KoreanCategory: Tteok (떡)

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 388kcal

Instructions

  • On a sheet pan or a brownie pan, coat the bottom of the pan by spreading out the roasted soybean flour with your hands. For the 2 cup rice flour recipe, I spread about 9×8 inch area of my 9×13 brownie pan. So I guess an 8×8 pan will work too. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of sugar and a light sprinkle of salt on top of the soybean flour. Set aside.

  • In a microwavable bowl, add sweet rice flour (aka mochiko flour), salt and sugar. Mix with a whisk.

  • Add water to flour mixture and mix with a spatula until everything is well blended and no dry flour exists. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to mix in all the flour. Even out the top with a spatula and cover with a plastic wrap.

  • Put the covered bowl in the microwave and cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. Take out the bowl, remove the wrap (be careful of the hot steam as you uncover). You will see that only the top inch layer or so is cooked. Using a spatula, mix it so the top layer goes to the bottom and the uncooked mixture comes to the top. Cover with a wrap once again.

  • Microwave HIGH for 2 minutes again. Uncover, mix and cover with wrap one last time.

  • Now, microwave HIGH for just 1 minute. Uncover and this time, dip the spatula in cold water and mix a couple of times. Repeat 2-3 times. This helps the rice cake not stick to the spatula too much and also cools down the tteok a little bit while adding additional moisture. Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer to kind of knead the dough. Do it for 1-2 minutes and sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 Tbs of water while you knead it.

  • Have the soybean flour sheet pan and bowl of cold water ready. Put disposable plastic gloves on. The plastic gloves are not a must but it just makes things easier (not have your hand all covered in tteok). Form the Injeolmi rice cake into one ball using a spatula (because it will still be too hot for your hands) and transfer it over to the center of the sheet pan. Now, wet your plastic gloves with cold water and quickly press down the rice cake to spread it out. Repeat wetting your gloves if you feel it’s too hot or it’s sticking. Press and spread until it covers most of the soybean powder area or until you get your desired thickness.

  • Cover the top with more soybean powder. Using scissors, cut it into long strips and then each strip into smaller squares or rectangles. For each cut piece, cover the cut sides with soybean flour so it’s fully covered all around. The soybean powder prevents Injeolmi from drying out.

  • Enjoy with some lovely tea and honey for dipping!

Notes

  • Follow the steps in order and closely – tteok dries up pretty quickly so you have only a narrow window of time to coat and cut.
  • Storage – Store at cool room temperature, tightly covered for up to 12 hrs or less. Best to freeze in airtight container or bag to maintain freshness.
  • Reheating/Thawing – Thaw at room temperature. Reheat in a non-stick pan at medium-low heat for couple minutes on each side. For softer and moist results, sprinkle some water when pan is hot (with rice cake in it) and cover with a lid for a couple minutes. You can also leave it in a warm rice cooker for a few minutes. My least favorite option is to reheat in the microwave – a lot of times, it will reheat unevenly and tteok will become really hard once it cools so use the microwave if you know that you will eat it all.

Nutrition

Serving: 4g | Calories: 388kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

 



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