What is Mochiko Flour?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Mochiko flour is flour made from mochi rice, sticky and glutinous rice that is popular in many Asian countries. Typically, the mochi rice used to make this flour has a high starch content with no complex carbohydrates because the rice has been milled into white rice first. Since mochiko flour is starchy, but really doesn’t contain gluten, it can be a good flour substitute for people who have gluten allergies.

Rice noodles may be made from mochiko flour.
Rice noodles may be made from mochiko flour.

In Asia, this flour may be used in a number of baked goods, and it's often used to make varied types of rice noodles. It can also be added to sauces to thicken them, and it may be an emulsifying agent in commercially prepared foods, since it won’t allow foods to separate if they’re frozen or when they’re heated. The flour, like mochi rice, has a notably sweet taste, which often means if you use it in baked goods you can cut down on sugar needed in the recipe.

Mochiko flour could be used to make waffles.
Mochiko flour could be used to make waffles.

Because mochiko flour does not contain gluten, it can’t be used successfully in yeast raised breads. You can substitute about a third to a half mochiko flour in recipes that call for wheat flour. Generally the more you use, the lower rise your bread will have. You can use the flour in other baked goods leavened by baking powder or soda. Consider the possibility of muffins, pancakes, waffles, or cookies made with mochiko flour. These often taste lighter and more delicate than the same recipes when wheat flour is used. Many people suggest that mochiko flour provides the perfect coating for fried chicken or fish too.

Sweet rice flour can be delicious, but it doesn’t necessarily pack the nutritional punch needed to make it the flour of choice at all times. Especially since the milling process for mochi rice removes the bran and germ, the flour is high in simple carbohydrates, and lacking in many nutrients. Alternatives to mochiko that are a little more nutritionally sound include brown rice flour, which will give you the complex carbohydrates that mochiko lacks.

You can find sweet rice flour at most Asian grocery stores, and if you’re having difficulty locating it, there are a number of online stores, including Amazon, that stock the product. Note that many places also sell rice flour. If the package isn’t labeled as mochiko or sweet rice flour you’re probably getting flour of another rice variant. You might additionally look for the product sold in packages or in bulk at well-stocked natural foods stores. Both organic and non-organic versions exist.

Sweet rice flour may be used in gluten-free baked good leavened by baking powder or soda.
Sweet rice flour may be used in gluten-free baked good leavened by baking powder or soda.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


Tilili, it does have gluten, just not the type of gluten that so many people have trouble digesting. Rice gluten and wheat gluten are made up of different properties. Rice gluten usually does not cause any issues for people that need to avoid wheat gluten.


glutinous just means like gluten, which is rubbery or chewy


I found something called 'glutinous rice flour' in a little asian supermarket near me. is it the same thing?


Glutinous simply means glue-like or sticky. It doesn't in any way refer to gluten content.


Yeah, See mom? lol. I was looking for shiratamako or mochiko in the grocery today to use in making dango. I found "white rice flour" and "brown rice flour" and my mom thought I should just get the white rice flour, but I was *really* suspicious of it. I told her it wasn't the same. I wasn't going to buy it if the package didn't say 'glutinous' or 'sweet.' She does all kinds of crazy things when cooking. Chh.


Wow, that's really confusing! Everyone says glutinous rice and then says that it doesn't have any gluten!

Post your comments
Forgot password?