PROJECT Rice Flour

Sep 2, 2022 | Cooking Club

PROJECT: Komé no Kona
Rice Flour

In Japanese cookery there are four types of rice flour that are commonlyused. One is made from uruchi mai or “table rice,” several are made from mochi-gomé or “sticky rice” and one is made from a combination of them. The different rice grains are processed by slightly different methods, producing flours of varying texture and viscosity. This viscosity is what the Japanese call ​NEBARI or “stickiness.”

With wheat flour the degree of stickiness, elasticity or chewiness usually depends on the amount of gluten in the flour and there are high-gluten flours (“hard wheat”) best suited to making bread and noodles… and there are low-gluten flours (“soft wheat”) more suitable for cakes and many cookies. 


Different rice flours can be characterized as high nebari (very sticky, chewy), moderate nebari (less sticky), and low nebari (barely sticky). Depending on the texture and amount of binding action you want in the final product, choose the most suitable rice flour.

This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about understanding the different kinds of rice flours and how to use them. I’ve created a GUIDE to RICE FLOURS that can be downloaded for your reference.

Then head to the Kitchen Culture page to find out about tsukimi moon-viewing dumplings and how to make them. The classic version calls for using DANGO KO with moderate nebari (my choice when topping them with black sesame sauce or crushed édamamé zunda sauce).

If you prefer very chewy dumplings (my choice when I am topping them with powdery kinako and/or cinnamon) make them using MOCHI KO or SHIRATAMA KO.

If you like a softer more marshmallow-like texture, you’ll find JŌSHIN KO will be best.

To really understand the difference between and among the rice flours, try making the tsukimi dango dumplings with each of the four rice flours and compare.

Please track your kitchen activity with photos and a brief description. Then post your RICE FLOUR ADVENTURES to the Kitchen Culture Cooking Club.

Looking forward to seeing what you make in YOUR kitchen!

My September 2022 newsletter is all about TSUKIMI DANGO.

Ichiya-boshi (Overnight-Dried Fish)

Ichiya-boshi (Overnight-Dried Fish)

Ichiya-Boshi: Overnight-Dried FISH In the days before refrigeration, bountiful catches of fish were traditionally gutted, either split down the back or butterflied (belly-split), and dipped in sea water before being set out to dry in well ventilated spaces. This would...

Home-Style Meals with Ichiya-boshi

Home-Style Meals with Ichiya-boshi

Making a Home-Style Meal featuring ichiya-boshi  Traditionally, bountiful catches of fish were gutted, salted, and set out to dry in order to extend their shelf life. The generic term for these sorts of fish is himono, literally “the dried thing,” though these...

PROJECT Adzuki: Sweet & Savory

PROJECT Adzuki: Sweet & Savory

PROJECT Adzuki: Sweet & Savory The adzuki bean 小豆 plays a prominent role in Japanese cookery, especially in the making of sweets... though savory dishes also abound. This Kitchen Culture Cooking Club PROJECT is about  exploring the many possibilities. I provide...

ADZUKI red beans

ADZUKI red beans

小豆・あずきADZUKI   (Vigna angularis) Written with calligraphy for "small" and "bean" these diminutive (about 1/4-inch, less than 1 cm) red beans play an important role in Japanese cookery, appearing in both savory dishes and in sweets. There are several varitites...