Mochiko vs Shiratamako vs Joshinko: Japanese Rice Flour

As with many other Asian countries, rice is the staple food for us Japanese. In Japan, two types of rice called “Uruchimai (うるち米)” and “Mochigome (餅米)” are commonly eaten.

The former Uruchimai is non-glutinous/non-sticky short-grain rice consumed as the staple of the Japanese diet throughout the year.

On the other hand, the latter Mochigome is glutinous/sticky/sweet rice mostly eaten in the form of a cake called “Mochi (餅)” in the winter. 

Mochiko vs Shiratamako vs Joshinko

These two varieties of rice are also available in flour form and are often used in Wagashi or traditional Japanese sweets. 

Among others, “Mochiko (餅粉: literally meaning Mochi Flour)”, “Shiratamako (白玉粉: Shiratama Flour)”, and “Joshinko (上新粉: Joshin Flour)” are most commonly used.

But how do they differ in making and usage?

Mochiko (餅粉)

Daifuku using Mochiko rice flour

As you can easily guess from its name, Mochiko, also known as “Gyuhiko (求肥子)”, is made from Mochigome rice.

Making

Based on this Japanese site (maff.go.jp), the making process is roughly as follows.

  1. Polish Mochigome 
  2. Wash the polished rice 
  3. Strain the rice 
  4. Dry and mill the rice grains into flour 

Characteristics 

Mochiko has a strong flavor compared to Shiratamako and is smooth. The cake made with this flour is chewy.

Uses

Mochiko flour is used as the main ingredient for the dough of Daifuku and Gyuhi, and the wafer of Monaka.

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Shiratamako (白玉粉)

Shiratama Dango using Shiratamako flour

As with Mochiko, Shiratamako is also made from Mochigome rice.

Making

But Shiratamako is different from Mochiko in making as follows.

  1. Polish Mochigome
  2. Wash and soak the polished rice in water
  3. Strain the rice 
  4. Grind the rice with water
  5. Strain and dry the ground rice 

Characteristics

The cake/dumpling using Shiratamako has a fresher, smoother texture than the one made with Mochiko and is stretchy.

Uses

Shiratamako flour is the main ingredient of Shiratama Dango and is also used in Daifuku Mochi.

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Joshinko (上新粉)

Kashiwa Mochi using Joshinko flour

Unlike Mochiko and Shiratamako, Joshinko, also known as “Komeko (米粉)”, is made from Uruchimai rice.

Making

The making process of Joshinko flour is basically the same as Mochiko making.

  1. Polish Uruchimai 
  2. Wash the polished rice 
  3. Strain the rice 
  4. Dry and mill the rice grains into flour 

Characteristics

As Joshinko is made from non-glutinous rice, the cake/dumpling using it is not that sticky. But instead, they have a pleasant, chewy bite.

Uses

Joshinko flour is used as the main ingredient for the dough of Dango, Kashiwa Mochi, and Kusa Mochi, as well as in the cake of Uiro.

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(Reference Pages: maff.go.jp, cotta.jp )

Tomo

Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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