15+ Best Mochiko Flour Substitute

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The best Mochiko flour substitute are Shiratamako, dango flour, potato starch, sweet rice flour, and joshinko.

When my friend was craving homemade mochi, she faced a dilemma: no store nearby carried mochiko flour. Determined to help, I researched suitable substitutes, considering tapioca and glutinous rice flour. After some trial and error, we discovered tapioca flour yielded a surprisingly similar texture. The joy on her face as she successfully crafted delicious mochi with the substitute made the effort worthwhile. It’s amazing how a bit of improvisation can turn a potential setback into a delightful experience.

In this article, I’ll be discussing some of the best substitutes for mochiko flour you can try when making recipes that call for mochiko flour but don’t have any on hand.

What is Mochiko Flour?

Mochiko flour, a fundamental ingredient in Japanese cuisine, is a sweet rice flour derived from glutinous or sticky rice. This unique flour possesses a higher starch content compared to regular rice flour, resulting in a distinctively chewy and elastic texture when used in various recipes. Its versatility makes it a key component in creating traditional Japanese sweets like mochi, as well as in savory dishes where a glutinous consistency is desired.

Notably, Mochiko flour’s gluten-free nature and inherent stickiness make it an excellent choice for those with dietary restrictions. It opens up the possibility for creating delightful treats that cater to various preferences, showcasing the flour’s adaptability in both sweet and savory meals.

What are the Best Mochiko Flour Substitute?

1. Shiratamako

Shiratamako, a widely used Japanese starch powder made from rice, serves as a viable substitute for mochiko flour in various recipes. Despite its slightly sweeter flavor, it seamlessly integrates into most dishes that call for mochiko flour. 

Additionally, you have the option to create Shiratamako at home by grinding rice in a food processor or coffee grinder. This dense flour, derived from the sorghum plant, is typically utilized for making bread, pizza dough, and baked goods, functioning as a reliable thickening agent. Sorghum, when used as a mochiko substitute in equal ratios, offers a gluten-free alternative with a distinct flavor and texture that can fulfill your requirements.

2. Dango Flour

Dango flour is typically associated with the non-glutinous rice balls in Japanese cuisine. It offers an interesting alternative as a mochiko flour substitute. Crafted from a blend of both glutinous and non-glutinous rice, this versatile flour can be transformed into dumplings or used as a straightforward thickening agent. 

Creating simple dumplings involves combining ½ cup of Dango flour with ¼ cup of water. Dango flour proves to be a viable alternative to mochiko flour, allowing you to attain the distinctive chewy texture characteristic of traditional mochi when incorporated into various recipes.

3. Potato Starch

potato starch - Mochiko Flour Substitute

Derived from potatoes, potato starch serves as a versatile replacement to mochiko flour with widespread applications. Beyond its common use when cooking, potato starch finds itself employed in diverse industries, from plastics and adhesives to paints. 

As a starch, it functions as a reliable thickener in liquids such as sauces and soups, as well as a binder in various foods. The convenience lies in its ability to seamlessly replace mochiko flour in equivalent amounts, making it a readily accessible alternative for most recipes. Moreover, potato starch is typically available in supermarkets and Asian grocers, adding to its accessibility for home cooks.

4. Sweet Rice Flour

With a remarkably similar texture and flavor, sweet rice flour stands out as an excellent substitute for mochiko flour, seamlessly integrating into most recipes. While it might be slightly more challenging to find, with Asian markets being a reliable source, sweet rice flour is worth considering when mochiko flour is unavailable. This gluten-free flour is particularly popular in low-gluten or gluten-free diets, offering a viable alternative in various recipes. 

You need to note the subtle difference in consistency, as sweet rice flour contains slightly less starch than mochiko flour. To maintain the desired results, adjustments to the liquid content in your recipe may be necessary. As a general guideline, for every 1 cup of mochiko flour, using 3 cups of sweet rice flour can provide a comparable outcome, and monitoring the texture during the cooking process allows for additional adjustments if needed.

5. Joshinko

Joshinko, made from non-glutinous rice, distinguishes itself from other flours in its category. Although well-suited for recipes involving dumplings or batter, it’s essential to recognize that Joshinko may not serve as a universal mochiko flour alternative in all recipes. 

Mochi crafted with Joshinko may lack the desired chewy consistency typically associated with mochiko flour, yet it retains a close approximation of the desired flavor and remains a flavorful option. Understanding its specific applications ensures that Joshinko enhances certain dishes while acknowledging its limitations when aiming to replicate the distinctive texture of traditional mochi.

6. Potato Starch With Rice

Replicating the texture of mochiko flour is possible with a simple mixture of leftover cooked rice and potato starch. Combine 2 tablespoons of potato starch with nine ounces of cooled and cooked white rice to form a starchy paste that mimics mochi. Crush the rice while mixing to create small dumplings. 

If the mixture doesn’t stick together, add a bit of water and mix again. The resulting dumplings can be microwaved in a bowl with water or boiled for a convenient homemade mochi alternative. This inventive approach allows you to transform leftover rice and potato starch into a satisfying and easily prepared mochi substitute.

7. White Rice Flour

white rice flour - Substitute for Mochiko Flour

Derived from ground white rice, white rice flour is a gluten-free alternative commonly utilized in gluten-free baking recipes and as a thickening agent. Its rice base and gluten-free nature make white rice flour a suitable alternative for mochiko flour in various recipes. 

However, it’s important to adjust your recipe when using white rice flour—incorporate the same quantity as mochiko flour while reducing liquids by ¼ cup. In cases where your recipe lacks liquids, simply add ¼ cup of water to maintain the desired consistency. This flexible adaptation allows white rice flour to seamlessly replace mochiko flour while ensuring your dishes maintain their intended texture and taste.

8. Glutinous Rice Flour

Given that mochiko flour is a type of glutinous rice flour, using glutinous rice flour as a substitute is a reasonable option. This thickening flour is crafted by grinding glutinous rice and shares similar gluten-free properties with mochiko. 

When substituting, adjust the ratio slightly—use 1 and ¼ cups of glutinous rice flour for every cup of mochiko flour in your recipe. For improved results, especially if your recipe lacks baking powder, consider adding ¼ teaspoon of baking powder to enhance the texture and rise of your meals. This simple adjustment allows glutinous rice flour to effectively stand in for mochiko flour while maintaining the desired characteristics in your dishes.

9. All Purpose Flour

all purpose flour - Mochiko Flour Substitute

In a pinch, all-purpose flour can serve as an emergency alternative to mochiko flour, although the resulting dish will no longer be gluten-free and might exhibit a different consistency. Despite these variations, the outcome can still be enjoyable. 

To adapt it in your recipe, use ¾ of the amount of all-purpose flour compared to the mochiko flour specified in your recipe. This adjustment ensures a suitable replacement in situations where mochiko flour is unavailable, providing a practical solution without sacrificing the overall quality of your dishes.

10. Arrowroot

arrowroot - Mochiko Flour Substitute

Arrowroot, versatilely known as a powder, starch, and flour, proves to be an excellent mochiko flour replacement. This gluten-free and grain-free option carries a slightly sweet taste but remains neutral enough not to overpower the flavor of your dish. Like mochiko flour, arrowroot excels as a thickening agent in recipes, particularly in sauces. However, it’s essential to note that arrowroot is a suitable alternative for mochiko flour when combined with another gluten-free flour. 

To replace 1 cup of mochiko flour, use 2/3 cup of arrowroot flour and combine it with 1/3 cup of another gluten-free flour. Additionally, maintain the texture of your dish by incorporating 1 tablespoon of water for every 2 tablespoons of arrowroot, ensuring it stays moist and avoids becoming dry or crumbly.

11. Tapioca Flour

tapioca flour - Substitutes for Mochiko Flour

Derived from the cassava plant through a more intricate process of extracting starch, tapioca flour shares similarities with potato starch and finds unexpected applications in products like plastics, adhesives, and paints. When cooking, it serves as a starch, acting as a thickening agent and binder. Tapioca flour boasts several benefits, including being gluten-free, high in fiber, and possessing a neutral taste, making it exceptionally versatile. 

While tapioca flour can substitute for mochiko flour in various recipes, the substitution process is a bit more complex. Begin by replacing ¼ cup of mochiko flour with half that amount in tapioca flour (2 tablespoons). For recipes requiring more than ¼ cup of mochiko flour, gradually introduce additional tapioca flour until reaching the desired consistency.

12. Almond Flour

almond flour - Mochiko Flour Substitute

Almond flour, a well-established gluten-free alternative, serves as a substitute for mochiko flour in many mochiko flour recipes. Beyond its gluten-free nature, almond flour boasts higher protein levels and additional vitamins and minerals, potentially offering a healthier alternative to mochiko flour. 

However, given almond flour’s lack of stickiness found in glutinous rice flour, incorporating additional binding ingredients is crucial to achieving optimal results. This adaptation ensures that almond flour not only addresses dietary preferences but also delivers a satisfying texture and taste in recipes where mochiko flour is typically used.

13. Sorghum Flour

Sorghum flour stands out as a popular and gluten-free alternative to mochiko flour, offering numerous health benefits. While possessing a similar sweet flavor to mochiko flour, sorghum flour lacks stickiness, necessitating an increase in water or liquid content to serve as a binding agent in your dish. Particularly effective in cookie recipes, sorghum flour can also be utilized in various other bakes. 

The substitution ratio for sorghum flour to mochiko flour remains at 1:1, simplifying the replacement process. However, caution is advised when adding sorghum flour, recommending the incremental addition of 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the desired consistency, preventing the mixture from becoming overly congealed. This makes sorghum flour a versatile and straightforward substitute for those seeking gluten-free options for their dishes.

14. Gluten free flour mix

A gluten-free flour mix is an ideal substitute for mochiko flour, especially if you have a variety of gluten-free flours on hand. Combining different flours, such as white rice flour, tapioca flour, or arrowroot, allows you to create a versatile and flavorful substitute. 

Since most gluten-free flours share similar taste and texture profiles, this mixture seamlessly replaces mochiko flour in a 1:1 ratio without the need for alterations. This simple and adaptable solution ensures that even with limited individual gluten-free flours, you can still achieve the desired results in your recipes, maintaining both taste and texture.

15. Cornstarch

cornstarch - Substitute for Mochiko Flour

Cornstarch, a reliable and easily accessible thickening agent, is a straightforward replacement for mochiko flour, especially when used as a thickening agent in recipes. Two tablespoons of cornstarch effectively thickens 1 cup of liquid, making it a practical choice in various meals. 

Cornstarch thickens as it heats, so allow it to heat before considering additional amounts. Beyond its thickening capabilities, cornstarch, when combined with sugar, can replace mochiko flour in mochi recipes. For a simple mochi alternative, blend 1 cup of milk with 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, providing a convenient way to adapt recipes that traditionally call for mochiko flour.

16. Warabi Powder

Warabi powder, derived from the underground stems of bracken ferns, stands out as a unique and authentic alternative for mochiko flour. While not made from rice like traditional mochiko, this powdery starch is created by drying and grinding the fern stems into a fine starchy powder. 

Although it may be challenging to find outside of Japan, warabi powder is considered an excellent mochiko flour substitute, potentially one of the best. Its authenticity allows for a seamless replacement in a 1:1 ratio, and its neutral flavor makes it suitable for both sweet and savory recipes. This distinctive substitute introduces a subtle twist to dishes traditionally made with mochiko flour, offering a rare and flavorful alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Glutinous Rice Flour Same as Mochiko Flour?

Yes, glutinous rice flour is essentially the same as mochiko flour. Both terms refer to sweet rice flour made from glutinous or sticky rice, and they are interchangeable in many recipes. The flour’s distinct texture, derived from its higher starch content, makes it a key ingredient in traditional Japanese and other Asian cuisines, where it is commonly used for creating dishes like mochi.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Glutinous Rice Flour?

If you don’t have glutinous rice flour, suitable substitutes include tapioca flour or sweet rice flour. These alternatives can provide a similar sticky and chewy texture required for certain recipes, such as mochi.

Is It Okay To Replace Mochiko Flour?

Yes, it is okay to replace Mochiko flour in some recipes. While Mochiko flour has a unique texture derived from glutinous rice, suitable substitutes like tapioca flour or glutinous rice flour can be used depending on the dish. You might need to try out a few of these substitutes yourself to achieve a similar consistency, but they often work well in recipes where the distinct chewiness of Mochiko flour is essential.

What is a Substitute For Sweet Rice?

Mochiko flour is made by soaking glutinous or sweet rice in water, steaming it, and then grinding it into a fine powder. The process involves washing the rice to remove excess starch, soaking it to enhance its stickiness, steaming until fully cooked, and finally grinding into a smooth flour. This traditional method ensures the distinctive texture necessary for Japanese sweets like mochi. Commercially, pre-packaged Mochiko flour is widely available for convenience.

Can I Use Normal Rice Flour For Mochi?

No, using normal rice flour is not recommended for making mochi. Mochi requires a distinct sticky and chewy texture, which is achieved with glutinous or sweet rice flour like Mochiko flour. Regular rice flour lacks the necessary starch content to produce the desired consistency, resulting in a texture that significantly differs from authentic mochi.

How do you make Mochiko flour?

To make Mochiko flour, start by soaking glutinous or sweet rice to enhance its stickiness. After soaking, steam the rice until fully cooked, and then grind it into a fine powder. This process ensures the distinct texture required for recipes like mochi. While traditionally made at home, commercially packaged Mochiko flour is also readily available for convenience.


Mochiko flour substitutes offer a wide range of possibilities, making them incredibly diverse. These substitutes allow for creative adaptations and provide flexibility in the kitchen. Whether you prefer more traditional alternatives like glutinous rice flour or want to explore innovative choices such as warabi powder, each substitute brings its own unique qualities to the table.

From almond flour to tapioca flour, there are many options available for those seeking alternatives to mochiko flour. While some substitutes may require adjustments in ratios and ingredients, the substitutes mentioned in this guide offer opportunities for creating delicious dishes with unique textures and flavors. By embracing the versatility of these alternatives, you can address practical concerns and introduce exciting variations to enhance your culinary creations.

About Cynthia

Cynthia Odenu-Odenu is the founder of Cyanne Eats. She is an avid baker and cook of delicious delicacies. She uses this blog to share her love for different cuisines.

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