Glutinous Rice Flour vs. Sweet Rice Flour: Are They Different?

Glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flour, and mochiko flour are different terms often used interchangeably. It creates confusion among home cooks and food enthusiasts to makes them think: 

Are they the same thing? 

Or is there a difference between them? 

In this blog post, we’ll clarify whether glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flour are truly identical or not.

So keep reading for a few minutes.

Understanding Glutinous Rice Flour

Glutinous rice flour, also called sticky rice flour or mochiko flour, is a flour variant made from glutinous rice, a type of short-grain rice. 

Despite its name, glutinous rice does not contain gluten. It’s why it’s safe for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. 

This flour is produced by grinding glutinous rice grains into a fine powder. When cooked, it exhibits a distinct sticky and elastic texture. The texture and starchy qualities are perfect for various culinary applications.

Exploring Sweet Rice Flour

On the other hand, sweet rice flour is often considered another name for glutinous rice flour or mochiko flour. It’s derived from the same glutinous rice variety and shares similar characteristics. Unlike Basmati rice’s savory and nutty taste, glutinous rice (short grain Chinese or sticky rice) has a bland taste, often referred to as sweet.

And people call it “sweet rice” to emphasize its mild sweetness/blandness, even though it’s not very strong. This confusion has made people use the terms interchangeably, thinking sweet rice flour might differ from glutinous rice flour.

Clarifying the Difference Between Glutinous Rice vs. Sweet Rice

In reality, glutinous, sweet rice flour and mochiko four are essentially the same product. Both are made from glutinous rice grains. 

They undergo the same milling process. And, eventually, possess the same sticky and elastic qualities when cooked. 

The terms “glutinous rice flour” and “sweet rice flour” can be used interchangeably without any significant distinction. 


Despite their names, neither flour contains gluten. So, they’re safe for those with gluten-related dietary restrictions.

Usage and Culinary Applications of Sweet Rice Flour Aka. Glutinous Rice

Glutinous rice flour, or sweet rice flour, is a versatile ingredient used in various Asian cuisines, particularly in dishes that require a chewy and sticky consistency. 

It’s also a popular choice for making traditional desserts like mochi, rice cakes, and dumplings. The flour’s sticky nature allows it to bind ingredients together and create delightful textures. Additionally, it serves as a thickening agent in soups, sauces, and puddings.

Tips for Using Glutinous Rice Flour or Sweet Rice Flour

Glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour behaves differently from regular wheat flour due to the absence of gluten. So, the following few tips can ensure successful results for your recipes:


Adjust the amount of glutinous rice flour in recipes as it may differ from the ratio of regular flour required. Experimentation might be necessary to achieve the desired texture and consistency.

Binding Agents

Glutinous rice flour lacks gluten’s binding properties. So, you should consider adding binding agents such as tapioca starch or xanthan gum. It’ll enhance the texture and improve the binding capabilities.

Moisture Content

Glutinous rice flour absorbs moisture differently than regular flour. It may require slightly more or less liquid in a recipe, so be prepared to make adjustments accordingly.

How Can You Make Glutinous Rice Flour at Home?

Making glutinous rice flour at home is straightforward. Here’s how:

  • Select high-quality glutinous rice from Asian or specialty stores.
  • Rinse the rice to remove impurities.
  • Soak the rice for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water and let the rice air dry.
  • Grind the dried rice using a blender, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle.
  • Sift the ground rice to remove larger particles.
  • Store the flour in an airtight container.

Now you have homemade glutinous rice flour for various recipes. Enjoy exploring its culinary possibilities!


How long does homemade glutinous rice powder last in the fridge?

Homemade glutinous rice powder can last for up to 3 months in the fridge. It is best to store it in an airtight container to prevent it from absorbing moisture.

Why is glutinous rice flour so high in calories?

Glutinous rice flour is high in calories because it is a concentrated source of carbohydrates. A 100-gram serving of glutinous rice flour contains about 354 calories. This is about 120 calories more than a 100-gram serving of regular rice flour. The extra calories in glutinous rice flour come from the extra starch.


Glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flour are essentially the same. Both are derived from glutinous rice, a rice variety grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and the northeastern regions of South Asia. 

The terms are often used interchangeably, causing confusion among home cooks. Remember, they’re the same!

Share your love
Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *