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Shiratamako vs Mochiko vs Joshinko: What Are the Differences?

Shiratamako, mochiko, and joshinko: All of them are “rice flour” made from white rice or glutinous rice.

There are 2 types of rice flour: Some are ground raw rice, while others are heated and then ground.
Although all of 3 rice flour above are made by grinding raw rice, there are several differences in the type of rice and the manufacturing method.

Here, I would like to introduce some differences!

Shiratamako

This is also called “glutinous rice flour”, but this term also refers to mochiko.

Raw material: Glutinous rice

Manufacturing method: Wash the glutinous rice → Grind it with water using a stone mill → Take precipitate and dry it

Characteristics: Has really smooth texture and it’s very stretchy. Used for white ball dumplings (shiratama dumplings).

Since it’s taking out the starch of glutinous rice, it features a smooth texture. So, it’s often used for making shiratama dumplings and daifuku mochi.

Mochiko

This is also called “glutinous rice flour”, but this term also refers to shiratamako.

Raw material: Glutinous rice

Manufacturing method: Wash the glutinous rice → Dry it → Grind it into powder

Characteristics: Has strong flavor of rice. Used for daifuku mochi.

It seems like it’s almost the same as shiratamako, and both shiratamako and mochiko can be used for making daifuku mochi.

The big difference is that mochiko is more fine‐grained powder than shiratamako.

Joshinko

This is also called “white rice flour” or “high quality powder of non-glutinous rice”.

Raw material: White rice

Manufacturing method: Wash the white rice → Dry it→ Grind it into powder

Characteristics: Has great flavor of rice, and chewy texture. Used for Japanese unbaked sweets.

The manufacturing method is very similar to mochiko, but the raw material is different, it’s made from white rice.

Due to the chewy texture, it’s often used for making kashiwa-mochi (rice cake wrapped in oak leaf), kusa-mochi (a rice‐flour dumpling mixed with mugwort), uiro (sweet rice jelly), etc.

 

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