What Is Shiratamako and How Is It Used?

What Is Shiratamako?

Shiratamako is glutinous rice flour, and sometimes called sweet rice flour in English.
(This is the same translation as mochiko)

So, both shiratamako and mochiko are made from glutinous rice. But, its manufacturing method is different. Mochiko is made by simply drying and powdering glutinous rice. On the other hand, shiratamako is made by grinding glutinous rice with water using a stone mill and drying the precipitate.

The biggest feature is that dumplings made from shiratamako will have slippery smooth surface, and very smooth, fluffy texture.

Click below to see more about the difference between shiratamako and mochiko.
Shiratamako vs Mochiko vs Joshinko: What Are the Differences?

How Is Shiratamako Used?

Shiratama Dumpling

This is one of the most common use of shiratamako. You can eat it as it is, or put your favorite toppings, for instance, mitarashi sauce (soy sauce and sugar), sweet red bean paste, or kinako (roasted soybean flour and sugar).


The skin of daifuku has to be really soft and a little chewy. So, mochiko or shiratamako is used for it. You can put sweet red bean paste, some seasonal fruits, or even ice cream inside.
The easiest daifuku recipe is here!


This is two small pancakes with sweet red bean paste in between. By adding shiratamako to the dough of dorayaki, it becomes a little chewy pancake and extremely delicious.

Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

The original recipe is using cassava flour, and shiratamako can be a substitute for it. Shiratamako never ruin the flavor of cheese, and makes the bread amazing.

Use for Cooking

I highly recommend to use a little shiratamako in some cooking that uses flour. For example, when making ground meat cutlet, try to put 1 tsp of shiratamako in the patty mixture so that the cutlet texture will be a little chewy and juicy.

You can also use shiratamako in place of mochiko, potato starch, or flour when making karaage (fried chicken). By covering chicken with shiratamako, it will be just like the mochiko chicken which has extremely crispy texture. You must love the best fried chicken ever!

Is Shiratamako the Same As Rice Flour?

Shiratamako is a type of rice flour. Actually, there are many types of rice flour in Japan.
Some are made from ordinary rice (non-glutinous rice), others are made from glutinous rice. Some powders are made by mixing these.

As long as the powder is made from some kind of rice, it can be called “rice flour”.

The typical ones are as follows:
Mochiko (made from glutinous rice)
・Shiratamako (made from glutinous rice)
Joshinko (made from ordinary rice)

What Can Substitute Shiratamako (Sweet Rice Flour)?

The 6 Best Shiratamako Substitutes

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