10 Mochiko Substitutes [Best Options for Sweet Rice Flour]

My kids and I absolutely love mochi. We wanted to try to make it ourselves but we had a big problem – we had no mochiko! 

Mochiko is a glutinous rice flour that is the main ingredient in mochi. So what can you do when you are missing the main ingredient? Find a great substitute, of course! 

The best substitute for mochiko is warabi powder. It cooks in a very similar way and has a very neutral taste, just like mochiko. You can also try using cornstarch to replace mochiko which is very easy to find in the grocery store. Joshinko, another type of Japanese rice flour, is a great substitute as well. 

Mochiko Substitutes

1. Warabi Powder

Warabi powder is often used to make mochi instead of mochiko. Warabi powder is not made from rice but actually created from a starch extracted from bracken ferns.

The starch comes from the underground stems of the ferns which are dried and ground into a fine powder. 

Warabi powder can be hard to find outside of Japan. It is sold in small, dried clumps which can be divided and used to create mochi. 

Use the same amount of warabi powder to replace mochiko. Warabi powder has almost no flavor so it is great in both sweet and savory mochi. I love this substitute because it is authentic and delicious, it is just hard to find! 

Warabi Powder

2. Shiratamako

Shiratamako is a type of rice flour that is made from glutinous rice. It is usually used to make sweet dumplings in Japan.

It has a soft, fluffy and very smooth texture. My kids especially love the soft texture of Shiratamako glutinous rice flour

Shiratamako and mochiko are made from the same type of glutinous short rice. The two flours are almost identical and can be used interchangeably which is why I love this substitute. No adjustments need to be made to your recipe!

3. Cornstarch

Cornstarch may be the most common substitute for mochi. You can find it in almost any grocery store and many of us already have it in our pantry. This is one mochiko substitute I use often!

Corn starch

To make mochi, substitute cornstarch, water and sugar for mochiko flour. One cup of milk, 3 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of regular cornstarch will make a fantastic mochi. Follow your mochi recipe using these ingredients and you will have lots of success! 

4. Tapioca Flour- A Great Gluten Free Mochiko Substitute

Tapioca flour is made from the root of the cassava plant. It is dried and ground to make a very fine powder. Tapioca flour can be used to make fantastic gluten free mochi so I use it when I need a gluten free dessert. 

Use the same quantity of tapioca flour to replace mochiko in any mochi recipe. Tapioca flour has a neutral taste so it won’t alter the taste of your recipe.

Be sure to mix the tapioca flour with the sugar first to prevent clumping while the mochi cooks. 

Tapioca flour

5. Joshinko 

Joshinko is a type of glutinous rice flour that is common in Japan. Just like mochiko, it is made from milled, short grained rice. Joshinko can be used exactly like mochiko, replacing it 1:1 in any recipe. 

Joshinko is a little less glutinous than mochiko. Your mochi will have a little less of a chewy texture.

Some people like this softer mochi. My kids are definitely big fans and I have made mochi many times with this joshinko rice flour! 

6. Dango Flour

Dango flour is made with a mix of glutinous flour and ordinary rice flour. Because it is made with this mix, it is less glutinous than mochiko flour. 

Dango flour is usually used to make dumplings. Some people even use dango flour to make crispy, chewy fried chicken! It is very multi purpose so I try to keep some of dango flour in my pantry at all times. 

Replace mochiko flour with about 1 ¼ times more dango flour. This will ensure you get that thick, chewy texture you are looking for in your mochi. You want to be sure your mochi will hold its shape!

Dango flour is not quite as fine as mochiko flour. You may want to sift it through a fine mesh sieve to fluffy it up a little bit. It will help make your mochi nice and smooth! 

7. Potato Starch

You can replace mochiko using a 1:1 ratio. It will create perfect mochi that has a wonderful, mild taste!

Potato starch is made from potatoes. It has a mild, plain taste and is used as a binder in many foods. Potato starch is often used to thicken soups and sauces.

Potato starch is pretty common so you should easily be able to find it in your local grocery store. It may need to cook for a few more minutes to thicken when compared to cooking mochiko. Just keep stirring and cooking and the texture will turn out perfectly! 

Potato Starch

8. All Purpose Flour

You can use all purpose flour to replace mochiko in a pinch. We all have all purpose flour in our pantry so this is a very convenient substitute. Use ¾ the amount of all purpose flour to replace mochiko in your mochi recipe. 

All purpose flour will make your mochi a little heavier and more dense. It is not as light and fluffy as mochiko and the texture of the mochi will show this. 

Try sifting your all purpose flour to make it a little lighter. Use a little more salt in your recipe as well to enhance the flavor. I tried these little tweaks and found that it worked well to make my mochi. 

All purpose flour

9. White Rice Flour or Glutinous Rice Flour

You may see boxes of white rice flour or glutinous rice flour in your local grocery store. Both boxes of flour are the same! They are also fantastic substitutes for mochiko but Naturevibe Organic white rice flour is my favorite by far. 

Mochiko is made from long grain white rice which has a lower starch content than glorious, short rice. So, white rice flour is a little more sticky and will create mochi that is a little thicker. 

Use about ¾ the amount of white rice flour or glutinous rice flour to replace mochiko. You will get enough setting power to make perfect mochi using this quantity. 

White Rice Flour

10. Sweet Rice Flour

Mochiko and sweet rice flour are almost exactly the same. In fact, sweet rice flour is often called mochiko and the other way around. Both are made from short grained white rice and have high starch contents. It’s all in how the rice is then labeled!

If you can find sweet rice flour, you can use it to replace mochiko without altering your recipes at all.

Sweet rice flour is perfect for making desserts or dumplings. It will cook well and help thicken and gel all of your mochi ingredients. Give it a try in my easy mochi recipe below!

What is Mochiko?

Mochiko is a type of glutinous rice flour that is made from short grained japanese rice. It is sometimes called Gyuhiko or Daifukuko. It is classically used to make Japanese pastries and sweets. 

Mochiko cooks to have a sticky, chewy texture. It is a little bit sweet naturally which makes it wonderful for desserts. 

The big question is where to buy mochiko flour and the truth is mochiko can be hard to find outside of Japan. That is why I wanted to create a list of perfect substitutes! 

Is Rice Flour the Same as Mochiko?

Mochiko is a type of rice flour. However, it is a specific kind of rice flour and probably not the same as the standard rice flour you find in the grocery store.

Basic rice flour is not as glutinous as mochiko and won’t work in the same way. Cooking with regular rice flour will result in a softer, less firm dessert. 

Take a look at my substitution ideas to see how you can use regular rice flour to replace mochiko. There are ways to make it work! 

Nutritional Facts for Mochiko Flour

Mochiko flour is a type of rice flour. It has a lot of the same nutritional values as rice. Here is a quick look at the nutritional content for three tablespoons of mochiko flour:

Fat0 grams
Carbs24 grams
Protein2 grams

Final Considerations

If you are a mochi fan and want to make your own classic Japanese dessert at home, then you will need to find mochiko or a mochiko substitute.

All of these substitutes will work perfectly and help you make wonderful desserts. I bet you have some cornstarch on hand right now so you can start baking! Enjoy. 

homemade mochi

Homemade Butter Mochi

Yield: 24 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

My homemade mochi recipe is pretty easy to follow and creates creamy, slightly chewy mochi. I use coconut milk to give the mochi a tropical taste but feel free to switch up the milk or the extract to make a whole new flavor.


  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • 3 cups mochiko
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 ½ cups canned coconut milk, unsweetened
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9x13 cake pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, too.
  2. Whisk the mochiko, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar together in a bowl. 
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the eggs and brown sugar until fluffy and thick.
  4. Continue whisking the egg and sugar mix while you slowly stream in the coconut milk, melted butter and vanilla. 
  5. Once the egg mix has come together, add the mochiko dry ingredients and whisk everything together into a smooth batter. 
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared 9x13 pan. Tap the pan gently on the counter to get rid of any air bubbles. 
  7. Bake the butter mochi in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The top of the mochi will start to crackle and it will spring back to the touch, no longer looking soft or liquid. 
  8. Cool the mochi completely then use the edges of the parchment to gently pull the mochi out of the pan to slice and serve. 
  9. Store the mochi in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 107Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 1g
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