Mochiko ( もちこ) is a type of flour made from grinding short grain sticky rice. It is sometimes labeled glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour since it is often used in sweets, but the flour itself is not sweetened and it does not contain gluten. The term glutinous refers to the highly sticky nature of the flour when cooked.
Mochiko is often used to make mochi, but it is used in many other foods as well. Since the flour is used for its highly sticky nature, substitutions cannot be made without sacrificing the integrity of the dish. Also, you need to be cautious when using rice flours from other countries. Glutinous rice flours from other parts of Asia may be made with a different type of rice, especially a longer grain, and since the length corresponds to stickiness, it might not have the same effect! For the best results with Japanese sweets, it needs to be labeled as mochiko.
Mochiko can be found in ethnic grocery stores or health food stores, or you can buy it online. It can stored for a long time if stored well, so feel free to buy it in bulk and stock up! If you cannot find it, you can find mochigome, or sweet rice, and grind it in a blender.Buy on Amazon