Rice flour for Wagashi
Japanese rice flour varieties can be divided into 2 categories: made from urumai(regular Japonica white rice) and mochigome (glutinous rice). The properties are very different, you should also be careful with using non-Japanese kinds for wagashi. Rice flour is generally called 米の粉 kome-ko, finely powdered rice flour helps ingredients retain their moisture and is used almost exclusively for Japanese sweets, there are also special rice flour kinds for baking western style cakes and pastries. The most varieties listed here are suitable for wagashi, here in Germany few of them can be bought online: Dae Yang, Ja-mart or Japan Centre.
Jōshin-ko(also joushin-ko) is a pure, white rice powder made from finely ground urumai(regular Japonica white rice). The rice is washed, dried and ground. Joshinko is used for many kinds of Japanese sweets including dango or kashiwa mochi(mochi in an oak leaf), mostly when a nice rice flavor is desired. Ordinary rice flour is often called しんこ shinko, coarse ground rice flour is called なみしんこ namishinko (or average quality / size rice flour).
玄 米粉 Genmaiko is brown rice flour, there are also varieties made from black rice, which are considered very healthy.
団子粉 Dango-ko is a rice flour for making dango(rice dumplings), this is a mixture from 80% joshinko and 20% mochi-ko, you can mix this flour easily at home.
Jouyou-ko is a very fine ground rice flour, it has a delicate flavor and aroma. This type of flour is used for wagashi of particularly high quality, mostly for Jōyō Manju, or Uiro, also for some special types of Dango. Traditional, well-known wagashi shops in Japan prefer this flour instead of jōshinko, which can be a substitute, but not in all recipes.
Karukan-ko is a coarse ground rice flour for Karukan and Karukan Manju. Karukan is a specialty from Kagoshima prefecture; rice flour is mixed with finely grated Japanese yam and steamed. It is a kind of very light cake, karukan is bright white and is often compared to “angel food cake“.