What can i use instead of cornstarch?
Cornstarch is an essential ingredient in the kitchen. It is used in baking and cooking different foods. If you do not have some in your kitchen, you can use the following cornstarch substitutes.
- Rice flour
- Arrowroot powder
- Potato starch
- Ground flaxseeds
Before we dive in and answer how to use the substitutes its important to know the fundamentals. So, what is corn starch?
Cornstarch is a starch obtained from corn and usually in superfine powder. It is also known as corn flour and is used in making stews or baked food.
It can also enhance the taste of your pie fillings and add tasty, crispy crust on fried or baked foods. But, what do you do if you run out of cornstarch?
Fortunately, some alternatives will ensure your recipe turns out perfect even without the flour. They include:
- Rice Flour
Rice flour is mostly used as an alternative for corn flour. It is gluten-free and a common ingredient in Asian cuisines for foods such as soups, rice noodles and desserts.
Just like cornstarch, it is an amazing thickener, but you have to use it twice the amount of cornstarch you would use in a recipe.
Since it’s colorless, it doesn’t change the appearance of your food; it only enhances the taste.
This flour is most suitable for baking and puddings, but not limited to these two. It can also be used in many other recipes.
- Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot is rich in starch and has a mild taste, which makes an ideal thickener. It is naturally gluten-free, and the best thing is that it has more fiber than cornstarch.
When mixed with water, it creates a gel that comes in handy in meals for people who are allergic to gluten.
For excellent use double the amount of cornstarch required in a recipe. Arrowroot powder is ideal for various recipes, including puddings and stews.
- Wheat Flour
Wheat flour is finely ground wheat that not only contains starch; it also contains fibre and protein.
While it’s possible to use wheat flour instead of cornstarch, you need more of it to get the desired results. This means using two tablespoons of wheat flour where a tablespoon of cornstarch is recommended.
The best thing is that you can choose to use whole grain wheat flour. It thickens equally well like the refined wheat flour, but its richer in fiber.
Mix the wheat flour with cold water before adding it to the food; this prevents the formation of clumps when the flour is added directly to your recipe.
Note that when replacing cornstarch with wheat flour, it may not be suitable for people who are allergic to gluten.
- Potato Starch
Potato starch is made from crushed dried potatoes. It forms a powder that can replace cornstarch perfectly.
It does not have any gluten just like arrowroots but has a lot of carbs and very little protein or fat.
Also, since potatoes are tuber starches, their taste is quite bland and so using the powder does not enhance the taste of a recipe. Unlike most substitutes, potato starch should be used in a 1:1 ratio.
If a recipe requires a tablespoonful of cornstarch, add one tablespoonful of potato starch. It has excellent thickening ability just like cornstarch.
According to most professional cooks, tuber and root starches should be added when the food is almost ready.
They can absorb water quickly and cause a lot of thickening faster than grain starches.
Tapioca is made from cassava, which is a root vegetable. The starch product is created by grinding the root part of the cassava plant and filtering a liquid, rich in starch, which is dried to form tapioca flour.
However, before cassava roots are used, they have to be treated properly because they contain cyanide, which is very poisonous.
The cassava starch is gluten-free and is available as flakes, flour or pearls.
When adding tapioca flour, replace a single tablespoon of cornstarch with two spoons of cassava flour. While the flour is an all-purpose, it is most suitableto use in fruit pies.
There are different ways to use cornstarch for thickening sauces, stews, soups and enhance the taste of you baked or roasted food.
However, if you do not have some cornstarch flour in your kitchen, you can find excellent alternatives.
Some come with additional nutritional properties, which meet different dietary preferences better than cornstarch.