If you end up in want of a cornstarch substitute, whether or not on account of a corn allergy, utilizing up your stash to make non-Newtonian fluid for a science challenge, or just forgetting to restock, don’t fret. Cornstarch is a workhorse of a pantry staple—it is a stabilizer for whips and emulsions; a thickener for stir-fries, soups, jams, and jellies; a crisp-ifying miracle dredge for fried, baked, and sauteed meals—and it’s totally price preserving a bath of it round. However these six swaps can get these jobs carried out simply as effectively. Which one you utilize relies on the recipe, your wants, and what pantry staples you may have available.
Potato starch is the cornstarch substitute favourite of affiliate meals editor Kendra Vaculin. A light-weight, white powder extracted from crushed potatoes, it is an nearly flawless one-to-one swap for cornstarch in all purposes. You should utilize it to make a thickening slurry for easy, creamy Home made Queso, or toss it with tofu to present it a lightweight, ethereal, crispy shell, like on this Saucy Tofu With Garam Masala. Kendra, who’s allergic to corn, all the time retains a bag of her go-to model, Bob’s Purple Mill, in her kitchen. “It is even candy sufficient to make use of in desserts like marshmallow recipes,” says Kendra.
On the subject of crispy, craggy, shatteringly crunchy dredges for fried proteins, rice flour is an efficient substitute for cornstarch, with one exception: It is somewhat pricier. If it’s essential use a big quantity, chances are you’ll improve the price of your cooking challenge significantly. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to swap in an equal quantity of rice flour rather than cornstarch in recipes like Hen Karaage or Harissa Honey Popcorn Hen, and you will discover the outcomes simply as satisfyingly crunchy. Watch out utilizing rice flour as a thickening agent, nonetheless. Some manufacturers might lead to a grittier—or gummier—texture. For one of the best outcomes, search out fine-milled white rice flour.
Should you’ve ever made a roux, you understand how effectively good ol’ all-purpose flour thickens sauces, gravies, and stews. It is not an ideal substitute for cornstarch: A sauce thickened with cornstarch will likely be extra translucent, whereas one thickened with all-purpose flour will likely be opaque and have a thicker texture. It additionally will not present the identical skinny, shatteringly crisp crust cornstarch provides to some fried meals, however it may well work for both state of affairs in a pinch. Some suggestions: Use 2 tablespoons of flour for each tablespoon of cornstarch. If making a pan sauce, prepare dinner the flour in a little bit of fats first—you can also make this as toasty and caramelized as you need—or boil the sauce for a couple of minutes to do away with the “uncooked flour” style and texture.
Extracted from the basis of cassava, tapioca flour (or tapioca starch) is among the greatest cornstarch substitutes for puddings and candy sauces. Do not confuse this with cassava flour, which is extra fibrous and made utilizing the entire root. Tapioca flour is a stellar thickening agent, however watch out about overdoing it. It does not fairly mimic the feel of cornstarch precisely and can veer into gummy territory if you happen to use an excessive amount of (if you happen to take pleasure in bubble tea and boba, you are conversant in tapioca’s potential chew issue). Use twice the quantity of tapioca flour to exchange the cornstarch in your recipe, and do not overheat or boil for an extreme period of time. Use it in jammy fruit pie filling or desserts like this Plum-Cardamom Crumble With Pistachios or an eggy, jiggly Custard Tart With Cream and Contemporary Fruit.
Arrowroot powder (additionally referred to as arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour) could also be extracted from the roots of a number of tropical crops, together with cassava. Generally used so as to add airiness to gluten-free and vegan desserts, it may well additionally work as a thickening agent, identical to cornstarch—however be cautious that it is a contact extra finicky. Arrowroot does not behave effectively when heated and tends to skinny out as quickly because it’s cooked, so use it in recipes the place you need not fear about direct warmth or a protracted simmer—desserts are an awesome place for this. Begin by dissolving it in chilly water (a one-to-one ratio of arrowroot powder to cornstarch ought to do the trick) earlier than slowly including to room-temperature sauces.
Realistically talking, if you do not have cornstarch in your pantry, you are most probably not stocked up on xanthan gum. Typically derived from cornstarch by way of a fermentation course of (if you happen to’ve bought a corn allergy, beware!), it is a widespread thickening agent and is usually utilized in gluten-free baking recipes to imitate the stretchiness of wheat flour. As an alternative for cornstarch, you want just a bit bit for sauces and gravies. It is bought main thickening energy—suppose half a teaspoon or much less for a complete pan of gravy. Begin very gradual, and add extra as mandatory.
Thickening one thing candy? Could we propose on the spot pudding?