Last Updated on November 9, 2022 by Claire
Cornstarch is used as a stabilizer for mixtures and emulsions. If you need the equivalent, this publication recommends the substitute for cornstarch for superior baking, thickening, sauce, frying, and more.
Cornstarch is known to work its magic when making crispy dredge for baked, sautéed, and fried foods. It is also a thickener for stir-fries, jams, jellies, and soups.
These applications imply that corn starch is a kitchen ingredient worthy of having around. Sometimes, we run out of it, and instead of hanging our heads low, we should think of the best substitutes. In this article, our focus will be on the best substitutes to replace cornstarch.
You should know that the equivalent you use will depend on the recipe and the availability of each alternative below presented.
Best substitutes for cornstarch when baking, frying, stir-frying, and cooking
Consider the cornstarch alternatives below:
1. Potato starch
The use of potato starch as a cornstarch substitute is a very common occurrence in most kitchens.
Potato starch is a white powder with a soft texture made from crushed potatoes. It is used as a straight swap for cornstarch without varying the quantity for application.
For persons allergic to cornstarch, this is one great alternative for your meals. You can use potato starch to make slurries or homemade tesso. The end product is crispy and delicious. Several potato starch users even say it is sweet enough for desserts such as marshmallow recipes.
2. Rice flour
Although rice flour is costlier, it is still a great alternative to cornstarch. Rise flour is an exquisite ingredient for making craggy, crispy, and crunchy fried proteins. You can use a similar amount of rice flour as you would cornstarch when making your fries. In procuring your rice flour, stick with only fine-milled rice flour.
Rice flour is an acceptable replacement for cornstarch when frying proteins and making stir-fries.
3. All-purpose flour
When making a roux – a mixture of fat and flour used to thicken foods, you can use an equal amount of all-purpose flour and fat. This mix is great for making stews, gravies, and sauces. The only difference is that while roux made with cornstarch is lighter and translucent, that made with all-purpose flour is thicker and opaque.
A point worthy of note is that for every tablespoon of cornstarch to be used in making your recipe, use two tablespoons full of all-purpose flour. When used in fries, all-purpose flour gives the same crispy results as cornstarch.
Also, when making a pan sauce, cook the flour in fat first or boil the sauce for some minutes to help remove the raw flour taste.
4. Tapioca starch (flour)
The tapioca starch or flour is made from the root of the cassava plant, also known as yuca, a tuberous root vegetable native to South America.
It is a delight when used as a substitute for cornstarch in making sweet sauces and puddings. It is different from cassava flour and is a high-grade thickening agent. It is excellent for jammy pies or desserts. It is noteworthy that when used in excess, tapioca flour can become gummy. To effectively substitute your cornstarch with tapioca starch, use twice the amount of cornstarch for your recipe. Do not allow the mix to boil or overheat.
Best cornstarch substitute for making pies, and gravies
1. Arrowroot powder
Also called arrowroot, starch or flour is extracted from the roots of many tropical plants, including cassava.
This flour helps to provide extra airiness to vegan desserts and also gluten-free foods. It also works as a thickening agent but will require you to pay great attention when working with it.
Arrowroot flour thins out when cooked and should be used for recipes that don’t require much heat. It would be best to dissolve it in cold water before mixing it with other ingredients.
This makes it excellent for making desserts, and using arrowroot starch as a cornstarch substitute requires equal parts replacement in your recipes.
2. Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is a derivative of cornstarch through a fermentation process. It is a common thickening agent and has similar stretchiness to wheat flour. When making recipes, you should begin by adding little quantities and then slowly build on them. For making sauces and gravies, you only need small amounts.
3. Wheat flour
Wheat flour is a wholesome flour, containing fiber, proteins, and starch. It is made from grinding wheat into fine form. For adequate substitution of wheat flour for cornstarch, you will need twice as much wheat flour to get a similar cornstarch effect.
Wheat flour is not gluten-free and shouldn’t be used to prepare meals for persons with gluten disorders. So use 2 tablespoons of wheat flour, where you would have used 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix with water to form a paste to get a better result for use as a thickening agent. Mixing with water will also help to prevent clumps from forming when added to recipes.
Best cornstarch substitute for thickening and puddings
1. Ground flaxseeds
Ground flaxseeds contain a high amount of soluble fibers and are used to boost a meal’s fiber content.
For cornstarch substitutes, mix one teaspoon of ground flaxseed with four tablespoons of water. This mixture would effectively replace two tablespoons of cornstarch in your recipe.
Ground flaxseeds are pretty different from cornstarch flour in that they are grainy compared to smooth cornstarch.
Glucomannan is derived from the roots of the konjac plant. It is a fiber and very absorbent. When mixed with warm water, it forms an odorless, thick, and colorless gel.
It is famous as a cornstarch substitute for persons seeking a low-carbohydrate diet. Glucomannan contains no carbohydrates or calories, and it is pure fiber.
Glucomannan belongs to the family of live yeasts and bacteria known to have several health benefits. It feeds the good bacteria in the body, promoting a healthy gut. Additionally, glucomannan is known to also help in reducing the content of bad cholesterol in the body.
It has a higher thickening strength when compared to cornstarch, and it is advisable to use a quarter of a tablespoon of glucomannan for every two tablespoons of cornstarch. It would be best if you mixed it with cold water before mixing it with your ingredients, as it clumps together when hot.
3. Psyllium husk
Psyllium husk is an excellent soluble fiber that can be used as a substitute for cornstarch. It contains plenty of soluble fiber and is low in carbohydrates. You would need only a half tablespoon of psyllium husk to replace two tablespoons of cornstarch.
4. Guar gum
This flour is made from the guar beans plant. The husk of the beans is first removed, allowed to dry, and ground into powder to make the flour.
As with most plant-based flour, guar gum flour contains a high amount of soluble fiber, which makes it an excellent thickener. It is proper you start with a quarter spoon of guar gum when using it as a substitute for cornstarch.
Here you have it, the best substitutes for cornstarch. We have gone through the whole nine yards with this one, explaining in detail the benefits of each of these substitutes and how to use them as a cornstarch replacement effectively.
You can choose from any of the flour presented on this list. Know that the result will depend on how well you incorporate the specification listed in this article.