If you want to thicken your soup, you might start thinking about a corn flour. Of course, this should not be a problem, as this is a common kitchen ingredient. But what if this particular thickener is not present for your disposal? Are there are other alternatives for this?
Fortunately, particular ingredients can act as corn flour substitutes. If you usually dwell on the kitchen, you know that it is your responsibility to know these alternative thickeners. Otherwise, you won't be able to make your favorite stew and gravy. Aside from being a thickener, corn flour can also serve as an anti-caking element. The latter will prevent your food from being messy and clumpy.
At this point, I have to say that a corn flour is different from a cornstarch. The same is true with cornmeal. Just navigate to the separate articles that I have made for each of these differentiations. It is pretty crucial that you know the respective nuances between ingredients. You might confuse one from the another. And that could result to a disastrous cooking.
Being a house chef since time immemorial, I always take the time to know my ingredients. In fact, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen to study the various flavors of each of my food. Even my spices and condiments are not safe from my curious mind and dextrous fingers. Trust me. Experimenting and knowing your ingredients bring a lot of fun.
Now, let us head back to our main topic. Let me introduce to you the main substitutes that you utilize if even corn flour is missing in your pantry. Don't worry. These alternatives are not really rare and expensive. All of them are pretty accessible, even in your local market.
It is pretty obvious that the first one to come as an alternative to corn flour is wheat flour. Wheat flour or the common flour is an excellent counterpart for corn flour. The reason for this is because they share almost the same properties. Their flavors are somehow indistinguishable as well. The only difference they have is that wheat flour can affect the flavor and color of the food. But it doesn't mean anything bad at all.
Typically, you will need two tablespoons of all-purpose flour to match one tablespoon of corn flour. Therefore, it a particular recipe requires you to add three tablespoons of corn flour, you need to replace it with six tablespoons of wheat flour. This is assuming that you don't have a stock of corn flour in your pantry.
Another optional substitute that you can have a corn flour is starch coming from plants. Now, let me clarify that not all plant is an ideal source of starch. Of course, we have to take into consideration the edibility of the plant. For me, the best option is the starch coming from arrowroot. Fortunately, this plant is perennial. Many manufacturers are utilizing this plant for commercial starch. Therefore, it is not that difficult to find.
The arrowroot operates the same way as corn flour. It is a thickening agent that can work in various recipes. But I have to remind you that this ingredient increases the chances of overcooking. If you do not like to overcook your stew and gravy, then you might want to avoid arrowroot. But if it is fine with you, then use it freely. Also, I need to emphasize that arrowroot starch is more costly than corn flour. This is the reason why I always have this substitute as my last option.
If a certain recipe tells you that you need one tablespoon of corn flour, you need to replace it with two teaspoons of arrowroot starch. In short, it has a 1:2 ratio. Take note that it is should be teaspoon, not tablespoon. If you err on this, you will certainly over-thicken your food. Of course, it is very undesirable to the taste.
It is undeniable that rice flour is one of the most popular alternatives for a corn flour. It can work well as a thickening element. Moreover, it is a great baking agent. Therefore, if you are a fan of baking cakes and cookies, you could always resort to using rice flour. Just as its name suggests, rice flour is a byproduct of finely milled rice. It is rich in calories and carbohydrates. It also contains a decent amount of protein and a little value of fat.
Rice flour has the same texture and appearance as a corn flour. It is a white powder that has a fine and smooth texture. As a thickening agent, it does a pretty good job. It can quickly thicken your soup without any prior preparations. I personally love rice flour because it is inexpensive. Moreover, you can easily find them on the market. When I visited Japan Town in New York last fall, I made sure that I bring home several bags of rice flour with me. This is a great ingredient to store in your kitchen.
If a particular recipe requires you to use one tablespoon of corn flour, you can replace it with one tablespoon of rice flour. They have the same ratio so it should not pose any confusion at all. Fortunately, rice flour doesn't affect the flavor or texture of the food. Therefore, it is a good alternative.
A few of my colleagues are quite daunted whenever I use this tuber starches in my recipes. Well, I couldn't blame them as this recipe is still quite foreign, even to seasoned chefs and gourmets. Specifically, the starch that comes from manioc or cassava is the main source of tuber starch. In layman's term, we call this starch as Tapioca. It is pretty popular in many Asian countries, although you can still find this plant in some Western and European countries.
Tapioca is still a thickening agent, considering that it has similar properties to a corn flour. Primarily, I use Tapioca to cuisines and dishes that involve refrigeration process. The main reason for this is due to the consistency of the said ingredient. Unlike other starches and flour, this one doesn't cause the food to congeal and clump. If you are familiar with tapioca pudding, you probably observe the smoothness that it has.
You need to use four teaspoons of Tapioca as a substitute for one tablespoon of corn flour. Always remember this ratio so that you won't get lost in the cooking process.
As you can see, there are different options that you can take whenever you are running out of corn flour. Fortunately, these substitutes are easy to find and access. Moreover, they don't alter the flavor of your food that much. Honestly, I have already tried all of these alternatives. Trust me. Each of them works as great as corn flour (as a thickening agent).
Of course, I have to remind you that you should follow the appropriate usages of these corn flour substitutes. Otherwise, you won't get the desired results that you want for your dish. If you err gravely, you might end up ruining the entire food. And that's a waste for your part. Therefore, you need practice precision in cooking. In this way, your dishes would always be delicious.
If you have any questions, comments, and suggestions, just feel free to ask me. I will be waiting!