Cornstarch is a flour-like substance made from the endosperm of corn or wheat. It’s called for in many recipes. It’s used as a thickening or anti-caking agent. However, sometimes you may not have any cornstarch available or you need to substitute it for other reasons, such as allergies. In these cases, there are a few ingredients you can substitute for cornstarch.
You can substitute cornstarch with all-purpose flour on a 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour to 1 tbsp of cornstarch required. There are a few things to consider when substituting cornstarch with all-purpose flour. First, while liquids thickened with cornstarch tend to be translucent, liquids thickened with flour will be opaque and cloudy. Secondly, all-purpose flour has a stronger taste than cornstarch and will need to be cooked longer to remove it. However, it is important not to overcook it. Like cornstarch, all-purpose flour has a tendency to thin out if overcooked.
You can remedy this by mixing the all-purpose flour with 2 parts cold water, 1 part all-purpose flour by adding it to your mix. Do not do this if you are mixing all-purpose flour with fat. All-purpose flour is not the best substitute for gravy. All-purpose flour tends to fall apart when cooled.
You can use tapioca to substitute cornstarch by using 4 tsp to 2 tbsp of instant, quick cooking tapioca or 2 tbsp of grainy tapioca. This substitute for cornstarch actually works better than cornstarch in the case of foods that need to be chilled. Cornstarch has the habit of coagulating when refrigerated. Like cornstarch, it is important not to overcook it.
You can substitute 2 ½ tsp to 1 tbsp of arrowroot for every 1 tbsp of cornstarch required in a recipe. Arrowroot actually works better than cornstarch in many instances. When using it to thicken light flavored recipes, arrowroot will not interfere with the flavor due to its lack of aroma. Also, unlike cornstarch and many of its substitutes, it can be used in dishes that will be refrigerated. It also stands up well to being overcooked, unlike cornstarch and many of its substitutes.
However, arrowroot does have some problems in certain situations. It cannot be used with dairy products because it makes them gooey. Also, arrowroot is a bit pricier than cornstarch and its substitutes and doesn’t age well.
Rice or Potato Starch or Flour
You can substitute cornstarch with an equal amount of rice or potato starch or flour. These are excellent substitutions for cornstarch in recipes that need to be frozen after preparation. They stand the cold better than cornstarch and most of its substitutes. They are also the quickest substitutes to thicken a substance during preparation.
This flour is a non-gluten, non-gelatinous and no calorie substitution for cornstarch. It thickens better than cornstarch and many other substitutes. It has no taste and no sugar and can be used by most people with allergies to other substitutions. It is a great choice for diabetics due to its lack of sugar.