Can I Substitute Cornstarch For Rice Flour? A Detailed Guide

Are you looking for a gluten-free alternative to rice flour?

Look no further than cornstarch!

Not only is it a great substitute for thickening sauces and gravies, but it can also be used for frying and coating meats.

However, the process for using cornstarch is slightly different than rice flour, so it’s important to know the proper techniques.

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of substituting cornstarch for rice flour, including tips and tricks for getting the best results.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out, this guide will help you navigate the world of gluten-free cooking with ease.

So let’s get started!

Can I Substitute Cornstarch For Rice Flour?

Yes, you can substitute cornstarch for rice flour in many recipes. Cornstarch is an excellent gluten-free alternative to rice flour, and it works well for thickening, baking, and frying.

When it comes to deep frying, cornstarch can be used in the exact same way as rice flour. Simply cover your desired food with a thin coating and fry to your desired crunchy texture.

For baking and frying, you can substitute cornstarch in equal amounts as rice flour. However, when using cornstarch as a thickening agent, it’s important to make a slurry first by mixing it with a little cold water. This will help to prevent lumps and ensure that it mixes evenly into your dish.

To make a slurry, place your measured cornstarch in a small bowl. Add about 2x the amount of water and mix. Slowly pour the slurry into your sauce or soup and stir to thicken. While cornstarch can be used in an easy 1:1 ratio for rice flour, you may not need the entire bowl of slurry. Simply use as much as you need to get the desired thickness.

It’s important to note that while cornstarch is an excellent substitute for rice flour, it is flavorless. Therefore, it will not impact the taste of your recipes.

What Is Cornstarch And How Does It Compare To Rice Flour?

Cornstarch is a fine, white powder made from the endosperm of corn kernels. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking, and it has a neutral taste. When compared to rice flour, cornstarch has half the thickening power, meaning you need to use twice as much cornstarch as rice flour to achieve the same thickness in your recipe.

In terms of nutrition, cornstarch is higher in calories than rice flour. 100 grams of cornstarch contains 381 calories, while 100 grams of white rice flour contains 366 calories. Additionally, cornstarch is lower in protein and dietary fiber than rice flour but higher in carbohydrates.

While both cornstarch and rice flour are suitable for thickening soups, gravies, and sauces, rice flour has more versatility as it can be used as both a roux or slurry. On the other hand, cornstarch is limited to being used only as a slurry for thickening purposes.

Using Cornstarch As A Thickener: Tips And Techniques

Cornstarch is a popular thickening agent for soups, stews, and gravies due to its ability to absorb water and create a smooth, silky texture. When using cornstarch as a thickener, it’s important to follow a few tips and techniques to ensure that it works properly.

First, always make sure to create a slurry by mixing the cornstarch with cold water before adding it to your dish. This will help prevent clumps and ensure that the cornstarch mixes evenly into your sauce or soup.

Second, be careful not to overheat your dish when using cornstarch as a thickener. If the temperature gets too high, the cornstarch can break down and lose its ability to thicken properly. It’s best to add the cornstarch slurry to the dish when it’s warm but not boiling.

Third, remember that cornstarch will thicken quickly, so be sure to add it slowly and stir constantly until you achieve the desired thickness. If you add too much cornstarch at once, you may end up with a sauce or soup that is too thick.

Finally, keep in mind that cornstarch is flavorless and will not affect the taste of your dish. This makes it an ideal substitute for rice flour in recipes where you don’t want to alter the flavor profile.

Frying And Coating Meats With Cornstarch: Dos And Don’ts

Cornstarch is a popular choice for coating meats before frying, as it creates a crispy texture and locks in the flavor. However, there are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when using cornstarch for this purpose.


– Use a thin coating of cornstarch to cover your meat evenly. This will ensure that it fries evenly and doesn’t clump together.

– Fry your meat at a high temperature for a short amount of time. This will help to create a crispy exterior without overcooking the meat.

– Use cornstarch in combination with other ingredients, such as flour or breadcrumbs, to achieve the desired texture and flavor.


– Don’t use too much cornstarch, as this can result in a gummy or pasty texture.

– Don’t overcrowd your frying pan or deep fryer, as this can cause the temperature to drop and result in soggy meat.

– Don’t reuse the oil from frying with cornstarch, as it can become cloudy and affect the flavor of future dishes.

In addition to cornstarch, there are other substitutes that can be used for coating meats before frying. Rice flour and potato flour are both good options that create a similar crispy texture. All-purpose flour can also be used, but it won’t get quite as crispy as cornstarch or the other substitutes mentioned. When substituting for rice flour, use equal amounts of cornstarch or the other substitutes mentioned above.

Substituting Cornstarch For Rice Flour In Baking: Challenges And Solutions

While cornstarch can be substituted for rice flour in baking, there are a few challenges that may arise. One of the main challenges is that cornstarch does not contain gluten, which can affect the texture and structure of baked goods. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that helps to create elasticity and structure in baked goods. Rice flour contains some gluten, but not as much as wheat flour.

To compensate for the lack of gluten in cornstarch, you can add a small amount of vital wheat gluten to your recipe. Vital wheat gluten is a high-protein flour that is made by extracting the gluten from wheat flour. It can be found in most health food stores or online. Start by adding one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten per cup of cornstarch and see how it affects your recipe.

Another challenge when substituting cornstarch for rice flour in baking is that cornstarch is more absorbent than rice flour. This means that it will soak up more liquid from your recipe, which can result in a drier finished product. To prevent this, you may need to add a bit more liquid to your recipe when using cornstarch.

Finally, cornstarch is much finer than rice flour, so you’ll need to use less of it. Start by using about half as much cornstarch as you would rice flour and adjust as needed.

Recipes To Try With Cornstarch As A Substitute For Rice Flour

If you’re looking to try out some new recipes using cornstarch as a substitute for rice flour, here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Gluten-free fried chicken: Coat your chicken in a mixture of cornstarch, salt, and pepper before frying it up for a crispy and delicious gluten-free version of this classic dish.

2. Thick and creamy soups: Use cornstarch to thicken up your favorite soups and stews without the use of gluten. Simply add a slurry of cornstarch and water to your soup and let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.

3. Crispy onion rings: Make a batter with cornstarch, egg, and spices before coating your onion rings and frying them up for a crunchy and flavorful snack.

4. Gluten-free pie crust: Mix together cornstarch, gluten-free flour, salt, and sugar before adding in butter and water to create a flaky and delicious crust for your favorite pies.

5. Creamy desserts: Make a delicious and creamy dessert like maja blanca by using cornstarch instead of rice flour to create the perfect texture.

By experimenting with different recipes and using cornstarch as a substitute for rice flour, you can enjoy all of your favorite dishes without the use of gluten.

Conclusion: Is Cornstarch A Good Alternative To Rice Flour?