Rice flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory. Whether you’re looking to add a gluten-free option to your baking or want to experiment with new flavors and textures, rice flour is a great choice.
In this article, we’ll explore the many ways you can use rice flour in your cooking, including as a thickener for soups and sauces, in noodles and wrappers, and even as a coating for pan-fried dishes.
So let’s dive in and discover the endless possibilities of this delicate and neutral-tasting flour!
How To Use Rice Flour?
1. Baking: Rice flour is a great alternative to wheat flour for those who are gluten intolerant or looking for a healthier option. It can be used in a variety of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and bread. When using rice flour in baking, it’s important to note that it doesn’t have the same binding properties as wheat flour, so you may need to add a binding agent like xanthan gum or guar gum.
2. Thickening agent: Rice flour can also be used as a thickening agent for soups and sauces. Simply mix the rice flour with cold water to create a slurry and then add it to your soup or sauce. It will thicken as it cooks, giving your dish a smooth and creamy texture.
3. Noodles and Wrappers: Rice flour is commonly used to make noodles and wrappers in Asian cuisine. It can be used to make everything from rice noodles to dumpling wrappers. To make rice noodles, simply mix rice flour with water and knead until you have a smooth dough. Then roll out the dough and cut into thin strips.
4. Coating for pan-fried dishes: Rice flour can also be used as a coating for pan-fried dishes like chicken or vegetables. It creates a crispy and crunchy texture that’s perfect for dipping in sauces. To use rice flour as a coating, simply dredge your food in the flour before frying.
Using Rice Flour As A Gluten-Free Alternative
For those who are gluten intolerant, rice flour is a great alternative to wheat flour. It can be used in a variety of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and bread. However, it’s important to note that rice flour doesn’t have the same binding properties as wheat flour, so you may need to add a binding agent like xanthan gum or guar gum to your recipe.
When using rice flour as a gluten-free alternative, it’s important to remember that it cannot be used as a 1:1 substitution for regular flour. Rice flour contains no gluten and is a much harder grain than wheat, so it doesn’t absorb liquid as well. If you swap rice flour 1:1 in your cooking or baking, the results will be gritty, greasy, and often with a gummy mouthfeel.
To avoid these issues, it’s recommended to use finely milled rice flours for gluten-free baking. Asian brands are known for their fine grind and can be readily available at Asian grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill white and brown rice flours are also recommended by America’s Test Kitchen.
Another common gluten-free ingredient used as a thickening agent is cornstarch. It can be used in the exact same way as rice flour for deep frying but needs to be made into a slurry first when used to thicken soups and sauces.
For those who prefer brown rice flour, look for ones that say “extra-fine grind.” Authentic Foods’s brown rice flour is extra-fine. You can also experiment and take your brown rice flour and grind it up a bit more in your blender or food processor or grain mill.
Thickening Soups And Sauces With Rice Flour
Rice flour is a great option for thickening soups and sauces. It can be used in place of other thickeners like cornstarch or flour, and it works particularly well in creamy dishes like potato soup. To use rice flour as a thickener, start by melting butter in a skillet over medium heat. Gradually add 10 tablespoons of rice flour to the skillet, whisking constantly until the mixture becomes smooth and sandy. Then, pour the mixture into your main dish and stir with a wooden spoon until it’s fully incorporated. If your dish is still too runny, you can add another tablespoon of rice flour.
Another way to use rice flour as a thickener is to create a slurry by mixing equal parts rice flour and water. Whisk the mixture until there are no lumps, then slowly add it to your soup or sauce while stirring constantly. You can also create a slurry by adding hot liquid from your dish to the rice flour and stirring until smooth, then pouring it back into the dish.
Rice flour is a versatile thickener that can be used in a variety of savory dishes. It doesn’t clump as much as other thickeners like cornstarch, and it won’t change the color of your dish. Plus, it’s a great option for those who are gluten intolerant or looking for a healthier alternative to traditional thickeners. So next time you’re making soup or sauce, give rice flour a try as your go-to thickener!
Making Noodles And Wrappers With Rice Flour
Rice flour is a popular ingredient for making noodles and wrappers in Asian cuisine. Rice flour noodles are known for their translucent appearance when cooked, and they can be used in a variety of dishes, from soups to stir-fries. Here’s how to make rice flour noodles and wrappers:
1. Start by mixing rice flour, tapioca starch (or cornstarch), salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Make sure everything is well dissolved and mixed together. Add a teaspoon of oil and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into another bowl. Cover the liquid and let it rest for 30 minutes.
2. While the mixture is resting, fill your wok with water and bring it to a boil. If you don’t have a wok, use a large, deep cooking vessel with a wide opening and a lid.
3. Brush a light coating of oil on the bottom of a flat-bottomed pan that fits comfortably inside your wok or cooking vessel. Put the pan on top of the boiling water and add 1/4 cup of the rice liquid to the pan. Tilt the pan so the rice liquid covers the bottom of the pan.
4. Cover the pan with the wok/lid and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. If your pan has a thicker bottom, increase the cooking time to 7 or 8 minutes.
5. While it’s cooking, brush another pan lightly with oil. After 5 minutes, remove the lid, take out the first pan, and set it aside. Put the second pan on top of the water in the wok and add another 1/4 cup of the rice mixture. Tilt it so that the rice liquid evenly covers the bottom, cover, and let cook.
6. While it’s cooking, attend to the first pan. Use a rubber spatula to loosen all sides of the sheet of noodle, and slowly lift it up and off the pan. Lay it flat on your cutting board that has been brushed with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 until all of the rice noodle batter is gone.
8. Once all of the noodle sheets are made, cut them into your desired size or shape. Toss them to separate each layer.
9. Rice flour can also be used to make dumpling wrappers by mixing rice flour with water until you have a smooth dough. Roll out the dough and cut into circles using a cookie cutter or glass.
10. Store any leftover noodles or wrappers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Making noodles and wrappers with rice flour requires some patience and practice but is ultimately rewarding when you can enjoy your homemade noodles in your favorite dishes!
Using Rice Flour As A Coating For Pan-Fried Dishes
Rice flour is an excellent choice for creating a crispy coating for pan-fried dishes. It’s a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour and creates a light and delicate texture that pairs well with a variety of foods. Here’s how to use rice flour as a coating for your next pan-fried dish:
1. Prep your food: Before coating your food in rice flour, make sure it’s dry and seasoned to your liking. You can use anything from chicken to vegetables for this technique.
2. Create a dredging station: Set up a dredging station with three shallow dishes. The first dish should contain rice flour, the second dish should contain beaten eggs, and the third dish should contain breadcrumbs or another desired coating.
3. Dredge your food: Start by dipping your food in the rice flour, making sure it’s coated evenly. Shake off any excess flour before moving on to the egg mixture, making sure it’s coated well. Finally, coat your food in breadcrumbs or another desired coating.
4. Fry your food: Heat up a pan with oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add your coated food to the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
5. Serve and enjoy: Once your food is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!
Using rice flour as a coating for pan-fried dishes is an easy and delicious way to add some crunch to your favorite foods. Give it a try next time you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat flour coatings.
Baking With Rice Flour: Tips And Tricks
When it comes to baking with rice flour, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure success. First, it’s important to note that rice flour doesn’t have the same properties as wheat flour, so you may need to add a binding agent like xanthan gum or guar gum to help hold your baked goods together.
Another thing to keep in mind is that rice flour absorbs liquid differently than wheat flour, so you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your recipe. If you’re substituting rice flour for wheat flour in a recipe, start by using 3/4 cup of rice flour for every 1 cup of wheat flour and adjust as needed.
It’s also worth noting that there are different types of rice flour available, including white rice flour and brown rice flour. White rice flour has a more neutral flavor and a lighter texture, while brown rice flour is denser and has a nuttier taste. Depending on what you’re making, you may want to experiment with both types of flour to see which one works best.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your baking. Rice flour can be used in a variety of baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and bread. Try using it in your favorite recipes or look for gluten-free recipes specifically designed for rice flour. With a little experimentation and some trial and error, you’re sure to find some delicious new treats to enjoy.