Whether you're out of rice flour or looking for a healthier option, our list of the top 5 best rice flour substitutes has got you covered.
What is rice flour?
Rice flour is a type of flour made from ground rice. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in dishes such as noodles, bread, and desserts.
Rice flour is naturally gluten-free making it a popular ingredient in gluten-free baking, especially for those with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
What are the types of rice flour?
Rice flour can be made from either white or brown rice. The resulting flour will have a different texture and flavor depending on the type of rice used. White rice flour has a milder flavor and a finer texture. Brown rice flour has a slightly nutty flavor and a coarser texture.
Sweet rice flour, also known as glutinous rice flour, is a type of flour made from glutinous rice. It is commonly used in Asian desserts like mochi and other baked goods. Despite its name, sweet rice flour does not contain any sugar and is not necessarily sweeter than regular rice flour.
In this article, we will delve into the best substitutes for white rice flour.
What is rice flour used for?
White rice flour is a versatile ingredient that is commonly used in many different types of cooking and baking. Here are some common uses for white rice flour:
Baking: White rice flour is often used in gluten-free baking as a substitute for wheat flour. It can be used on its own but is best when combined with other gluten-free flours. It is used to make bread, cakes, cookies, pancakes, and other baked goods.
Thickening: It can be used as a thickener in sauces, soup, and stews. It has a neutral flavor and helps to thicken the liquid without altering the flavor of the dish.
Coating: It is often used as a coating for baked or fried foods, such as chicken or fish. It creates a crispy outer layer and is a popular alternative to wheat flour for those with gluten intolerance.
Noodles and dumplings: Rice flour is a key ingredient in many types of Asian rice noodles, such as Japanese udon and Vietnamese pho noodles. It is also used to make dumpling wrappers in many Asian cuisines.
What is a good substitute for rice flour?
There are several substitutes available, depending on the recipe and dietary restrictions. Here we take a look at the best rice flour substitutes that are also safe for a gluten-free diet.
Cornstarch is a versatile ingredient that is commonly used as a thickening agent in cooking and baking. It is made from the starch of corn and has a powdery, fine texture. When used in frying it creates a crispy and crunchy texture on the outside of the food.
It has a similar texture to white rice flour and a mild flavor. When substituting cornstarch for rice flour in a recipe, you can use a 1:1 ratio.
In baking recipes that require rice flour, cornstarch is not always a good substitute for completely replacing white rice flour. This is because it will not provide the same structure and texture. You may need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe or use a combination of cornstarch and other flours to get the desired texture and consistency.
2. Potato starch
Potato starch is a gluten-free and grain-free alternative to rice flour. It has a light and fluffy texture and can be used in equal amounts. It is important to know that potato starch is not potato flour.
When substituting potato starch for white rice flour in a recipe, use a 1:1 ratio of potato starch to white rice flour.
However, keep in mind that potato starch has a different texture and flavor compared to white rice flour. Potato starch is a pure starch and does not contain any protein or fiber. It may not work as well in recipes that require some structure, such as for making bread or cakes.
Potato starch is a good choice for recipes that require a fine texture. Great in sauces and soups, coating for fried foods, or certain types of cookies.
3. Tapioca starch/flour
Tapioca flour is made from cassava root and is a gluten-free alternative to rice flour. It has a neutral taste and is light and airy with a powdery texture. When substituting tapioca starch for rice flour, the general rule of thumb is to use a 1:1 ratio.
Tapioca starch is a pure starch. It lacks protein and fiber but it does work well as a binding agent. Tapioca starch is a great substitute in recipes that require a smooth, chewy texture. It is used in gluten-free cookies, puddings, pies, and some breads. It can also be used as a thickening agent in sauces and soups.
4. Arrowroot starch
Arrowroot starch (also known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder) is a fine powder with a light texture made from the root of the arrowroot plant. It is a common thickener in gluten-free cooking and is often used in sauces, gravies, and puddings. It has a neutral flavor and creates a smooth, glossy texture when used as a thickener.
When used as a substitute for white rice flour in baking, arrowroot starch can create a lighter and softer texture. (Like in pudding cake!) Arrowroot is a pure starch. This means it does not have the fiber and protein content of rice flour. It is best when used in combination with another flour.
5. Gluten-free all-purpose flour
When substituting gluten-free all-purpose flour for white rice flour, the general rule of thumb is to use a 1:1 ratio. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of rice flour, you would use 1 cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour as a substitute.
While this is a gluten-free substitute, all-purpose regular flour can take the place of it as well.
When using a gluten-free flour blend as a substitute for white rice flour, it's a good idea to look for a blend that contains a mixture of different flours, such as rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and/or cornstarch. This will help to ensure that the blend has a similar texture and consistency to white rice flour.
Compared to rice flour, almond flour has a higher fat and protein content, so it is denser than rice flour. You can substitute ¾ cup of almond flour for every 1 cup of white rice flour called for in a recipe. Do keep in mind that you may need to add more liquid to the recipe as almond flour will absorb more liquid. Take into account the flavor profile you are needing and any baking time adjustments.
While both are made from rice, the two are not interchangeable. Ground rice is coarser while rice flour has more of a fine texture. Ground rice may work as a replacement in some recipes, but not all.
In conclusion, there are many rice flour substitutes available that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you are looking for a gluten-free alternative, a lower-carb option, or simply want to experiment with new flavors and textures, there is a substitute out there for you.
From cauliflower rice to tapioca starch, each substitute has unique qualities that can enhance your culinary creations. So don't be afraid to try something new and explore the world of rice flour substitutes.
If you have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, check labels as some manufacturers include gluten or dairy, or process in the same facility as wheat.