The Best Cornstarch Substitute For Frying

As a professional chef, I have experimented with many different cornstarch substitutes when it comes to frying.

While I always keep cornstarch in my pantry, I have found that tapioca flour is one of the best substitutes for achieving a crispy texture.

However, when it comes to making sauces and gravies, I prefer using arrowroot powder for its smooth texture.

Ultimately, the best cornstarch substitute for frying comes down to personal preference and experimenting with different options.

Why Look For A Cornstarch Substitute?

Best Cornstarch Substitute
Best Cornstarch Substitute

Before we dive into the best cornstarch substitutes, let’s first understand why someone might want to look for a substitute in the first place.

For starters, some individuals have a corn allergy and cannot consume any corn-derived products, including cornstarch. Additionally, some people choose to avoid cornstarch for dietary or personal reasons.

Finally, cornstarch can sometimes leave a gritty texture on fried foods and may not be the ideal option for achieving the desired crispiness.

The Best Cornstarch Substitutes

Tapioca Flour

One of the best cornstarch substitutes for frying is tapioca flour. Tapioca flour is derived from cassava root, which is native to South America.

It has a similar texture and starch content as cornstarch, making it a great option for frying.

Additionally, tapioca flour has a neutral taste and will not affect the flavor of your dish.

Potato Starch

Another great substitute for cornstarch is potato starch. Potato starch is derived from peeled, cooked potatoes that are then dried and ground into a fine powder.

It has a high starch content like cornstarch and is great for achieving a crispy texture when frying.

Additionally, potato starch has a neutral flavor and will not alter the taste of your dish.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is also a great alternative to cornstarch for frying. It is derived from finely milled rice and has a similar texture and starch content as cornstarch.

Rice flour is also gluten-free, which is great for those with gluten sensitivities.

However, be aware that rice flour has a slightly sweet taste that may affect the flavor of your dish.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is derived from the rhizomes of the arrowroot plant and is another great substitute for cornstarch when it comes to frying.

It has a similar texture and thickening power as cornstarch and is tasteless, making it perfect for use in any dish.

Wheat Flour

While not a gluten-free option, wheat flour can also serve as a substitute for cornstarch when frying. It has a similar texture to cornstarch and can provide a crispy outer layer to your fried foods.

However, be aware that wheat flour has a distinct taste that may affect the flavor of your dish.

Using Cornstarch Substitutes

When using cornstarch substitutes for frying, be aware that different substitutes may require different amounts to achieve the desired results.

It is recommended to start with small amounts and adjust as necessary to get the desired texture.

Additionally, be aware that some substitutes may have a distinct taste that can affect the overall flavor of your dish.


Can I Use Arrowroot Powder As A Thickener In Sauces And Gravies?

Yes, arrowroot powder can be used as a thickener for sauces and gravies. It has similar thickening power as cornstarch and can provide a smooth texture to your sauces.

Can I Use All-purpose Flour As A Substitute For Cornstarch?

While all-purpose flour can be used as a substitute for cornstarch when frying, it is not recommended as it can leave a thick, doughy coating on your fried foods.

Can I Use These Substitutes In Baked Goods?

Yes, all of these cornstarch substitutes can be used in baked goods as well. However, be aware that some substitutes may alter the taste and texture of your baked goods.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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