Starches thicken sauces, give our most excellent pie fillings character, and turn soups and stews from watery to rich and creamy. Only one issue: When it comes to thickeners, there are several alternatives available, and while they all thicken liquids, their final appearance and feel differently. While you may use either one in most recipes, it’s crucial to understand why you use one over the other.
Although both Corn-starch and Arrowroot are starch thickeners, their characteristics differ somewhat. In most cases, they may be used interchangeably in the same proportions. Still, there are situations when one works better than the other. For example, Corn-starch is used in sauce recipes for dairy items, such as pies cooked at a higher temperature.
On the other hand, Arrowroot is used in sauces with acidic ingredients like vinegar and lemon juice, foods that need to be frozen, and recipes that need to be cooked at a low temperature for an extended period. Knowing that Arrowroot may perform just as well as, if not better than, Corn-starch, it’s an excellent option for the organic and health-conscious cook. You’ll discover more about the advantages of using Arrowroot instead of Corn-starch as you go along.
Why Use Arrowroot?
While Arrowroot has a distinct flavor, arrowroot flour is flavorless and bland. It works well as a thickening factor in meals with delicate tastes. Unlike Corn-starch, it combines well with liquids at a low temp and may be cooked for longer durations. It can also handle acidic components. Thus, it may make a delectable hot and sour oriental sauce.
You can freeze and defrost arrowroot sauce without making a mess. The ability of Arrowroot to thicken into jelly makes it the ideal gelatin alternative for vegetarians. It gives pastries a lovely coating. On the other hand, cornstarch tends to cloud sauces, and it also inhibits the production of ice crystals when used to make ice creams.
Swapping Arrowroot with Cornstarch
Arrowroot can be used in place of Corn-starch to thicken soups, sauces, and gravies. Because prolonged heat will cause the Arrowroot to break down, resulting in a thin sauce, it is added at the end of the cooking time. This powder is also used to coat meat and tofu for a crispy finish when pan-frying, and it’s utilized in sweets and jellies. When combined with acidic components such as fruit juice, Arrowroot forms a completely transparent gel that does not break down.
It also withstands freezing, whereas Corn-starch-thickened mixes degrade after freezing and thawing. However, it should not be used in recipes that contain dairy products (excluding ice cream) because it will result in an unpleasant, slimy texture. Instead, you’ll need to discover the best methods for applying Arrowroot here, which is why we’ll go over several baking goods made with Arrowroot.
As a Thickener
Arrowroot, like Corn-starch, must be turned into a slurry (a mixture of the starch and room temperature water) before it can be used to thicken a sauce; otherwise, it will clump and not blend properly. When the Arrowroot is heated, it swells and thickens the sauce. To prepare the slurry, whisk together a small amount of Arrowroot (typically a teaspoon or two) and a small amount of mild liquid in a two-to-one ratio until smooth.
The slurry is then whisked into a spicy sauce or gravy until smooth. When arrowroot powder is added directly to a hot beverage, the starch molecules instantly swell and form clumps, making it impossible to blend in evenly. In most recipes, one teaspoon of arrowroot powder for every one tablespoon of flour can be substituted for flour thickeners, and two teaspoons of arrowroot powder for every one tablespoon of Corn-starch can be substituted for Corn-starch.
In Making Crispy Pan-Fried Food
The recommendations for stir-frying Chinese delicacies like General Tso’s chicken commonly call for coating the meat with Corn-starch, but Arrowroot performs well too. Any protein, including tofu and beef, can be dusted before cooking to generate a crispy exterior. Extra-crispy french fries can also be made by sprinkling arrowroot over potatoes.
In Baking and Desserts
Arrowroot can provide shape and gloss to fruit pies and other sweets like non-dairy pudding or custard. For example, in a pudding, the Arrowroot should be blended with a liquid such as non-dairy milk before adding the rest of the ingredients. When making a fruit pie filling with Arrowroot, mix it dry with the sugar and set it aside before filling the crust. As a result, the pie has a lovely polished finish.
As a Binder
Use arrowroot powder to replace eggs in vegetarian burgers or veggie loaf recipes. It will thicken and gel with other substances to form a binding action comparable to (if not superior to) flour or other starches. Make burgers like these Quinoa and White Bean Burgers or these Roasted Beet Burgers with it.
This Diner-Style Vegan Meat Loaf is easy to slice because arrowroot powder holds it together. Arrowroot powder is also used as a binder in Gluten-Free and Vegan Plant-Based Meat dishes, such as V-Meat, V-Chicken, and V-Turkey. Consider using arrowroot powder instead of Corn-starch whenever you need a thickening agent in your cuisine. It’s a healthier option that excels in all of these areas, as well as a slew of others.
Tips for Using Arrowroot as a Substitute
l Use 2 tsp arrowroot for every 1 tbsp cornflour, or 1 tsp arrowroot for 1 tbsp flour, as Arrowroot thickens more effectively than other starches.
l Make a loose slurry with cool water or another liquid before adding hot wine or fruit juice if you’re preparing clear jelly. Transparent jellies made from green or herbal teas are delicious with savory or sweet meals.
l It’s critical to take any arrowroot-thickened mixture from the fire as soon as it’s thickened to the desired consistency because if it’s left on the heat for too long, it will begin to thin again. As soon as the sauces are ready, serve them immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Arrowroot to Corn-starch ratio?
Use one tablespoon arrowroot for every one tablespoon Corn-starch in slurry circumstances.
Is Arrowroot better than Corn-starch in terms of health?
Arrowroot flour is a healthy alternative to Corn-starch because it functions identically but has more nutritional fiber. In addition, arrowroot flour has a higher calcium content than Corn-starch. Although arrowroot flour does not mix well with dairy, it freezes well.
What other options are there for thickening sauce?
Corn-starch is the most frequent thickening agent, but potato starch, arrowroot flour, tapioca flour, and rice flour are good options. These starches expand and form a thickening gel when heated with liquids.
Corn-starch and Arrowroot can be swapped out 1:1. Replace the ingredients with equal proportions, and the dish will turn out perfectly. Arrowroot is especially useful in vegan dishes since it helps thicken vegan gravies and dairy-free cheese. Make this vegan mac and cheese with it! Use it to thicken sauces or make gluten-free baking recipes.