The Food52 Hotline has been around for nearly a decade, so it’s no surprise that some of the most common cooking questions have come up again and again. How to substitute cornstarch is one of them. Our community has been quick to share their favorite substitutes for cornstarch). Tapioca flour and arrowroot powder are fan favorites, but user Ophelia notes that tapioca flour and powder are more expensive products and have a tendency to clump quite easily. Other users have pointed out that all-purpose flour can work as a thickening agent like cornstarch. For a gluten-free substitute for cornstarch, our savvy community members recommend potato or rice starch. With so many suggestions, we wanted to find out once and for all what is the best substitute for cornstarch.
It should come as no surprise that the particular cornstarch substitute you choose should depend on what you’re cooking or baking. The type of ingredient needed for a coating on something that you’ll be deep-frying may be different from what is best for thickening a sauce or soup.