Many wonder, "is sweet rice flour the same as glutinous rice flour?” Yes, glutinous rice flour is the same as sweet rice flour. It’s an Asian pantry staple with high starch content, making whipping up mochi in the kitchen a breeze. Hence why it's also called mochiko flour, mochiko sweet rice flour, or mochi flour. Surprisingly, there’s no gluten in this flour despite its name. Continue reading to dive into what glutinous rice flour is and some recipe inspiration.
What Is Sweet Rice Flour?
Glutinous rice flour is made from short grain rice known as glutinous (aka sticky) rice. This gluten-free flour is perfect for making gluten-free batters, sauces, pastries, and more. While it doesn't contain gluten, it does offer a similar effect in recipes when it's cooked.
Glutinous rice has been grown in China for at least a few thousand years, with rice flour being used for around 2000 years. While the history of when it was invented and who invented sweet rice flour is unclear, it is clear that it has become a staple for many Asian recipes, from dumplings to baked goods.
What Does Glutinous Rice Flour Taste Like?
Glutinous rice flour has a subtly sweet, almost milky flavor. Because of its naturally sweet taste, it's often in dessert recipes. It is similar in appearance to standard white flour, as it's typically finely ground. Since it’s naturally gluten-free, many people with gluten sensitivities and allergies use this as a wheat flour substitute.
Sweet Rice Flour vs. Rice Flour
Sweet rice flour and regular rice flour are not to be confused. Both are staples in Asian cuisine, but each has very different uses. Rice flour is made from long to medium grain rice, while sweet rice flour is made from short grain rice. Standard rice flour works well in baked goods, while sweet rice flour is great as a thickener for sauces or as a binder for mochi and noodles.
What Is a Good Substitute for Sweet Rice Flour?
If you can't find sweet rice flour at your local grocery store, you can use the sweet rice flour substitute options below.
Tapioca flour is ideal if you're looking for a sweet rice flour substitute for baked goods. It can help create foods that require a chewy consistency, like cookies and brownies. Tapioca flour works in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute. You can also use it to make mochi at home. Try using it in this mochi recipe.
Potato starch is another excellent swap; you can use it in a 1:1 ratio. Use potato starch as a binder in foods or as a thickening agent. It's also great for making batters.
Cornstarch is a great swap, as you likely already have it in your kitchen cupboard. You can use cornstarch in a 1:1 ratio as a thickening agent. Unfortunately, it’s not a great swap in baked goods or other similar recipes.
Cooking with Glutinous Rice Flour
Since you're an expert on glutinous rice flour, it's time to discuss what you can do with sweet rice flour (including sweet rice flour recipes).
How to Cook With Sweet Rice Flour
While standard flour is straightforward, there are some tricks to working with sweet rice flour in the kitchen. These tips will aid you in perfecting glutinous rice kitchen recipes. Also, sweet rice flour should be chewy and sticky when cooked (think of mochi's consistency).
- Sweet rice flour and water tend to separate when you mix them, so batters and similar recipes require continuous stirring.
- Since this type of flour is very starchy, it absorbs fats more easily. You'll need to add extra glutinous rice flour to specific recipes if you want a distinct chewy consistency.
- You don't need to create a roux to use glutinous rice flour as a thickener. Instead, you can add it directly to sauces, and it will start to thicken.
Glutinous Rice Recipes/Dishes
These recipes and dishes typically include glutinous rice flour. They’re fairly easy to make at home or find at Asian markets nearby.
Daifukuis a type of sweet mochi that typically has anko, aka red bean filling, inside. You simply need to combine sweet rice flour with potato starch, water, and sugar. Then, add the filling and shape the mochi around it. Now, you have daifuku mochi ready to eat!
Mochi doesn't have to have red bean paste as the filling. It comes in many flavors, from green tea to strawberry and vanilla. Use the above ingredients to make mochi to your taste preferences.
Mooncakes are a celebratory dessert in China that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Like mochi, they also use glutinous rice flour, though they include other flours like wheat flour and rice flour to create a slightly different consistency. Mooncakes are filled with various custards and pastes and feature intricate designs on their exteriors. You’ll see these sweets eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Since glutinous rice flour works well as a thickener, it makes an excellent pudding. Combine it with prepared matcha pudding mix, sugar, and water. Then, you’ll have a delicious, sweet treat. Check out this matcha pudding recipe for more details.
How to Use Sweet Rice Flour
Glutinous rice flour is a pantry staple for a reason – it has many uses! You can use it as a thickening agent to create a deliciously chewy texture, make batters, create flakey textures in baked goods, and help create smooth sauces. Its slightly sweet flavor is not typically noticeable in most recipes, so that you can use it for sweet or savory dishes.
Glutinous Rice Flour Tips
These glutinous rice flour tips will help you get the most out of your sweet rice flour! You'll learn where to get it, how to store it, and how long your sweet rice flour will stay good.
Where to Buy Sweet Rice Flour?
If you don't have an Asian grocery store nearby, you can find Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour on Bokksu Market and other grocery staples. This mochiko is the longest-selling flour in the U.S., starting with its introduction into the American market in the 1940s.
How to Store Sweet Rice Flour?
Storing sweet rice flour is similar to storing standard flour. It’s necessary to keep sweet rice flour in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (like a pantry). With proper storage, you can keep (and use) glutinous rice flour for up to six months.