Question: What should I use as a substitute for flour as a thickening agent and how much should I use in relation to the flour amount?

October 12, 2010


Curt's picture

What are you thickening?

Barnaby Dorfman's picture

Cornstarch is a good substitute, but be sure to mix with a bit of COLD water before adding to whatever you are thickening, otherwise it will clump. I don't have great data on this, but my gut says that you need about half as much cornstarch as you do flour for the same thickening. Corn starch will thicken a liquid as soon as it boils, so you can add it little by little to get the right amount.

Wolfgang Loder's picture

Another thickening agent is potato, either as starch or cooked with the sauce you want to thicken.
Barnaby has explained corn starch perfectly, nothing to add.
Potato starch is a bit different. Firstly, it is not completely neutral in taste, although only an experienced taster will notice it.
Secondly, it does not thicken within minutes as corn starch does. You can cook potatoes with the food without any change to the cooking time. After cooking just take them out, if you don't want to serve them.
My favourite way is to press a raw(!) potato, keep the fibre for another dish like Hungarian potato burgers, and use the rest (liquid with the fine particles=starch) for a sauce.