Glutinous Rice Flour – Chinese Sticky Rice Flour

by Tiana Matson

Glutinous Rice Flour

The glutinous rice flour is made using the Asian sticky rice that is mostly short grained. This type of rice is common in Asia. It’s sometimes known as sweet rice flour, sticky rice flour or sweet rice powder. Naturally, when this rice is cooked it becomes moist, firm and sticky.

Similarly, when the rice flour is cooked it becomes sticky.

The flour like other flours appear to be powdery and white in color and it has a high absorption ability. Moreover, the flour can stand the extreme cold temperatures without breaking down.

This is your best bet when it comes to the thickening your sauces or using it with other baked products. It’s chewy and elastic which is exactly what most pastries need. Furthermore, it will stand the humid and high temperatures as well as extreme cold.

is glutinous rice flour gluten free?

paste of Glutinous Rice Flour

For most people, the name suggests that it contains gluten. This is misleading because the flour contains no gluten. Its name comes from the fact that the rice is sticky when cooked. This leads us to the question, why does it assume a sticky texture?

Rice contains two contents of starch: the amylose and the amylopectin. Unlike the other kinds of rice that have amylose starch content, glutinous rice contains more of amylopectin.

This is responsible for its sticky and moist nature.

Besides, the rice uses its surrounding water when it’s cooking to make it chewy and sweet.

DON’T CONFUSE THE RICE FLOUR AND GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR

Glutinous Rice Flour

This is a question I get asked many times. People can’t understand the difference. In fact, a majority believe they are the same which is not true. You see, glutinous rice flour is ground from short grain rice although sometime you may use the long grain sweet rice.

  • The rice flour is ground from the common rice that you eat and cook at home. The medium or long grain rice. The rice flour is usually opaque while the glutinous rice flour is white and solid.
  • They both contain no gluten.
  • Both rice flour and glutinous rice flours are white in color and the flour is powdery in texture. Another similarity is that they are both neutral in taste before and after the cooking process. This is even though the glutinous rice is referred to as sweet rice.
  • When it comes to the Asian cooking both rice flours are popularly used. Although, the fact that they contain no gluten has made them popular even in the West. The rice flour is used to make pastries, noodle, sweet and savoury pastries.
  • The rice flour may work as a great substitute for your wheat flour. This is especially so when you are making breads and cakes. Nevertheless, since your dough lacks gluten you may use potato starch to improve its consistency and soften the dough.
  • The chewy and sticky texture of the glutinous rice flour makes it suitable for dumplings. It will also act as a good thickening agent for your sauces.
  • You need to stir them in water to avoid its separation when cooking. Never eat the flour without cooking. You must cook the flour first before eating.

Can rice flour substitute the glutinous flour?

Glutinous Rice Flour

You should never substitute one flour for the other unless the recipe instructs you to do it. One notable thing is that the two flours assume different textures, different cooking style and different results are expected.

Your rice flour is closer to the all-purpose wheat flour and it usually assumes the cake like consistency whilst the glutinous flour is sticky and chewy in texture.

Whenever you are using the flours in minimal amounts you may substitute rice flour for all-purpose wheat flour or sorghum flour. For the glutinous rice flour, use the potato starch or tapioca starch that will give the chewy texture though not the same as the glutinous flour.

However, if the major ingredient is either the rice flour or the glutinous flour don’t substitute for any other flour. This is because the results are completely different when you use the named substitutes.

Use rice flour where rice flour is needed and glutinous flour where it’s needed.

WHERE TO BUY GLUTINOUS RICE

Glutinous Rice Flour

Since this is a staple food for Asians you will find it in large Asian markets in any country.

However, when you are within the Asian countries you could buy them in almost every supermarket and grocery store. They are also present in the market online. You can get the best products on Amazon.

USES

  • Aside from acting as a thickening agent and using it to cook your dumplings, you may use it to prep your baby foods or the elderly food. The reason for that is the fact that flour is easy to digest and metabolise.
  • The flour suits those who no longer use wheat or gluten.
  • For your lactose-free ice creams, this flour will give its sticky characteristic.
  • For all those products that need freezing and thawing the flour will help to retain the moisture within. Because the freezing and thawing process makes the product to lose moisture.
  • The flour is used when making egg rolls, and mooncakes.
  • It’s also used to make the rice cake which is popular in the Asian community. Rice cakes are used in almost all the major holidays of the Asian countries. That is Japan, Korea Thailand, China and Philippines.
  • In China, the rice cake is served during the dragon festival and new year

Multiple uses of Glutinous Rice Flour

THE BEST GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR

1. Dried Sweet Glutinous Rice Flour

Dried Sweet Glutinous Rice Flour - 2x 1 Lb (Traditional Water Milled)

This product is from Thailand and is made using the short-grained rice. For better results, the rice is ground in the traditional water mill. This makes it extra fine in texture. It makes your delicious bread and other pastries.

Since it’s a product from Thailand, it’s expected that its quality is uncompromised by the fact that one of the best rice markets is in Thailand. It’s a high-quality product and if you know how to cook using the flour your meals are top notch.

The only concern appears to be the packaging which makes the flour scatter everywhere when you open it. Yet the flour is sticky and will stick on your watery surfaces.

2. Bob’s Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour

Bob's Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour, 24-ounce (Pack of 4)

This flour is made from the unique sticky rice and has a high content of starch. It’s 100% stone ground usually on a slow turning quartz milestone. They use the short grain rice from Asia. It’s best used to make Japanese-MOCHI.

If you no longer use wheat then this product will give you the exact binding properties that your dough needs. In consideration of the health-conscious individuals, it’s gluten-free. Aside from making mochi, you may use it as s a thickening agent, oriental cooking and in most other desserts.

The flour is fine in texture and without lamps. Its packaging design makes it easy to use and attractive. There are so many other mediocre sweet flours that may contain gluten or have lamps but the bob red mill is the complete opposite.

3. Sweet Rice Flour, ChapSsal GaRu

Sweet Rice Flour, ChapSsal GaRu (2 Lb) By ChoripDong

This is a Korean product that is used for making the flour base for kimchi seasoning. You will use it to make other doughs and desserts as well. It gives your dough the elastic and chewy texture of most glutinous rice.

The only ingredient used in its production is sweet rice which means it’s a gluten-free product. Its packaging design makes the content to be retained within the package even when you opened. You don’t have to worry about it scattering all over.

I recently bought it when I wanted to try the new recipe kimchi. My mum would make a perfect one but I was never keen on watching what she does. Since I no longer stay with her, I had to make it myself. Believe me when I say that it came out the same as my mums.

This is an easy to use and access product.

4. ENER-G FOODS | Flour-Sweet Rice 

ENER-G FOODS | Flour-Sweet Rice - 20 Oz [Gluten Free] [1 Pack]
Another famous brand of glutinous rice flour. It’s made when you remove the inedible hull from the brown rice to remain with white rice. You then mill the white rice to come up with the flour. You may also make a brown rice flour through this process.

However, in this case, the white rice flour is preferred because it doesn’t alter the flavour of the flour. Mark you, this product is made using the small grained rice which makes it glutinous rice flour. You can use it for baking and as a thickening agent.

The manufacturer has indicated that it’s a gluten-free product therefore, you who has allergies don’t need to worry. Its packaging is designed to keep the product away from the excess air once you open it.

5. Authentic Foods Superfine Sweet Rice Flour

Authentic Foods Superfine Sweet Rice Flour - 3lb

The glutinous rice flour is 100% free of gluten, dairy, soy and nut. For further proof, It’s kosher certified. It’s milled from the authentic California rice that is not only short grain rice but also high quality. This flour is further perfectly packaged with the aim of reaching you in good time.

It has an unapparelled thickening ability yet it works best for any recipe that you intend to refrigerate because it will stop the liquid separation. In addition, the liquid slows the breakdown of starches thereby retaining the moisture.

When you intend to thicken your gravies and sauces consider using this product. It’s made in a gluten-free environment and it’s your deal breaker when it comes to making different baked products.

6. Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour 

Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour (Pack of 2)

This is a Japanese design of glutinous rice flour. It’s made by grinding short rice grains. For those who love mochi, I hope you know that this is your best choice in regards to the sweet flour. The sticky nature makes it impossible to substitute. Because if you do, the results are never the same.

It’s easy to find the mochiko in any grocery store with its unique packaging makes it stand out amongst others. Aside from mochi, you may use it to make all your other oriental dishes and desserts that call for glutinous rice flour.

The flour is superfine and completely free of gluten.

7. McCabe Organic Sweet Rice Flour

McCabe Organic Sweet Rice Flour, 1-Pound

The last product here is Mc Cabe sweet rice flour. it’s a USA product made from sticky rice that is grown and harvested in California.  Like other products, it works as your best thickener.

The product is 100% organic and its USDA certified. It’s also 100 percent gluten-free having been processed and packed in a gluten-free environment.

It’s a superfine ground with the perfect packaging to help keep your flour from the excess air that would cause lumping.

IS IT HEALTHY?

It’s a healthy flour. A cup of sticky rice gives you about 3.5 grams of protein, 169 calories, 35 grams of starch and the best part is that it’s fat-free. Moreover, it gives you the exact requirement of zinc and vitamin B.

It gives you 1.7 grams of insoluble fibre that prevents constipation.

THE HEALTH BENEFITS

Glutinous Rice Flour

  • Helps with your digestion

Any food that contains fibre makes it easy to digest food thus maintain a healthy gut. Bloating, cramps and constipation is unheard of when using this flour. When you use the glutinous rice flour together with fruits and vegetables, you maintain a healthy digestive system.

  • Weight loss

The glutinous rice flour has fibre content which makes you feel full all the time. This will reduce the tendency to overeat. Moreover, the fibres help to increase the metabolism which is essential if you intend to lose weight.

  • Inflammation

The rice flour prevents inflammation. It contains copper, zinc and vitamin B in the desired amount. These 3 works well to help protect the body against inflammation and infection by boosting your immunity.

  • Healthy Bones

The minerals contained in the glutinous rice flour will help you to develop healthy bones structure. In fact, diseases like osteoporosis are off the book.

  • For your healthy heart

The flour contains no fat and no gluten which makes it a good choice to protect your heart against high blood pressure and other heart problems.

  • The healthy liver

The glutinous rice flour and other rice flours contain choline which aides in the transportation of cholesterol and triglyceride from the liver.

It has other benefits like the fact that it reduces your chances of getting diabetes and stroke among other advantages.

CONCLUSION

In my opinion, the Bob’s Red Mill Sweet White Rice Flour is the best to buy because of its fine texture, origin and famous brand. Not to say that others aren’t good though.

Now that you know the health benefits and the importance of the rice flour why don’t you go ahead and buy one?

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