What Is The Best Sweet Rice Flour Substitute? (Answered)

Sweet Rice Flour Substitute
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Sweet Rice Flour Substitute

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Do you ever have the frustration of doing all your grocery shopping then arriving home only to find that you have forgotten something?

Sometimes, you may forget that the item might not be available in your local supermarket when you need it.

That’s when it’s good to know what you can use as alternatives or substitutes for the missing product.

In this article, we will talk about sweet rice flour and what you can use instead.

Sweet Rice Flour Substitute

Some people have the idea that only one particular ingredient will work, especially when they’re baking. This isn’t true.

You can swap out most things without affecting the taste or texture of the finished dish.

Various gluten-free flour
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Various gluten-free flour

Are normal rice flour and sweet rice flour the same?

No. Ordinary rice flour is made from long or medium-grain white rice. Sweet rice flour is made from short-grain white rice, which is more glutinous.

Hence, it is sometimes known as glutinous rice flour. Both of them are gluten-free. Despite the name, sweet rice flour isn’t sweet but has a delicate, almost milky flavor.

It has better thickening and binding properties than ordinary rice flour, so it is better for making things like noodles and mochi.

We won’t keep you in suspense – the most commonly chosen substitutes for sweet rice flour are tapioca starch, potato starch, or cornstarch.

Why? Because in cooking, sweet rice flour is mainly used as a source of starch for the completion of the recipe to thicken sauces and so on. It is also largely used as flour in baking.

In this article, we will walk you through some relevant details regarding sweet rice flour substitutes along with their alternative uses. 

What Is Sweet Rice Flour Used For?

Sweet rice flour is a common pantry staple in Asia. It’s not well known in Western cooking, which is why you may struggle to find it in a Western supermarket.

It’s made from finely stoneground, highly starched, raw, short-grain glutinous rice. The product has an extremely fine and soft texture with a neutral flavor, similar to the more well-known cornstarch.

Its soft, smooth texture makes sweet rice flour an ideal ingredient for gluten-free baked goods such as pancakes and biscuits.

However, because it’s gluten-free, you cannot use it for yeasted bread. Besides baking, it’s useful for thickening sauces, gravies, soups, stews, and fruit compotes.

Moreover, this versatile ingredient is employed to make rice noodles as well.

Sweet rice flour vs rice flour
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Sweet rice flour vs rice flour

There are many more uses for sweet rice flour, which is why we can safely say that it has a good number of alternatives.

However, we recommend you only use substitutes when the real thing isn’t available. Otherwise, for best results, you should always use the exact ingredient.

Rice flour has a naturally sweet, delicate flavor and unsurpassed texture that you want to experience if possible.

Tapioca starch or potato starch are acceptable substitutes for sweet rice flour

The best possible ingredients used in place of sweet rice flour are tapioca starch or potato starch.

Both of these starches might not be perfect matches, but we can reassure you that your recipe will not flop. They will contribute that chewy, sticky sweet rice flour consistency.

Sticky sweet rice flour consistency
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Sticky sweet rice flour consistency

When you do gluten-free baking, use sweet rice flour as a starch source, which is why sweet rice flour is preferred over ordinary rice flour.

It is much higher in starch when compared to ordinary white rice flour (which is not a good substitute in this case).

You may need to use slightly more of your substituted ingredient for thickening, such as potato flour, as sweet rice flour has exceptional thickening abilities.

Moreover, other starches that are typically used in gluten-free baking and thickening can be good substitutes:

Final Thoughts

Sweet rice flour definitely has substitutes, as we’ve shown.

We recommend that you source sweet rice flour for baking recipes if you want an authentic finished product with just the right amount of chewiness and stickiness.

You should be able to find it in specialist Asian shops and online.


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