If you don't have any cornstarch lying around at home, you can try using corn flour as a thickening agent. It is just as effective although it may leave a stronger aftertaste as opposed to cornstarch. However, if the soup or sauce that you are making is already very strongly flavored, using corn flour instead of cornstarch should be no problem at all. With that said, using corn flour to thicken soups and sauces can be a bit tricky. Keep these 3 tips in mind when you do.
Mix the Corn Flour in Cold Water
The viscosity and thickness of the soup or sauce will depend on the amount of corn flour that you mix into it. You don't want to just dump corn flour into the soup or sauce, as the corn flour will clump up and basically become an ineffective thickening agent. Instead, mix the corn flour with cold water first in order to make a milky white liquid. You want to use cold water instead of hot or warm water, as high temperatures can actually break the chemical bond of corn flour.
Give the Solution a Quick Whirl Before Tossing It into Soups and Sauces
If you've prepared all of the ingredients ahead of time, there's a good chance that the mixture of corn flour and water has been sitting on your countertop for some time. Don't simply toss in the slurry of corn flour and water into soups and sauces if it has been sitting for a long time, as the corn flour and the water tends to separate as it sits. Give the solution a quick whirl to ensure that all of the corn flour granules are distributed evenly in the water. This will reduce the chances of you ending up with clumps and lumps in your soups and sauces.
Put the Corn Flour and Water Mixture In Last and Avoid Cooking It for Long
Don't pour the mixture of corn flour and water into the soups and sauces from the get go. You want to save it for the end for several reasons. For one, the soups and sauces may thicken or glaze without any help as it simmers. Adding the corn flour mixture first might actually cause the soups and sauces to become too thick. In addition, you want to pour the corn flour and water mixture in last to avoid cooking it for too long. As mentioned above, high heats tend to denature the chemical bonds of the corn flour.
Try using corn flour instead of cornstarch as a thickening agent if you don't have any cornstarch left around the house. Corn flour also leaves an aftertaste that might complement the dishes you are making by adding another dimension of flavor. For more information, contact companies like Dover Corn Products LTD.