Tapioca is one of the most longed-for flours that you can use if you're planning to thicken your sauces, to give your pastry a chewy texture and glossy finish, or even bind gluten-free ingredients together. Also, it’s easy to use!
Before looking into the possible replacements for tapioca flour, let's talk first about what this ingredient is and how it is made.
Tapioca flour is made from the starch extracted from the cassava plant that's native to Brazil and the Americas' tropical areas.
Once the roots are fully developed, they are harvested and processed to remove the toxins. The starch is then extracted from the processed roots by a careful and repeated washing process and pulping of the mixture.
The flour features a slightly sweet flavor (but most people find it neutral) ideal for both sweet and savory recipes. It's also commonly known as tapioca starch in other countries.
Tapioca flour is truly an excellent kitchen helper and a must-have ingredient in the pantry.
But what if you're running out of tapioca? No worries! A substitute with relatively similar features of tapioca flour should do the trick.
Here are some of the best replacements to consider when you're running low on flour.
Cornstarch is a perfect replacement for tapioca flour if you're using the ingredient as a thickening agent.
Like tapioca, cornstarch is also gluten-free, but it doesn't go well with food intended to freeze. Mixing it with any dairy products works like a charm though.
As a substitute, replace two tablespoons of tapioca flour for every tablespoon of cornstarch.
2. Cassava flour
Cassava flour contains more fiber than tapioca flour because it's made from the entire cassava root. It features a smooth flavor and possesses flavor that's different from other starches on the list.
Though cassava flour doesn't have the neutral flavor of tapioca, it's gluten-free and can be used as a thickener for sauces.
You can replace tapioca flour with cassava flour in a 1:1 ratio.
3. Arrowroot starch
Arrowroot starch is a gluten-free ingredient that resembles the texture of tapioca flour. It has a neutral taste, which means it's a great addition to thicken stew dishes.
For recipes intended to be frozen, it's advisable to use arrowroot rather than tapioca flour. Also, the former works perfectly with fruit-based dishes.
If you're using it as a substitute, follow the ratio of 2:1 between tapioca flour and arrowroot starch.
Quick tip: Don't use it in dairy products because it may make them slimy.
4. Potato starch
Potato starch comes straight from the name itself. The starch inside of the potato is being extracted to create a powder-like substance.
It features a neutral flavor, making it a good substitute for tapioca flour. Adding them creates that nice texture to your recipes such as soups, sauces, and even baked food.
As a substitute, use one tablespoon of potato starch for every two tablespoons of tapioca.
5. Rice flour
Sweet rice flour is another gluten-free replacement for tapioca flour. It's slightly stickier and heavier than other flours, so it's recommended to mix them with other powders.
It's suitable for gluten-free baking and a good option when breading deep-fried foods like chicken as well. Plus, the ingredient is a great thickener.
If you're planning to make it your substitute, follow the ratio of 2:1 between tapioca flour and rice flour.
6. All-purpose flour
If you're really in a pinch, you can replace tapioca flour with all-purpose flour. But bear in mind that this swapping may affect your baked goods' texture; also, this ingredient contains gluten.
Expect no glossy finish when you use all-purpose flour in your dish, though. Replace the two tablespoons of tapioca with the two tablespoons of your all-purpose flour.
The bottom line
Tapioca flour is an excellent ingredient that must be present in your pantry cupboard all the time.
But there are moments in life in which we tend to forget those important things. Well, in the case of tapioca flour, fret no more! The substitutes I’ve compiled should have you covered nice and easy.
- 1 T potato starch
- Substitute 1 tablespoon of potato starch for every 2 tablespoons of tapioca flour