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#1
Old 07-25-2011, 03:37 AM
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Culinary Dopers: substituting cornflour for potato starch?

I have a recipe for kisel (a juice drink thickened with starch) which calls for 2 tablespoons of potato starch.

I do not have any potato starch, nor do I know where to buy it. Could I use cornflour instead? And if so, in what quantities? (I don't really want to experiment as I don't want to waste all those good redcurrants...)
#2
Old 07-25-2011, 07:21 AM
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I normally buy potato starch in the Kosher aisle of a grocery store. I think you sometimes see it in the gluten-free section as well. Just in case you need some in the future.

As for the substitution question.... sorry, can't help you, though my guess cornstarch would be a better substitution than cornflour.
#3
Old 07-25-2011, 08:10 AM
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I used to substitute potato starch for cornstarch all the time when I lived in Japan (it is the most commonly used starch there.) Now that I live in the US again, I substitute cornstarch for potato starch in my recipes from Japan. The two are very similar, in my experience. They're just thickeners.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:47 AM
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Thanks, Broomstick and Tanaqui.

By a happy accident, I have now procured some potato starch.

However, I wouldn't know where to get cornstarch in the UK, and as cornflour is commonly used as a thickener here, if I'm not mistaken, I would still be interested in hearing about substitution ratios.
#5
Old 07-25-2011, 12:42 PM
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While flour can be used as a thickener, flour retains a lot more flavor than refined starch. You'll get a corn flavor if you use corn flour. If there's other strong flavors in the food, you may not notice, but you should be aware of the possibility. The refined starches retain very little of their original flavors and can be freely substituted in most recipes.

As for substitution, I'd experiment. Flour has more than just starch in it, so you'll need more of it than pure starch. First, do a one-for-one substitution. Then, slowly increase the amount of flour until the desired effect is reached.
#6
Old 07-26-2011, 09:00 AM
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Ummm... in the UK and otherbouts "corn flour" is the same thing as "corn starch". They are the same thing, it's just a difference in terminology.
#7
Old 07-26-2011, 09:10 AM
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OK... but then, what do you call the flour made from corn?
#8
Old 07-26-2011, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
OK... but then, what do you call the flour made from corn?
Masa harina.

But in the UK, "corn" doesn't necessarily mean maize. To be specific, we would say "maize".
#9
Old 07-26-2011, 09:37 AM
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OK, so you call the flour made from Zea mays "masa harina", which if I recall is a Spanish term, rather than "maize flour"?
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:29 AM
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Well, strictly speaking, here in the states I have never really heard the term "Corn Flour" for any corn product, It's usually "corn meal" or various degrees of fine or coarse cornmeal. Dunno if the same applies in the UK.
#11
Old 07-26-2011, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surok View Post
I have a recipe for kisel (a juice drink thickened with starch) which calls for 2 tablespoons of potato starch.

I do not have any potato starch, nor do I know where to buy it. Could I use cornflour instead? And if so, in what quantities? (I don't really want to experiment as I don't want to waste all those good redcurrants...)
Yes. You can also try arrowroot if you have some.
#12
Old 07-26-2011, 10:52 PM
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Extrapolating from a gravy recipe on the back of Bob's Red Mill Potato starch (unmodified) that calls for two cups of stock/broth, plus two tablespoons of drippings, along with two tablespoons of potato starch slurried with a quarter cup of water and the rule of thumb that one should use one tablespoon of slurried cornstarch per cup of liquid to thicken, I would have to say that potato starch and corn starch are fairly interchangeable and substitute on a 1:1 basis. Apparently the heat that should be applied is a consideration and difference between corn starch and potato starch, potato starch doesn't need as much heat to achieve consistency.
#13
Old 07-26-2011, 11:24 PM
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Starch is starch. When I've had kisel, it was thickened with cornstarch.

Amusingly, the first time I had it, the lady who made it then turned around and asked me how to make gravy (she was a Russian immigrant, and was making an American-style Thanksgiving dinner for the first time). "Do exactly what you just did, except use meat juice instead of fruit juice".
#14
Old 07-27-2011, 12:42 AM
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Maybe, if we saw the entire recipe for your Kissel, instead of just giving us "pieces parts", maybe you could reveal the liquid volume and then we might be able to offer better advice and finesse. Ultimately, it boils down to- how do you want your Kissel? Thick, slightly less viscous, what? You tell me.

Last edited by devilsknew; 07-27-2011 at 12:45 AM.
#15
Old 07-27-2011, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by devilsknew View Post
Maybe, if we saw the entire recipe for your Kissel, instead of just giving us "pieces parts", maybe you could reveal the liquid volume and then we might be able to offer better advice and finesse. Ultimately, it boils down to- how do you want your Kissel? Thick, slightly less viscous, what? You tell me.
The recipe is as follows:

1 cup berries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp potato starch.

Mash the berries with a pestle or a spoon, add 1/2 cup of cold boiled water, put the berries through a sieve or squeeze them through muslin. Pour 2 cups of water over the fruit pulp, boil for 5 minutes, then filter.

Add sugar to the filtered iquid, boil, add the diluted potato starch, stir, and boil once more.

Add the juice squeezed from the berries to the kisel and mix well

Personally, I think I would prefer less viscous, but others who are destined to drink it might prefer something thicker.
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