7 Ways To Use Glutinous Rice Flour in the kitchen

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An essential ingredient in Asian cuisine is glutinous rice flour, sticky or sweet rice flour. It has a unique texture and can be used to create many different dishes, from desserts to entrées.

glutinous rice flour in ceramic dish.
Image source: Depositphotos

What is Sticky Rice Flour?

Sticky rice flour is a gluten-free flour option made from sticky varieties of short-grain rice, giving it a unique texture and flavor that adds something special to various recipes. Although it can be used as an ingredient in cakes and other baked goods, there are many uses in food beyond desserts.

Sweet white rice flour is an incredibly versatile ingredient with a unique texture, making it perfect for baking, thickening sauces, and making savory snacks. Not only is this type of rice flour gluten-free, but it also adds a delightful chewiness to any recipe. With its protein and fiber content, this flour can also be used in various dishes.

The starchy rice flour is mixed with water or other liquid ingredients in many recipes to create a dough-like consistency. This dough can then be shaped into desired forms and boiled or steamed until cooked.

Here’s what Robin Donovan at All Ways Delicious says about this essential Asian flour: “Glutinous rice flour is a key ingredient in Japanese cooking. I use it in some of my favorite dishes, like Mochiko Chicken. It makes the best coating for fried foods, too, because it creates a shatteringly crisp shell that is both light and not greasy.”

mochiko chicken.
Image source: Robin Donovan, All Ways Delicious

Things To Make With Sweet Rice Flour

Glutinous rice flour is a versatile ingredient used in many Asian cuisines. It is commonly used to make sticky rice dumplings, such as zongzi. The flour also makes savory pancakes and sweet treats like Chinese donuts.

It is often used to thicken sauces and soups for an added flavor and texture. Some even use it to thicken a stir-fry dish, and it can also be used as a coating for deep-fried foods like tempura, which adds an extra crunchy texture.

Need some specific ideas? Here are seven ways you can use sweet rice flour in the kitchen to create delicious Asian-style dishes and desserts without gluten.

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1. Dim Sum

Dim sum is one of the most popular dishes in Chinese cuisine. Originating from Guangdong province, it is made with various ingredients and often involves steamed buns, dumplings, and other small items filled with meats, seafood, and vegetables. Dim sum can be found in many restaurants throughout the world today.

For those looking to replicate this classic cuisine at home, sticky rice flour is essential in creating delicious dim sum dishes. The flour is what gives the buns their unique soft and chewy texture, and it also helps bind ingredients, giving them their signature shape and form. Additionally, sweet rice flour allows for a crispier wrapping that won’t easily tear when filled with your favorite fillings, such as pork or shrimp.

2. Sweet Soup

When creating delicious dishes, this style of rice flour is a must-have in the kitchen. It’s versatile and can make various foods, including sweet soup. This traditional Asian dessert is made with sweet rice flour, sugar, water, coconut milk, or other dairy products.

The steps to make it are simple: 

  1. Mix the rice flour with hot boiling water until no lumps are left.
  2. Add in the sugar and stir until it dissolves completely. 
  3. Pour in coconut or regular dairy milk and let it simmer gently for about 30 minutes on low heat until the mixture thickens into a pudding-like consistency. 
  4. Serve warm with fresh fruits or nuts on top for a crunchy texture.

3. Bread and Buns

Gluten-free bread and buns are some of the most popular dishes made with sweet rice flour. From traditional Asian sticky buns to more Western bread, it can bring a unique lightness and chewiness to your creations.

The flour is perfect for savory Asian-style bread, such as mochi bread rolls. These types of bread require kneading and shaping before baking, so they’re great for those who enjoy working with their hands in the kitchen.

4. Pancakes, Waffles, and Wraps

Pancakes and wraps are both popular dishes that can be made with sweet rice flour. You can even make mochi waffles or pancake cereal for breakfast.

glutinous rice flour mochi waffles.
Image source: Keeping It Relle

This flour offers a unique texture and flavor that will add a special touch to your wrap or pancake creation. It is also gluten-free, helping those with dietary restrictions enjoy delicious pancakes and wraps for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with just a few ingredients.

Making sheet pan pancakes with rice flour is simple; all you need to do is mix the right proportions of the flour and other ingredients like eggs and milk before pouring the batter into a lined baking pan. Wraps are also easy to create using this particular type of flour; combine the necessary ingredients before rolling it up into a wrap shape.

5. Fried Treats

There are plenty of fried treats that can be made too. From mochi donuts to tempura, the fried options available will have your mouth watering.

For a classic doughnut recipe, all you need is some sweet rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and water – mix the ingredients together and deep-fry until golden brown. Chinese doughnuts are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or morning coffee


mochi donuts.
Image source: Robin Donovan, All Ways Delicious

6. Desserts

This rice flour is perfect for creating a wide variety of desserts that are sure to please even the pickiest eaters. From creamy puddings and cakes to strawberry mochi, you will have a lot of choices. You can even make sugar-free treats with it by using stevia instead of sugar.

For a traditional Asian treat, make mochi – mini balls of rice cake coated with sugar or other sweeteners. Make them yourself using sweet rice flour, or purchase pre-made versions from an Asian grocery store. Additionally, make some steamed buns stuffed with red beans or another filling – these bun desserts for one can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

strawberry mochi.
Image source: Sift And Simmer

7. Sauces

Sauces can be a great way to add flavor and texture to dishes made with glutinous rice flour. For example, adding a sauce made with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil to steamed dumplings provides an extra layer of taste.

Numerous sauces pair well with other dishes made from rice flour, such as pancakes or noodles. A sweet and sour sauce is the perfect accompaniment for these meals because it adds sweetness and acidity. Another popular option is a chili oil-based sauce that adds heat and flavor depth. Try creating unique sauces by experimenting with different ingredients, such as scallions, mushrooms, or peppers.

Top Reasons To Keep Glutinous Rice Flour on Hand

Sticky rice flour has become a popular ingredient in the kitchen over the past few years; its uses are varied and can be used for savory and sweet dishes. This versatile ingredient can create different meals or snacks, from baking delicious desserts to making tasty dumplings.

Use it to make Asian-style pancakes or add a crunchy coating for fried foods. It can also be added to sauces or soups to thicken them up or even used in noodle-based dishes like lo mein. Because it can be used for many recipes, consider keeping glutinous rice flour in storage containers in your pantry. 

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