One of the lesser known ingredients for many, many recipes is potato starch. This starch is used in the same way that other starches are used, but what makes potato starch different than other starches is that it can be used in other recipes as well.
You may be thinking that potato starch should be easy to make yourself because of the main ingredient: Potatoes. If you think that making potato starch is the same as making mashed potatoes, you are wrong.
It is extremely difficult to take a DIY approach to making potato starch. Making potato starch not only requires crushing up potatoes, but it also entails releasing starch grains from the cells of the potato that has been crushed.
This takes a lot of time and technology, and in most cases, this is time and technology that the common person does not possess.
Because the common person likely does not possess this time and technology, it is much more convenient to buy potato starch in stores.
However, potato starch can be difficult to come across, and if you are the type that uses potato starch to make certain food items from scratch, you’ll probably be interested in a proper substitute for potato starch.
What food items are created from potato starch
Before seeking out a substitute for potato starch, it is a good idea to know what kinds of food items use potato starch as a key ingredient.
First, using potato starch assumes that you are making the food items that will be mentioned from scratch. This means you should already have the other ingredients necessary for the food item that you wish to make.
Like most other starches, potato starch is used in most noodle based food items. Whether it is pasta, or ramen noodles used in instant soups, potato starch is a main ingredient and is a necessary ingredient for them. You will need potato starch if you want to make any kind of noodles from scratch.
You will also need potato starch if you want to make certain pastries from scratch. Potato starch will maintain the soft texture of certain pastries and keep them moist as well. If you are interested in making sponge cake and it’s variations, you’ll need potato starch on hand if you are making these kinds of pastries from scratch.
While there are other types of food items that can be made with potato starch, noodle-related food items and pastry related food items are the most common. Keeping these two in mind, these are some proper substitutes for potato starch.
Proper substitutes for potato starch
Again, the substitutes that will be mentioned here are substitutes for potato starch when it comes to using it to make noodle related things and pastry related things from scratch.
These substitutes may not be compatible if you are making other things that use potato starch. They will only work with noodles and pastries.
Something that potato starch requires for noodle and pastry based food items is gluten. As gluten free food items are increasing in demand, so too do the methods of making gluten free food items from scratch.
Gluten free noodles and pastries are possible when swapping potato starch for arrowroot starch. Also called arrowroot flour, arrowroot starch is a suitable substitute for potato starch and you do not need much of it when substituting: Two teaspoons of arrowroot starch are equal to one tablespoon of potato starch.
One of the most common substitutes for potato starch, corn starch is virtually the same as potato starch.
Something else that corn starch can do that potato starch does not do is thicken fillings and puddings. So if you are making these two food items from scratch and you need a starch for it, corn starch will work.
Another good thing about corn starch is that you do not need to worry about changing the amounts when substituting. Corn starch substitutes potato starch at the same ratio.
If you are looking for a substitute for potato starch that is a little thicker and something that can make your pastry type of food a little sweeter and chewier, swapping out potato starch for tapioca starch is an option.
However, these qualities do not lend itself to being a substitute if you are trying to use something other than potato starch for noodle based foods. You will need to look for something different in that case.
The thing about potato starch is that can be used to thicken recipes when added last. This makes it easy to work with.
But if you are experienced in making things from scratch, wheat flour is an alternative. If you know how to make a roux thickener before a recipe begins, you can replace potato starch with wheat flour.
Be careful with wheat flour, however. It if cooks too quickly, it will clump as a result of cooking too quickly.
Rice flour is virtually the same as wheat flour, only it goes not contain any gluten. However, like with wheat flour, you will need to make a roux thickener before starting a recipe with it instead of ending a recipe like you can with potato starch.
Making potato starch itself is very difficult to do from scratch. The most convenient way to acquire it is to buy it.
If potato starch is not available where you normally buy it, have no worries. There are many substitutes for potato starch that you can use when making noodles or pastries from scratch.
If you want something that will directly replace potato starch, look for corn starch. Corn starch does the same thing as potato starch and can even be used to make fillings and puddings from scratch.
Arrowroot starch is the gluten free substitutes for potato starch, and although you will need to do some conversions to match the amounts of arrowroot starch to potato starch.
If you know how to make a roux thickener before making your pastry or noodle based food items from scratch, you can even use rice flour and wheat flour as a substitute for potato starch.
You do not need to panic if you cannot find any potato starch. As you can see, there are substitutes for potato starch out there.