You can make many wonderful culinary treats, including sauces and gelatin, with cornstarch. However, when cooking with this product, you may be wondering what does Cornstarch tastes like. This can be a dilemma if you find yourself preparing a recipe that requires cornstarch and wonders about flavoring the dish with this ingredient. The taste of cornstarch is described as bland or neutral.
What is Cornstarch?
Cornstarch is a popular ingredient used by cooks and bakers to thicken sauces, soups, and stews.
It’s made from the endosperm portion of the kernel of corn; the starchy food that takes root inside a corn kernel. This starchy substance is taken out of the kernel and dried, creating a fine white powder known as cornstarch.
Cornstarch can also be used to coat chicken before frying or sauteing, making it crispy and flavorful.
How To Use Cornstarch For Cooking
Corn starch is a kitchen staple that most of us use to thicken sauces, soups, and pie fillings. But did you know that corn starch has many other uses in the kitchen?
Here are some great ways to use cornstarch in your cooking:
1. Select Your Recipe
The first step in using cornstarch for cooking purposes is to select a recipe that includes this ingredient. Look for recipes that call for cornstarch as a thickener and look over the list of ingredients and instructions carefully before you start.
2. Use the Correct Amount
Using too much cornstarch or not enough can drastically effect the taste of your recipe. Always be sure to measure out the correct amount of this ingredient before you begin. If your recipe calls for two tablespoons of cornstarch, do not substitute one tablespoon of flour in its place. These two ingredients are not interchangeable and will result in different outcomes when used together in a recipe.
3. Substitute Another Starch
If you do not have cornstarch on hand, you can substitute potato starch or arrowroot in its place if necessary (at equal amounts). This is also true if your recipe calls for potato starch or arrowroot
Uses For Cornstarch
Cornstarch is a kitchen staple, but it has other uses. Here are some of the best:
1. Getting rid of static cling
Just rub a small amount of cornstarch on your hands and pat down flyaway hair or static cling on clothing.
2. Remove oil-based stains from fabric.
Sprinkle cornstarch onto clothing or upholstery to soak up grease before laundering.
3. Hand lotion
Combine 1/2 cup cornstarch, 3 tablespoons glycerin, 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil and 1 1/2 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat; stir until thickened and cool completely before pouring into an airtight container for use as hand lotion or an all-over body moisturizer.
4. Make a natural shampoo
Cornstarch helps thicken thin shampoo, so a little goes a long way. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth; add to 8 ounces of shampoo and shake well to combine.
5. Cleaning wood furniture
Add just enough water to 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to make it pasty. Rub into scratches and nicks on wood furniture in the same direction as the grain, let sit for an hour or two, wipe off the excess paste with a damp cloth and buff dry. The scratch will be less visible!
6. Adding volume to thin hair
Sprinkle some cornstarch onto your fingertips and run them through your hair for more body without using heavy hair products that can weigh down fine hair.
7. Clean oil spills in the garage
Sprinkle cornstarch on the spot and let it sit overnight. Sweep up the powder in the morning.
8. Deodorizing shoes and boots
Sprinkle some cornstarch into your shoes or boots after wearing them to absorb moisture and odor-causing bacteria overnight before you put them on again in the morning.
What Does Cornstarch Taste Like?
Cornstarch is pretty neutral in flavor, but it does have a slightly sweet taste that may become evident in certain applications.
It’s made from the endosperm of corn. The part of the kernel that becomes flour is the germ and the bran, which is removed when milling for cornstarch. If you’ve ever tasted cornmeal you’ll know that it does have a bit of a sweet corn flavor to it. It’s not very pronounced though, and similarly, cornstarch has just a hint of natural sweetness to it.
If you’re using it as an ingredient in something like pudding, you’re probably not going to really taste it at all.
What Is Cornstarch Used For?
Cornstarch, a fine white powder made from corn kernels and used in cooking, has a number of uses. Its thickening power is well known, but it can also be used as a fat substitute, ingredient extender, substitute for eggs and cream, and more.
Cooks have long used flour or arrowroot to thicken sauces and gravies, but cornstarch has several advantages over these traditional thickeners. It is flavorless and odorless; it doesn’t cloud or dull the color of food like flour does; it blends easily with cold liquids (which prevents lumping), and it can withstand boiling temperatures better than most other starches. These characteristics make cornstarch the preferred thickener for many Chinese sauces and gravies.
2. Substitute for Fat
Cornstarch can be used to replace up to 25 percent of the fat in baking recipes. When combined with water, cornstarch forms a gel that mimics the structure and thickness of fat. Although it does not have an effect on flavor, cornstarch may change the texture of baked goods slightly. More moisture will be retained in cakes and cookies when cooked without added fats.
3. Make gravy for chicken or turkey dinners
By combining it with pan drippings from the roast. This will make a roux, which is a thickening agent that is used in gravy to thicken and add flavor. First, heat the pan drippings over medium heat. Then, slowly add cornstarch while whisking constantly until it’s completely dissolved. Let the mixture simmer until it reaches your desired thickness, which shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes.
Health Benefits of Cornstarch
Cornstarch is produced from corn and belongs to the group of cereal products. Cornstarch is rich in carbohydrates. It has no cholesterol or fat. Therefore, it is easily digested by the body, especially for patients who have had their gallbladder removed.
The health benefits of cornstarch are:
The high amount of fiber content in cornstarch helps to prevent constipation and other digestive problems.
2. Weight loss
Cornstarch contains a very low amount of calories which helps in weight loss.
3. Controlling diabetes
Cornstarch contains carbohydrates that are broken down into glucose during digestion and are absorbed into the bloodstream. This process leads to a rise in blood sugar levels. Hence, it is suggested that diabetics avoid consuming cornstarch.
4. Preventing cancer
Corn is rich in antioxidants that help prevent certain types of cancers such as lung cancer and prostate cancer.
Thickener: Cornstarch is a natural thickener, and it’s often used for gravies, sauces, soups and other mixtures where a thick consistency is desired. It’s best added shortly before the dish is done cooking so the cornstarch doesn’t lose it’s thickening power over time.
Glaze: Cornstarch can be used to make a glaze for meat or vegetables, especially when you’re stir-frying. It can be combined with soy sauce and water to form a glaze that will give your stir-fried veggies and meats a delicious, shiny coating that has a slightly sweet flavor.
Fried Foods: When you’re deep frying foods like chicken or fish, cornstarch can be used as part of the breading mixture that coats the food before it hits the hot oil. It adds texture and crunchiness to fried foods.
Make Your Own Baby Powder: If you’re concerned about chemicals in baby powder you buy from the store, you can make your own using cornstarch. You simply need to add in an essential oil like lavender (but not tea tree oil) or rosemary for scent if desired.
1. Are there any substitutes for cornstarch?
Yes. For example, you can use flour or arrowroot.
2. Why do you need to dilute cornstarch?
Cornstarch is very thick and will clump together in a solid mass if mixed with liquid without being diluted first.
3. Does cornstarch go bad?
No, it does not go bad. But we recommend using the product within three years after purchase.
4. Can I use cornstarch instead of flour in a roux?
Yes, but the results will be different than with flour. Cornstarch produces a paste that’s not as thick and opaque as a roux.
5. What can I substitute for cornstarch?
If cornstarch isn’t handy, you can use all-purpose flour to thicken gravy. Use 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with 1/4 cup cold water for each cup of medium-thick gravy. Be sure to whisk the flour and water together thoroughly before adding it to the gravy. If your gravy comes out lumpy, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer or food mill.
6. Can I freeze food with cornstarch?
Yes, you can safely freeze foods made with cornstarch after they have been cooked. But remember that freezing changes the texture and has no effect on bacteria. Reheat frozen foods until they are piping hot before serving them again.
7. Is cornstarch a gluten-free product?
Yes! A gluten-free diet may be recommended for people who have celiac disease or other conditions that make it difficult for them to digest gluten. Cornstarch does not contain gluten proteins; therefore it can be included in a gluten-free diet.*
Cornstarch is powdery and has a dry taste. It has a unique flavor that is not unpleasant, but it never tastes sweet or overpowers when used as a thickening agent. A small pinch in your drink can take it to another level of excitement, though this generally takes a bit of refining to find what you like best.