Rice flour and glutinous flour are very popular ingredients used in Asian cooking, and many people can get confused between them. They both are made from rice and look similar to each other because of the same appearance and texture.
Is there any significant difference between rice flour and glutinous flour? Even though they both are made by milling the rice, there are many essential differences in their taste, flavor, nutrient contents, and usage.
While rice flour is made from milling medium or long grain non-sticky brown and white rice, glutinous rice results from milled short or long grains of glutinous rice, the flavor of both is kind of the same, except the brown rice flour, has a little sweet and nutty taste.
Nutrient contents also vary between them, and they both have their own functionality in various recipes.
Today, we will dig deeper into the discussion on glutinous rice flour vs. rice flour and unleash the significant difference, substitutes, and top dishes made from both, which you should try at home.
So without further delay, let us look at the overall differences and then dive deeper into a detailed explanation and contrast between the both.
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Glutinous Rice Flour VS. Rice Flour | Difference Table
|Basis Of Difference||Rice Flour||Glutinous Rice Flour|
|Rice Cultivars||Medium or long grain non-sticky brown or white rice||Short or long-grain glutinous rice|
|Gluten content||No gluten present||No gluten present|
|Varieties||Brown or white rice||No Variety|
|Color||White rice flour – Paperwhite|
Brown rice flour – Creamy white
|Texture (uncooked)||White rice flour – Smooth and light|
Brown rice – Denser than white rice flour
|Smooth and fine|
|Consistency (cooked)||Stretchy||Sticky and chewy|
|Usage||Thickening, baking, frying||Thickening and making sticky desserts|
|Nutritional Value||High in fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium||High in protein|
|Taste||White rice flour – Mild|
Brown rice flour – Slightly sweet and nutty
What is glutinous flour?
Glutinous rice flour, also called sweet flour rice, is milled flour made by grinding cooked and dehydrated kernels of long or short-grain glutinous rice. When the glutinous flour is cooked, it is moist, sticky, and firm because of the high waxy starch molecule present.
One can find many examples of glutinous flour in Asian cuisines like Japanese mochigome, Filipino malagkit, and Korean chapssal.
Glutinous rice flour contains no gluten, so do not get confused by its name. The chewy texture of glutinous rice flour is an essential ingredient in Asian desserts like mochi, dango, boba pearls, and palitaw.
Glutinous rice flour is also used to make dumplings and as thickening gravies and sauces.
What is rice flour?
Rice flour is fine flour made by milling the inner kernels of brown and white long-grain rice. Rice flour, like glutinous flour, is also gluten-free and has a slightly chewy and stretchy texture.
Rice flour is a staple ingredient in Asian cooking and is ideal for light batters and gluten-free baking. Rice flour is made from two different types of rice – White rice and brown rice.
White rice flour – White rice flour is made from wide rice varieties. The common varieties are indica, japonica, sinandomeng, dinorado, and angelica. White rice flour does not contain bran as it is stripped out before grinding, resulting in a smooth and light texture.
The color of white rice flour, as the name suggests, is paperwhite with a mild or no flavor. It is a core ingredient of rice cakes and various Asian noodles.
Brown rice flour – Brown rice flour has a creamy white shade and is milled from whole-grain rice. The flavor of brown rice is nutty with a hint of sweetness. The sweet taste makes brown rice ideal for baking cookies and cakes.
Brown rice flour can be used as a thickener in soups and stews. While grinding whole grain brown rice, the bran remains intact, due to which the brown rice flour is denser than white rice flour.
Glutinous Rice Flour Vs. Rice Flour | Similarities
Now, as you have already learned about the features of rice flour and glutinous rice flour, let’s dig a little deeper. Glutinous rice flour and rice flour have distinct features and usage, but they still share some similarities.
The first similarity between glutinous rice flour and rice flour is its uncooked texture. Both are finely ground flour with a consistency like a powder. Apart from this, the color of both the flour is white except for the brown rice flour.
The flavor of the glutinous rice flour and rice flour is also the same, which is very neutral, and both the flour are gluten-free. It is also important to note that there is no difference between the weight ratio.
One cup of rice flour or sweet rice flour weighs about 4.6 ounces. They both go well as a thickening agent in many Asian dishes.
Glutinous Rice Flour Vs. Rice Flour | Major Differences
Sometimes their application may overlap, but there are significant differences between glutinous rice flour and rice flour. Glutinous rice flour, also called sweet flour rice, has a moist and sticky texture when cooked; on the other hand, white rice flour is sticky and chewy. Apart from this, they have more distinct features, which we shall briefly discuss.
1. Rice Cultivars
The evident difference between both is that glutinous rice flour results from milled kernels of long or short-grain glutinous rice, whereas rice flour is made by milling inner kernels of brown and white long-grain rice.
The taste or flavor of glutinous has a neutral flavor, but when it comes to rice flour, it has a mild flavor. The brown rice flour has a hint of sweetness which is idle for baking cookies and cakes.
Glutinous rice flour, also called sweet rice flour, has no sweetness present.
The texture of glutinous rice flour is smooth and fine, but when it comes to rice flour, white rice flour is smooth and light, and brown rice flour is denser than white rice flour.
When cooked, rice flour is stretchy, and on the other hand, glutinous rice flour is sticky and chewy.
4. Nutritional value
Glutinous rice flour and rice flour have almost the same calories and carbs. However, rice flour is richer than glutinous flour in fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium. When it comes to glutinous flour is higher in protein.
Rice flour is commonly used in Asian recipes to make noodles, pancakes, rice crepes, pastries, and many such dishes. Brown rice flour also has a little sweet flavor that is idle for baking sweet dishes. Rice flour is also used as a thickener in soups and stews.
When it comes to glutinous flour is also frequently used in Asian dishes, especially in desserts. Glutinous rice flour is used for baking to allow baked foods to retain moisture.
6. Differences in cooking substitutes
When rice flour is mixed with potato starch, it can easily replace the use of wheat flour in cake and bread recipes. The mixer of both improves the consistency and helps in making a softer dough for the recipe.
On the other hand, glutinous flour is a close substitute for potato starch, but the result may vary as glutinous rice flour lacks consistency.
Also, it is evident that rice flour and glutinous rice flour can not be used in place of each other because of the consistency difference.
Substitutes Of Rice Flour
- Potato Starch – Potato starch can also be used in place of cornstarch for thickening any dish. The only thing that needs to be kept in mind while using potato starch is not overcooking it. If potato starch is overcooked, it may be hard to act as a thickening agent.
- Tapioca Starch – Tapioca starch can be used similarly to rice flour. The only difference is that tapioca starch is slightly sweet in flavor, so it can be used wherever the recipe calls for little sweetness.
- All-Purpose Flour – All-purpose flour can be used if you do not mind gluten in your food. Make sure that all-purpose flour is well cooked to avoid any unpleasant flavor or grainy texture.
- Wheat Flour- Wheat flour is a better substitute for rice flour instead for all-purpose flour. The only thing is that much wheat flour has gluten, so if you are ok with the presence of gluten, then wheat flour can be easily used.
Substitutes of Glutinous flour
- Arrowroot Flour/ Powder – Arrowroot powder or flour can be easily used in place of glutinous flour. It is also gluten-free similar to glutinous flour.
- Sorghum Flour – Sorghum flour is again an excellent substitute for glutinous flour. It is best to replace glutinous flour in any type of baking recipe.
- Almond Flour – Almond flour can be considered a good substitute for glutinous flour, and it is best while baking because of its unique flavor. Use 1.5 cups almond flour instead of glutinous flour, and enjoy baking.
- Mochiko Flour – Mochiko flour is a glutinous flour that perfectly replaces glutinous flour. Mochiko is made explicitly from cooked Japanese sweet, glutinous rice, while glutinous rice flour is made from a very different glutinous rice cultivar.
- Shiratamako Flour – Shiratamako flour which is very similar to mochiko flour, is a short grain glutinous rice flour. However, the texture of Shiratamako differs from regular glutinous flour because of the different processing styles.
Top dishes with Rice flour
Let’s see some of the best dishes that you can make rice flour.
1. Rice flour muffins
Rice flour muffins are a classic breakfast meal that every age group loves. You can replace the recipe’s regular all-purpose flour or wheat flour with rice flour muffins and bake gluten-free muffins. In just 30 minutes, you can bake these yummy muffins.
Simply add rice flour with baking powder and cocoa powder. Make your wet ingredients. Mix them together. Add chocolate chips if you want extra flavors, and bake them for 12-13 minutes at 365 F. Enjoy it with your tea or coffee.
2. Banh Xeo
Banh xeo, also called Vietnamese crepes, is best served with herbs and fish sauce. It is a trendy snack in Vietnam and is also called sizzling pancakes. Use rice flour to make the batter by adding sugar, salt, and a little turmeric and slowly beat them in water.
Make the filling for the crepes using shallots, shrimp, and other ingredients. Now follow the usual steps to make the banh xeo and serve it hot.
3. Fresh gluten free pasta
Fresh gluten-free pasta is a very healthy option. Rice flour is a perfect option for making gluten-free pasta at home. Simply mix brown rice flour with tapioca starch and xanthan gum. Add eggs and make dough out of it.
Divide it into equal parts and flatten it using a rolling pin. Now using the pasta cutting machine, cut your flattened dough. Now boil the pasta in water and add sauces or veggies as you choose. Enjoy it with some sprinkled cheese.
4. Coconut rice cakes
Coconut rice cakes are a sweet recipe from the Philippines. Using rice flour will give a perfect consistency, and one will find it hard to believe that these rice cakes are gluten-free. Prepare your dry mix using rice flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add beaten eggs with sugar, coconut milk, butter, and vanilla in a separate bowl and mix it well. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. In a preheated oven, bake the batter by transferring it into a muffin tin.
5. Fluffy rice flour pancakes
Fluffy rice flour pancakes are easy to make and a healthy breakfast option. To make gluten-free and sweet pancakes, you need five ingredients -rice flour, soy milk, sugar, baking powder, and eggs. Whisk soy milk, eggs, and sugar in a bowl.
Add rice flour and baking powder and mix them until a smooth paste. In a pan, drizzle some oil or spread some butter. Add the batter and cook both sides until brown. If using a nonstick pan, you can avoid using oil or butter.
The pancakes will turn out very light and fluffy compared to wheat flour pancakes.
Top dishes with Glutinous rice flour
Let’s see some of the best dishes that you can make glutinous rice flour.
1. Mochi Ice Cream
Mochi ice cream is a hybrid of mochi – a traditional Japanese dessert and refreshing ice cream. Using glutinous rice flour, make your outer layer of mochi and fill the center with sweet and refreshing ice cream.
It might look like a very complex recipe, but it is pretty simple if all the steps are correctly followed. You can enjoy these sweet and refreshing mochi ice cream balls during snack time with your tea or coffee or eat them as it is.
2. Sesame balls
Sesame balls are a top-rated Chinese fried recipe with lotus or red bean paste. Make your sesame ball dough using glutinous rice flour and sugar.
In a bowl, add some warm water and m, mix rice flour with sugar and make a dough out ore your filling using lotus or red bean paste.
Now take the dough and cut a small circle. Fill the dough with lotus or red bean paste and make a small round ball. Run the balls on moistened sesame seeds and then deep fry them. Serve it after cooling down the balls for ten minutes and enjoy.
3. Royal Bibingka
Royal bibingka, also called Filipino coconut rice cake, is not your regular bibingka. It is a trendy rice cake. Combine glutinous rice flour and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat some eggs with evaporated milk and coconut milk.
Gradually add the dry mixture with the wet mixture and combine them well. In aluminum molds, pour the batter after brushing the molds with margarine. Bake it for 15 mins. Sprinkle some cheese and margarine on top and serve them.
4. Tang Yuan
Tang yuan is an Asian dish made from glutinous rice flour immersed in water. It is a sweet and chewy sphere of delight. Make your filling and prepare your outer sphere using glutinous rice flour with warm water.
Fill the ingredients in the dough and make small round circles. Boil the balls in the water until cooked well. Dip them into sweet syrup. You can serve these hot or refrigerate them and eat them as a scold dessert.
5. Sticky rice dumplings
Sticky rice dumplings is a savory Vietnamese dumpling often enjoyed during snack times. These sticky rice dumplings are made with glutinous rice flour filled with seasoned ground pork and mashed mung bean.
Make your mashed mung bean and prepare the filling using pork, onions, and shallots. Using glutinous rice flour and salt, prepare a good dough. Fill the ingredients in the dough and make round spheres. Cook them in boiling water and serve them in the traditional way.
Glutinous rice flour vs. rice flour | Which is healthier?
Rice flour is higher in fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium, whereas glutinous rice flour is rich in protein. However, the calorie count and carbs level are the same in both. We can conclude that rice flour is healthier than glutinous rice flour.
Glutinous rice flour vs. rice flour | Which is Tastier?
Although glutinous rice flour and rice flour have a neutral taste, brown rice flour is slightly sweet and nutty. Therefore, we can say that rice flour, predominantly brown rice flour, is more tasty and flavorful than glutinous rice flour.
Glutinous rice flour vs. rice flour | Which is more versatile?
Rice flour can be used as a thickening agent for baking purposes and much more. While glutinous rice flour is also a thickening agent and is used in baking sometimes, rice flour, because of its mildly sweet flavor, is used in making cakes and cookies.
It is evident that rice flour is more versatile as compared to glutinous rice flour.
Glutinous rice flour vs. rice flour | Which is better?
As we have already discussed all the aspects of rice flour and glutinous flour, we can easily conclude that rice flour is much better. Rice flour has more nutrient content as compared to glutinous rice flour.
When it comes to flavor, rice flour again has more points than glutinous rice flour because of its sweet and nutty taste. Rice flour can be easily used or substituted with other starchy options available. So, rice flour is obviously better than glutinous rice flour.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Can plain flour be a substitute for rice flour?
Yes, plain flour, also called all-purpose flour, can easily substitute for rice flour. The only difference is that all-purpose flour contains gluten in it.
Can we use rice flour for baking purposes?
Yes, rice flour can be used for baking purposes. Many people use rice flour to bake gluten-free dishes.
Can baking powder help rice flour to rise?
Rice flour is gluten-free, so it may be hard to rise. However, using baking powder can help in raising the rice flour.
Are rice flour and rice powder the same?
Although rice flour and rice powder are made by grinding the rice grains, there is a difference in the texture. Rice powder is not smooth as compared to rice flour.
Are rice flour and glutinous flour gluten-free?
Yes, both rice flour and glutinous flour are gluten-free. Many people use them while making gluten-free dishes.
Is rice flour and plain flour the same?
No, rice flour and plain flour are not the same. Rice flour is gluten-free, whereas plain flour is not. Also, plain flour is made from wheat grains, and rice flour is made from grinding rice grains. Plain flour absorbs water quickly as compared to rice flour.
Rice flour and glutinous flour are very distinct from each other. They have different tastes, textures, and usage. One should not confuse the two and always be mindful while using them in any dish.
So finally, we are at the end of the discussion on glutinous flour vs. rice flour. Both of them are gluten-free and widely used in Asian cooking. Rice flour is rich in nutrients and the best substitute for all-purpose flour in baking recipes.
On the other hand, glutinous rice flour is sticky and sweet, which is idle for making sticky desserts and dishes.
I hope this was helpful, and now you can easily differentiate between rice flour and glutinous flour. So next time, whenever you visit a grocery store, be mindful and wisely choose which type of flour you will require in your recipe.
We will be back with more differences so that you do not have to bang your head. Until then, bake some gluten-free cakes and bread and enjoy.
that you do not have to bang your head. Until then, bake some gluten-free cakes and bread and enjoy.