Rice Flour

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Rice flour is notable for being around 90% starch, and for having the smallest starch granules of the major cereals, a half to a quarter the size of wheat starch granules. When used to thicken sauces or fillings, it provides an especially fine texture. And thanks to its low protein content, the dry flour absorbs relatively little water. This means that when it’s used to make a frying batter for Japanese tempura, rice flour gives a thin consistency with relatively little water, and so the batter readily fries to a crisp, dry texture.