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kellynolan82

Gravy - Sticky (Glutinous) Rice Flour

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I have heard of many stories with making gluten free gravy, some sound good others sound bad. I myself have personally never bothered making gravy AT ALL in my ENTIRE LIFE.

I have two questions:

1. I do hear, however, that for those (like me) who miss the traditional kind of gravy thickened with a wheaten roux; sticky rice flour works really well as a substitute. Unlike corn starch, it does not possess an inferior quality that detracts from the 'taste'. Anyone else had experience with this or has any tips?

2. Can you thicken a gravy by reduction (i.e. simmering)? I know some chefs use this technique to thicken pasta sauces, however I'm just not sure that it would work with gravies?

If you can answer or contribute to either or both of the above questions, that would be so helpful. I'm only just beginning, but I'm determined to get it right ;)

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I have heard of many stories with making gluten free gravy, some sound good others sound bad. I myself have personally never bothered making gravy AT ALL in my ENTIRE LIFE.

I have two questions:

1. I do hear, however, that for those (like me) who miss the traditional kind of gravy thickened with a wheaten roux; sticky rice flour works really well as a substitute. Unlike corn starch, it does not possess an inferior quality that detracts from the 'taste'. Anyone else had experience with this or has any tips?

2. Can you thicken a gravy by reduction (i.e. simmering)? I know some chefs use this technique to thicken pasta sauces, however I'm just not sure that it would work with gravies?

If you can answer or contribute to either or both of the above questions, that would be so helpful. I'm only just beginning, but I'm determined to get it right ;)

1) cornstarch doesn't taste "inferior" to me. maybe it's a matter of what you're used to. maybe it's just the base you started with. (maybe the cornstarch wasn't thoroughly cooked...) if you say this based on what someone has told you, you might just try using cornstarch yourself. (I didn't know you *could* use wheat flour until I was much older, as we used cornstarch growing up, though there were no celiac issues at the time.) if it's your tastebuds telling you this, you'll probably want to experiment with different flours.

2) you can thicken ANYTHING by reduction - you're just evaporating water. I do it with almond milk to make dairy free pumpkin pie at christmas. it just takes a long time (simmer for a few hours, with a fan on it, stirring OFTEN). it may make the gravy much stronger than you want as well.

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I thicken sauces by:

reduction

corn starch

potato starch

amaranth

instant mashed potatoes

dried veggies

cheese

depending on what exactly I'm making. I like amaranth and corn starch for gravies, or ground dried mushrooms if it's a beef gravy.

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I mostly thicken by reduction, too (i.e. reducing balsamic into a syrup is delicious on strawberries); in fact, I rarely add starches but when I do I use cornstarch or arrowroot. If you do a reduction you can swirl in cold butter off the heat to thicken and add a glossy sheen. When I make gravy (which is rare as I prefer pan sauces) I add white wine, reduce and add in roux. For recipes that call for veal or beef demi glace all you have to do is reduce a good (preferably homemade) stock by half or two thirds. Bechamel is easy with white or glutinous rice flour (or whichever your little heart so desires). :)

ETA: I neglected to mention that I often use a tablespoon or so of preserves to thicken pan sauces (i.e. cherry, blackberry, apricot with pork or duck).

Edited by love2travel

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I use sweet rice flour to thicken. Cornstarch works as well and tastes fine but it doesn't reheat as well.

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cornstarch is good enough for me :) You can also add cream to the gravy to have creamy gravy.

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Cornstarch doesn't give the same consistency as a roux. I use it in clear sauces like fruit or stir-fry but not gravy.

I've tried roux made with potato starch and normal rice flour and haven't been very happy with the results. Rice flour tends to be gritty and potato starch is terribly hard to work with. I can't seem to keep it from clumping up. I've been happiest with arrowroot starch for sauces, but I haven't tried it in a classic gravy. I haven't come across sticky rice flour so maybe that's worth a try too.

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Cornstarch doesn't give the same consistency as a roux. I use it in clear sauces like fruit or stir-fry but not gravy.

I've tried roux made with potato starch and normal rice flour and haven't been very happy with the results. Rice flour tends to be gritty and potato starch is terribly hard to work with. I can't seem to keep it from clumping up. I've been happiest with arrowroot starch for sauces, but I haven't tried it in a classic gravy. I haven't come across sticky rice flour so maybe that's worth a try too.

Do you have access to an Asian market? Sticky rice flour is also known as sweet rice flour or glutinous rice flour. I haven't tried it for gravy as I'm not much of a gravy person. I should try it when making a curry as that would definitely need a roux (at least in my not-so-authentic curry recipe).

I have used cornstarch to thicken sauces and find that whisking it while reheating helps a lot.

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I should try it when making a curry as that would definitely need a roux (at least in my not-so-authentic curry recipe).

Try an authentic curry. :) Indian cooking doesn't use starch thickeners at all, which is why it's so gluten-free friendly. The thickening comes from bhuna, onion paste cooked in ghee with ginger and garlic paste. You simmer for a couple hours until it sort of dissolves. Sometimes coconut cream, yogurt, or cream are used, almond or cashew powder, or vegetables like tomato and okra.

Back to the subject of glutinous rice, I am afraid to buy flours from Asian markets that aren't tested for CC. After reading that scary Tricia Thompson study I've only buying certified gluten-free flours.

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Try an authentic curry. :) Indian cooking doesn't use starch thickeners at all, which is why it's so gluten-free friendly. The thickening comes from bhuna, onion paste cooked in ghee with ginger and garlic paste. You simmer for a couple hours until it sort of dissolves. Sometimes coconut cream, yogurt, or cream are used, almond or cashew powder, or vegetables like tomato and okra.

Back to the subject of glutinous rice, I am afraid to buy flours from Asian markets that aren't tested for CC. After reading that scary Tricia Thompson study I've only buying certified gluten-free flours.

Guess my curry is pretty fake then. :lol: I haven't made it since going gluten-free.

Good reason for buying only certified gluten-free flours, which I normally do, too, although I do have some glutinous rice flour I bought at an Asian store.

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