"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Ethnic Foods
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 1,425
Corn starch vs Potato starch

Every time I make Chinese food at home, I use corn starch as the thickening agent. Recently, I was watching a few videos on Chinese cooking which used potato starch as the thickening agent. My question is, in Chinese cooking, is there a preferred starch to use ? more common or more authentic? or does it really not make much of a difference. Id be more interested in what the Chinese restaurants use commonly.

Thanks,

Larry

__________________

__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 11:35 AM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 37,157
In my limited exposure, I have seen lots of recipes using corn starch and none using potato starch.

Here's the low down on thickeners: Cook's Thesaurus: Thickeners
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #3
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,163
I'm not sure it pays to get too picky about "authentic." For one thing, you have to decide how far back to go to discover what's authentic. For instance, starch extraction did exist before the 19th century, including corn starch. Early cooks, before starches, used various flours, including nut flours and arrowroot.

Choose your starch according to how it behave when cooked and maybe how it freezes. (Some separate.) I like potato starch for it's behavior and quick action, but don't boil it.

What most Americans call Chinese food mostly uses plentiful and inexpensive corn starch, which is appropriate, since corn was strictly an American native, and so is most American "Chinese" food. (So I think is really is okay to talk about "authentic" American Chinese food, authentic Mexican American food, etc. They've both been around long enough.)
__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2014, 03:47 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 10,381
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
Every time I make Chinese food at home, I use corn starch as the thickening agent. Recently, I was watching a few videos on Chinese cooking which used potato starch as the thickening agent. My question is, in Chinese cooking, is there a preferred starch to use ? more common or more authentic? or does it really not make much of a difference. Id be more interested in what the Chinese restaurants use commonly.

Thanks,

Larry
Corn and potatoes are both native to the New World, so they weren't known in Asia or Europe before the 15th century. So if you want to be "authentic," I'd suggest rice flour. But I use cornstarch because it's in most of the Chinese recipes I use.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: California's Big Valley
Posts: 785
If what I am currently using is working for me, I stick with that method and don't worry about it being authentic. I don't care if it's authentic, I want it to look and taste good.
__________________
Oldvine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2014, 08:56 PM   #6
Sous Chef
 
Silversage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 535
Larry, 35 years ago I took a class in Chinese cooking from a Chinese-American woman named Karen Lee. She lived in both countries and wrote a wonderful book on Chinese cooking. Her go-to starch for thickening was water chestnut powder.

I just dug out her book and her notes, and she recommended cornstarch as the best alternative.
__________________
In our house, dog hair is a condiment!
OMG! I decided to blog!
Silversage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
Head Chef
 
Roll_Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 1,404
Is arrowroot better than corn starch?
Frugal Gourmet (Jeff Smith) always recommended arrowroot in place of corn starch.
__________________
Roll_Bones is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2014, 11:26 AM   #8
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 37,157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
Is arrowroot better than corn starch?
Frugal Gourmet (Jeff Smith) always recommended arrowroot in place of corn starch.
Click on the link in my earlier post. The plusses and minuses of each are explained.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2014, 01:17 PM   #9
Head Chef
 
Roll_Bones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Southeast US
Posts: 1,404
Thanks Andy.
__________________
Roll_Bones is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2014, 12:02 PM   #10
Master Chef
 
CharlieD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA,Minnesota
Posts: 7,146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Click on the link in my earlier post. The plusses and minuses of each are explained.

Doesn't look like there many differences according to that site. In my opinion potato starch is stronger. But I do use mostly corn starch.
__________________

__________________
You are what you eat.
CharlieD is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
corn, potato

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:25 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Cooking News & Tips Straight to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Cooking info to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]