Rice flour is a powder made from finely milled rice. It is known as a substitute ingredient in bread and sweets from wheat flour. Recently, rice flour products are becoming more popular in the market due to health trends such as a “gluten-free diet”.
What is the secret of rice flour?
Health Benefits of Rice Flour
As I said, rice flour is made from rice. In the Asian region, rice flour itself is not so new ingredient and has long been used as a raw material for dumplings, rice crackers, rice noodles, and sweets.
Note that it is different from rice starch, which is made by steeping rice in lye, rice flour is made by grounding the rice.
Rice flour is rich in protein, carbohydrates, fats, inorganic substances, vitamin B1, E, and nutrients necessary for the body.
Besides, brown rice flour contains a higher level of B vitamins, fiber, and calcium and zinc.
Calories are almost the same as flour
The calories in rice flour are 366 kcal per 100 grams, while the calories in wheat flour (Wheat flour, unenriched, all-purpose, white) are 364 kcal per 100 grams, which is almost the same.
However, when making bread, rice flour has higher water content and as water contains no calories, a serving of rice flour will contain fewer calories than a serving of wheat flour the same size.
Also, you can cut calories of deep-fried food when using rice flour coating.
|Rice Flour||Wheat Flour|
|Total Fat||1.5 g||1 g|
|Total Carbohydrate||79 g||76.3 g|
|Protein||5.5 g||10.3 g|
- *Rice Flour…White, unbleached
- *Wheat Flour…White, unbleached, all-purpose
Amino Acid Level
I have to mention this first, I am not a Nutritionist and not a specialist either. As my research thoughtfully, rice flour seems to be considered the food that contains high Amino acid levels.
“Protein” synthesized with a component called “amino acid”. Amino acids are nutritional components that are the source of life, which are made up our body of 20 types of amino acids. It is responsible for various functions of the body.
The lack of Amino acid can cause lower immunity system, digestive problems, depression, fertility issues, lower mental alertness, slowed growth in children, and many other health issues. As long as you have a normal diet, you will not be deficient in amino acids.
However, an unhealthy diet or excessive dietary restrictions can lead to amino acid deficiencies.
Also, when exercising vigorously, certain amino acids are consumed as energy, so it will be effective to supplement amino acids after a workout.
Especially, rice flour is high in “essential amino acids” that are not produced in our body.
Comparing the amino acid scores of rice and wheat, white rice flour is 65 and wheat flour is 41. (*Souce; Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries)
• Amid Acid Score
Wheat flour is the major raw material for various dishes such as bread, noodles, and sweets, but some people have a problem with wheat allergies.
Because rice flour does not contain gluten, people with wheat allergies can enjoy the products used in rice flour.
In addition, “gluten-free foods” are attracting attention as one of diet and health management, and are used as a substitute for wheat flour.
There are two types of rice flour products, one with gluten added and the other with thickened polysaccharides and gelatinized rice flour such as sweet rice flour.
Therefore, The latter, wheat-free rice flour, can be eaten by people with wheat allergies.
Sweet Rice Flour
Sweet rice flour is called “Mochiko” (もちこ)in Japanese, it is mainly used for Japanese traditional sweets- “Wagashi” or “Mochi sweets”.
Sweet rice flour is made from milled “sticky rice”, which is a different type of sushi rice.
In Japan, there is more than one kind of Mochiko but generally, you will see the most typical Mochiko in Japan here in the US.
4 benefits of using rice flour for cooking
Easy Handle For Baking
Unlike wheat flour which coagulates with “protein” (gluten), the main component of rice flour is “starch”. Due to its high water absorption, it will be a moist and soft texture for baking.
If you are not allergic, you can enjoy the soft and moist texture by mixing 30% of the total amount of wheat flour with rice flour. The bread used rice flour tends to become hard due to the high water content. Reheat it in the microwave, it will be nice soft.
Moreover, Rice flour is less likely to become lumpy, so generally, it does not need to be sifted. It is also easy to combine with liquid, but it’s better to combine it with liquid just before baking to prevent separation.
There is no unique flavor in rice flour, so you can use it for almost any cooking includes baking. Of course, you can also make sweet sweets.
Note that you need to adjust the amount of water (or other liquid) in the recipe because rice flour contains water. Even following the recipe, the water absorption will differ depending on the types of rice flour.
Easy To Make Crispy Fried Food (& Cut Calories)
Also, rice flour doesn’t absorb much oil compared with wheat flour so the food will be crispy and less calorie when fried.
Looking at the oil absorption rate, it is 21% rice flour and 38% wheat flour.
Also, it does not become greasy even after a while.
Add Rice Flour To Thicken Soup & Gravy
As well as wheat flour or corn (potato) starch, rice flour also has the property to thicken liquid.
Moreover, rice flour is combined easier than wheat flour. So you can add the solution quickly without making a mess around even though you forgot to add it.
Easy To Clean.
Easy to clean! Since the particles are well-fine and smooth, rice flour can be easily rinsed off.
Enjoy Rice Flour More
Rice flour can produce various textures such as crispy, soft and moist, chewy.
It’s easy to use as a substitute for flour. Please try it with various recipes.