ingingRice flour is a very common ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine and is used in many dishes. From banh xeo, banh cuon, to various types of rice paper or porridge, rice flour plays an important role in the cooking process. However, in addition to traditional dishes, there are many different ways to prepare flour to create fantastic and simple dishes at home. Let’s explore these exciting ways of preparing rice flour with Reconnect International in the article below.
1. Common types of rice flour
Rice flour is a versatile type of flour made from rice grains. The rice grain’s inner meat is ground into a fine powder after the outer layer is removed to create flour. The flour is known for its translucent white color and is a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes from different countries worldwide, particularly in Asian cuisine. Rice flour has a distinct chewy and elastic texture, making it a popular choice for preparing a variety of dishes, including cakes, rice paper, rolls, noodles, porridge, and even sweet desserts.
1.1. Brown rice flour
This flour is made from brown rice grains that are ground into a fine powder. Brown rice is unprocessed rice that has not had its outer shell removed, making it more nutritious than regular white rice. The flour has a light brown color and a characteristic flavor of brown rice. It is commonly used to prepare dishes and beverages such as cakes, steamed buns, sticky rice, porridge, juice, milk, soft drinks, and is considered a healthy and nutritious food ingredient. Two common types of brown rice flour are weight loss brown rice flour and lotus seed brown rice flour.
1.2. Ordinary rice flour
Ordinary rice flour is made from ordinary rice grains, also known as ordinary rice or large grain rice. This is a type of rice that has its husk retained after the hulling process. The husk of the rice contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than the rice kernel, making brown rice healthier than regular white rice.
1.3. Glutinous Rice Flour
This is a type of flour made from glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice or sweet rice. Glutinous rice has round, short grains that are thicker and stickier than regular rice, with a thin and non-adherent hull. When cooked, glutinous rice becomes sticky, making it a popular ingredient in traditional dishes across many Asian countries, such as glutinous rice cakes, sweet rice balls, sticky rice desserts, rice dumplings, and rice cakes with leaves.
1.4. Rice bran flour
Rice bran flour is a nutritious and healthy ingredient that is made from the outer layer of rice separated during the production of white rice. This outer layer contains a lot of fiber and nutrients which make it an ideal ingredient for food processing. To produce rice bran flour, the outer layer of rice is ground and impurities are removed to obtain a fine powder. Rice bran flour is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it a popular substitute for wheat flour or white flour in food processing.
|Please refer to Reconnect International’s rice products here.|
2. Are rice flour and rice starch the same?
Rice flour and rice starch have similarities in that both are produced from rice grains and are commonly used in food processing. However, the two types of flour have significant differences in production and application.
- Rice flour is a type of flour produced by grinding white or brown rice grains into a fine powder. It is commonly ingredients to make cakes, bread, cookies, tempura batter, rice noodles, turmeric powder, and many other dishes.
- Rice starch, on the other hand, is a type of starch extracted from rice grains. People made it by soaking the rice in water, grinding it into a slurry, and then separating the starch from the other components of the slurry. Rice starch is commonly used as a thickener in sauces, soups, and other dishes, and also as a coating for fried foods to make them crispy.
Due to their different production methods and applications, rice flour and rice starch cannot be used interchangeably in cooking.
3. What is a simple and delicious cake made from rice flour?
3.1. Rice flour cake soup
This is a traditional recipe for rice flour cake soup that you can refer to for making this delicious dish:
- 400g rice flour
- 500ml filtered water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- Mix the flour with salt and vegetable oil in a large bowl.
- Heat the water in a large pot.
- When the water is boiling, reduce the heat and use a spoon to scoop the flour mixture into the pot of boiling water, stirring the mixture evenly for about 3-5 minutes.
- If necessary, you can add water to the pot and stir to prevent the flour from sticking together.
- When the flour cake is cooked, fry some purple onions, pork, or shrimp, and some raw vegetables such as coriander, water spinach, and Chinese cabbage, and put them on top of the flour cake soup.
- Pour the soup into the bowl, sprinkle with pepper and fried onions on top, and it’s done.
- Rice flour cake soup can be served with pork, shrimp, fish, or vegetables depending on your preferences. In addition, rice flour cake soup is also often served with shrimp paste, fried garlic, or chili sauce according to taste.
|Read more: Brown rice noodles: Preparation, calorie content, and key notes
Tteokbokki (or Tokbokki) is a famous Korean street food made with rice cakes. Here’s how to make Tteokbokki using rice flour:
- 2 cups of rice flour (about 400g)
- 600ml of water
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of black bean paste
- 1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder
- 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper paste (if you want it spicier)
- 1 purple onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 100g of tofu
- 1 bunch of sweet cabbage, washed and chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- Some cooking oil
- Boil water in a pot, then add the flour and mix well until the dough is not sticky.
Take a small amount of dough, roll it into a ball, then flatten it into a round or flat shape as desired. Repeat until all the dough is used up.
- Boil water in a pot, then add the rice cakes and boil for about 5 minutes until cooked. Then remove the cakes from the pot and set aside.
- Heat some cooking oil in a pan and add the garlic and purple onion. Fry until fragrant.
- Add water, sugar, soy sauce, black bean paste, chicken bouillon powder, red pepper paste, and tofu into the pan, stir well and bring to a boil.
- Add the cooked rice cakes to the pan and stir with the sauce for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the chopped cabbage to the pan and stir.
- Finally, beat egg to the pan and stir.
- Serve on a plate and enjoy with rice or raw vegetables.
3.3. Steamed banana cake
Steamed banana cake with rice flour is a popular snack in Vietnamese cuisine. Here is a simple recipe:
- 3-4 ripe bananas
- 1 cup of rice flour (about 250g)
- 1/2 cup of tapioca starch (about 60g)
- 1/2 cup of sugar (about 100g)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 cup of coconut milk (about 200ml)
- Fresh banana leaves for wrapping the cakes
- Mix together the flour, tapioca starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, and coconut milk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
- Prepare the bananas by cutting them in half lengthwise and then slicing them into pieces about 1cm thick.
- Take one slice of banana and place it on a fresh banana leaf. Spread a thin layer of the flour mixture on top of the banana slice, then fold the leaf around the banana to completely wrap it.
- Repeat with the remaining banana slices.
- Bring a pot of water to boil for steaming.
- Place the wrapped banana cakes in a steaming basket and steam for about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the cakes are cooked, turn off the heat and remove the basket from the pot.
- Use a knife to cut the cakes into bite-sized pieces.
- Garnish the cakes with fresh coconut or coconut milk, and enjoy!
|Read more: What is black rice? The health benefits of black rice
4. Should this flour be given to babies for weaning?
Feeding babies with rice flour is a very good and popular choice, as it has many benefits for their health. Here are some reasons why this flour is a good choice for baby weaning:
- Easy to digest: This flour is smoother and softer than other types of food, making it very easy for babies to digest.
- Rich in nutrients: This flour contains many nutrients such as protein, vitamin B, iron, and other essential minerals for the baby’s development.
- Non-allergenic: This flour does not contain gluten, a type of protein that can cause allergies in some infants and young children.
- Easy to prepare: This flour is very easy to prepare and can be used to cook many different types of food for babies, such as corn flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, etc.
However, when feeding babies with rice flour, you should make sure to choose pure flour, without any other types of flour mixed in. Additionally, you should follow the guidance and advice of doctors and nutrition experts to ensure that your baby receives enough nutrients and develops well.
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