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May 29, 2007 09:17 PM

Potato starch or corn starch?

Any difference?

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  1. Not much (unless you are a potato or a corn cob).

    Cornstarch can be used for baking cakes.

    Potato flour can be used as a subtle thickener.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Careful that potato starch and potato flour are not the same thing. It can end in disaster for some recipes (ask any newly dxed celiac who buys the wrong one!)

      1. re: jsaimd

        Oops--missed that one. You're right!

    2. For thickening, I usually use potato starch--you need less of it, it has a more "neutral" flavor, and it can tolerate a higher heat.
      Potato starch also works well to make a tender cake (part potato starch, part flour), in recipes that have a lot of egg to hold the structure. (sponge cake, torta mantovana, etc.)

      1. When used as a coating for frying, potato starch seems to crisp a little better than corn starch.

        1. Potato anc corn starch can be used interchangeably in many applications. Potato starch is used in almost all of them in Europe, as opposed to cornstarch.

          As well, potato starch doesn't clump up and lose it's oomph if boiled the way cornstarch does. and potato starch is kosher. not sure if cornstarch always is.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefJune

            As they are both vegetable, they are both kosher.

            However cornstarch being from a grain, is not kosher for passover.
            Potato starch should be. Sponge cake is a classic passover dessert, made with potato starch and/or matzo cake meal (ie, very finely ground matzo).

          2. It depends what you're using it for. When mixed and heated to a jello like consistency, corn starch is more chunky, breaks apart, and has a powdery aftertaste. Potato starch is more gooey, viscous, and stretchy. I know this from making Taiwanese oyster pancakes with both. the potato starch is the texture we go for.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pei

              I tried the potato starch as a gravy thickener and I liked it better than cornstarch. It heats back up and still looks like gravy the next day!