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Jul 12, 2008 11:27 AM

Wheat Starch?

I am trying to make a dough for a Chinese dumpling and the dough calls for wheat starch. I cannot find anything with that label. Seems like everything but. Bloomington is pretty diverse and I am surprised i can't just pick it up in any of our Asian groceries. Any tips for substitutions?

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  1. if you really can't find wheat flour you can substitute cornstarch, but the texture of your dumplings will suffer. however, i think you probably *do* have access to wheat starch & just don't know it.

    it's sometimes labeled as "wheaten cornflour" [no, it doesn't contain corn] or as "non-glutinous flour" - did you see either of those two products during your searches? they're typically available at asian groceries...

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      No not at any of them. All sorts of starches but no wheat. Not at any of our markets of any ethnicity.

      1. re: Candy

        odd. i guess as a last resort you could order it online...but that would obviously mean you can't make them this weekend :)

        like i said, you can try cornstarch, but the texture just won't be the same.

        good luck!

        1. re: Candy

          Have you tried health food stores or the health food section of larger supermarkets? You might have better luck there.

      2. Sounds like you're making those crystal shrimp dumplings...Look for something with these words on it 澄粉 in a Chinese store. Wheat starch is the by product/leftover starch from making wheat gluten, or 面筋. The wheat gluten bunches up when you wash the dough. The water from washing the dough is saved and set to let the powder settle to the bottom. Then the starches are dried and used for making those translucent crystal dumplings skin.

        I'm not sure what you could use as an substitute. Maybe Arrowroot flour? Or Yam starch? I can't be sure, though. Sorry.

        3 Replies
        1. re: HLing

          Yes the Chinese chive and shrimp dumplings. When I got my assignment and saw wheat starch dough, I thought no problem. Now it has become an obsession to find it. The book author was surprised I could not find it and so was I. I guess we are going to turn the filling into a fritatta for supper and have a few left over bao and a green salad.

          1. re: Candy

            chive and shrimp dumplings skin can also be made with all-purpose flour. It's a different skin, different study. All good.

            1. re: HLing

              Yes, I have made that before, but I am testing recipes for a book and am doing the best to follow the recipe given to me. Thanks for the suggestios. I am on a quest now!

        2. Wheat starch is used to make paste to repair books and documents, and is sold at library and art supply stores in dry form. This may help you, or not.

          5 Replies
            1. re: mnosyne

              while i'm not sure library paste would be food grade, this reminds me of the times we just take a few pieces of cooked rice (japanese short grain) to seal envelopes.

              1. re: HLing

                Way too late now for the OP but in case anyone else is looking, goodhealthgourmet is right, look for Wheaten Cornflour, probably cornstarch in the US, in your supermarket. Every supermarket will have it sitting with all the corn cornflour in the baking aisle.

                A lot of cheaper brands of cornflour/cornstarch are actually wheaten, ie they have no corn in them and the word "wheaten" is often in fine print or only disclosed in the ingredients list.

                At asian grocers look down. All the different starches you need for dumpling, noodle or weird dessert making are in packets in their boxes on the floor. They are cheap and there are lots of different brands but not all are chinese so you will also see thai or vietnamese writing. Here in Australia, they are generally labelled in English as well. Ask the shop keeper (good luck), almost every asian market will have these starches.

                Searching google images to see what possible packaging to look out for could be useful if your asian grocer is not...

                1. re: hillsbilly

                  This post was very helpful, thank you! I have been looking for Wheat Starch for about 3 months now, at various stores. And when I read "look down" I took that advise this weekend and found it at one of my favourite local Oriental grocers.

              2. re: mnosyne

                I found tapioca starch in the cleaning/ laundry section

              3. Only two years late, but wheat starch (non-glutinous wheat flour) can be found at: Also, I've made har gow wrappers using potato starch and they turned out very well. In fact the recipe I used called for potato starch and it seems much easier to find than wheat starch.

                2 Replies
                1. re: newkitchen2010

                  I actually found this thread because I was wondering exactly that; whether I could sub potato starch for wheat starch,so thankyouverymuch!

                  I also wanted to follow up by saying I just read, after my original post, that in Australia we process a lot of wheat so we have lots of wheat starch as a by product and I know in the US corn is the main grain so maybe you can't get it as easily as we do here?

                  1. re: newkitchen2010

                    After that Wheat Gluten scandal in China a few years ago , I would be very careful about the source of your wheat starch. Here is a link for importers. . Don't know why Bob's Red Mill does'nt have it ! ?

                  2. Late as has been noted, but since the thread has been resurrected:

                    I came across this site yesterday with instructions for how to make your own vital wheat gluten and starch:


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ZenSojourner

                      Yes, that site has pretty much taken its information from the cookbook "Cooking With Seitan" b The Complete Vegetarian "Wheat-Meat" Cookbook by Barbara Jacobs and Leonard Jacobs. Also a good seitan cookbook for starch crackers...etc. is I found a book at the library by Nina & Michael Shandler called "How to Make all the Meat You Eat Out of Wheat".