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How do I tell if it's tapioca starch or cornstarch?

lyntc10 Jun 4, 2009 01:11 PM

Ok, I want to make pudding. I have a jar of a white powder that is either cornstarch or tapioca starch. The recipe calls for cornstarch and I thought I had figured out that it was cornstarch because I tried to see if I could make "oobleck" with it and it worked...but then I did some research and found out that you can make oobleck with tapioca starch too...So, can I just substitute tapioca starch into the recipe (it's a recipe for chocolate pudding, pretty much alton brown's recipe_? If not, how can I tell if it's tapioca starch or cornstarch?

  1. fmed Jun 4, 2009 01:18 PM

    You should be able to sub between the two. Tapioca starch will make a clearer cooked slurry than corn starch due to its lower protein content.

    1. hannaone Jun 4, 2009 02:35 PM

      some info on different starches here:

      3 Replies
      1. re: hannaone
        fmed Jun 4, 2009 02:51 PM

        Here's a relevant snippet from that site:

        "Cornstarch is the best choice for thickening dairy-based sauces. Arrowroot becomes slimy when mixed with milk products. "

        1. re: fmed
          paulj Jun 4, 2009 05:17 PM

          though tapioca and arrowroot are not the same. Tapioca pudding, made with milk, is not slimy (ok that uses the pearls, not the flour, but sauce thickening should be similar).

          1. re: paulj
            fmed Jun 4, 2009 05:54 PM

            A yes. My mistake. Tapioca should be fine then.

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