Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 21, 2012 03:26 PM

Mango kills corn starch's thickening

When I make a stir fry and add fresh mango, any thickening from the corn starch disappears. Some enzyme thing I guess. It doesn't matter if I thicken the sauce first then add the mango, or add the mango and then try to thicken it.

So, how do you thicken the sauce when using mango?

I see tapioca starch and potato starch in asian markets. Use one of these instead?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I suspect that the mango has an enzyme like Papaya has which breaks down your sauce. I wonder if you coated your meat in flour before frying, would it give a thicker option?

    1. Could be its acidity

      "Choose arrowroot if you're thickening an acidic liquid. Cornstarch loses potency when mixed with acids."

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        Correct: use cornstarch for dairy-based sauces, and arrowroot for more acidic ones.

      2. Tapioca starch should work; not sure about potato starch. Tapioca starch would be my first choice.

        1. Add the mango, diced, on top, when serving...?

          1. I bought the tapioca starch. I had two mangos and I made the dish twice. The starch thickens immediately. I put in the same amount as corn starch and it became like glue. Then I added the mango and all of the thickening went away. Just like corn starch.

            The second time I had the mango in the sauce and up to temp and then added the starch. It thickened right away and I then served it. As it sat on the plate while eating it started to loosen. So, that's ok, but not ideal.

            Mango just on top is ok but you don't get the mango flavor in the sauce as much.

            I don't think it's acidity. I've added orange juice to other stir frys and corn starch thickens just fine.