Best Tapioca Starch Substitute

Tapioca is a common thickening agent used in a variety of dishes, snacks, and drinks – and even in item manufacturing. It’s known to be a great alternative for people suffering from gluten allergies as well as sustenance for folks on a paleo-diet. Perfect for a wide variety of recipes in need of thickening without affecting the flavor.

With its origins dating back as far as the 1500s in South America, tapioca is also commonly used in Asian cuisines – especially in Thailand, where tapioca starch is also known as a side dish rather than as a thickener. Although this type of starch is largely used around the world, it’s not a very common household item that people keep in their pantry. If a recipe calls for tapioca starch, then here are some alternatives to consider:

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot starch is the next best thing to tapioca flour because of the similar qualities it possesses. Also known as a neutral-tasting thickener, it also gives the food a glossier and clearer aspect to the dish. This is also perfect for people who have gluten allergies.

Potato Starch

Yet another common substitute for tapioca, potato starch is an ideal substitute if arrowroot starch is not available. This starch also has a neutral flavor profile and works almost the same as tapioca starch. Do take note that when using potato starch as a substitute, use less starch than instructed to obtain the best results.

Corn Starch

Corn starch is yet another potential substitute for tapioca starch – but only when the other two options are not available. Since this is also commonly used for thickening dishes, the biggest downside of corn starch is that it doesn’t mix well with sugar as well as a high volume of food acids, leaving your dish thick and chalky in texture.

Heavy Cream

Another potential substitute is heavy cream. Because of the thickness it gets from fat, it is a nice alternative for many dishes – the only downside is that it can add noticeable richness, which can be good or bad, depending on the type of dish being prepared.

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