Rice Flour is a powder obtained by grinding white rice or brown rice after removing the husk of the rice. Rice flour is also known as ‘komeko’ or ‘mochiko’ in Japanese. Rice flour is a popular substitute for wheat flour, for people who are allergic to gluten in the wheat.
Rice cultivation is known to have started in Asia around 10,000 B.C. However, it was brought to the American colonies not earlier than the 17th century.
Preferred Methods of Cooking
Rice flour can be used to make a batter or dough. This batter or dough can then be baked, boiled, fried, steamed to make a variety of dishes.
Cuisines and Popular Recipes
Rice flour is popularly used in Japanese, Indian, Chinese and South East Asian cuisines to make popular dishes like mochi in Japan, pancakes and sondesh in Bangladesh, neer dosa, mantou, cascaron in South East Asian countries. Rice flour may also be used by itself or in combination with other ingredients to make bread, baby food, cereals, pasta, noodles, pancakes, muffins, cookies and Iranian kheer. It also works as a thickening agent and is widely used in preparation of custards, puddings, gravies and sauces.
Rice Flour is rich in minerals and vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and manganese. Rice flour is also rich in carbohydrates. Intake of rice flour in daily diet helps to promote healthy blood pressure, supports nervous, cardiovascular and immune system function and helps in transporting oxygen throughout the body. It is also known to be beneficial for patients with chronic kidney disease and impaired kidney function.
Buying and Storing
Rice flour is easily available in most groceries and kitchen supply stores as well as online stores. Alternatively, it can even be prepared at home by following a simple process of grinding it in small batches. It is best to store rice flour in airtight containers to prevent it from spoiling. It can even be kept in the refrigerator for extending its shelf life. The white rice flour has an indefinite shelf life if stored properly. However, brown rice flour can be stored to a maximum of 5 months, but may spoil sooner because of the oil content from the bran. Refrigerating the rice flour removes the possibilities of it getting spoilt.
Brown Rice Flour – This is prepared by grinding brown rice. Brown rice retains the outer layer and is more nutritious. It has a light brown or red color.
White Rice Flour – This flour is made from white rice which does not have the outer layer of the rice – the bran. It is less nutritious than brown rice flour. It has a white color.
Sweet Rice Flour – This is made by grinding the sweet rice which is known as Glutinous Rice, although it contains no gluten.
Rice flour is also used for industrial purposes such as producing motor oil, plastic telephone, medicated animal feeds and as a source of fuel for electricity.