This is a picture of arrow-root flour and tapioca flour which I usually buy from the store. There are many brands out there. I will add more pictures later.
Flours that usually use in Thai cooking are :
1. Rice flour : made from rice. Usually it's the same as jasmine rice. It doesn't contain much gluten as all purpose flour. This one has white colour and comes in both fresh and dry form. I usually use the dry one. The fresh one can be use with the same recipe as dry one. Just decrease the amount of water use in the recipe. Usually you won't find much of the fresh one. Besides, it's has to be used by the time purchased or it will spoil in a few days.
2. Tapioca flour : Made from Tapioca. It's a root vegetable, same like potato. It gives the food starchy texture. Mostly use in desserts and many dishes.
3. Arrow root flour : Made from Arrow root. It's the same family as tapioca. This one also gives the starchy texture to the soup or desserts. Sometime can be use in substitute of Tapioca flour.
4. Mung bean flour : Made from Mung bean. This is usually be used in desserts mostly. It gives the dessert fine and soft delicate texture.
5. Glutinous rice flour : Made from Glutinous rice. It has both black and white kind. Use in desserts only as far as I know. This one has a fragrant smell of rice when used in making desserts, too.
6. Corn starch : This one is used mostly in soup and sauces. It gives fine, thick body to the liquid. It can also be used in desserts also, but rarely. I prefer to use corn starch in soup and sauces more than tapioca flour because somehow tapioca seems to change the taste and smell of the food when added the last.
These flours can be found in any Asia food store. Once you get to know and use it, you will know the differences between each flour. Since I will add more recipes that included these flours. You will not waste any flour that you bought in your pantry ;)
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