A Complete Guide to Glutinous Rice Flour

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A Complete Guide to Glutinous Rice Flour

Glutinous Rice Flour

We use various types of flour in our cuisines, such as all-purpose flour, wheat flour, maze flour, rice flour and many more. While there are many ways you can use these flour products, such as to thicken the soup or layer a frying item, each flour has different characteristics. That is why each flour is best used for specific tasks and taste perfect when paired with certain other food products.

This article will talk about glutinous rice flour, how it’s made, and why you should incorporate it in your meals for a healthy diet. We will also answer the many questions surrounding glutinous rice to debunk any false assumptions/myths. So get your reading caps on and dive straight into this informative article.

What is glutinous rice flour?

Glutinous rice flour, also known as sweet flour, is sourced from glutinous rice. The rice is put through a treatment process that converts it into a white or light brownish powder form.

As many of you may already know, glutinous rice has a rich history and are a community favourite in many parts of Asia. These rice are known to be sticky and relatively mushy from other types due to a more significant presence of Amylopectin.

Regardless of what the name may suggest, these rice have no gluten. Instead, the terminology originates from its glue-like texture that forms a sticky, chewy treat for many people to enjoy. Being extremely popular in China, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries, glutinous rice has become a part of the traditional cuisine as a popular entrée.

It is important to note that although glutinous rice is known as sweet rice, there is no sweet component in them. They are taste-neutral like regular rice, where the only difference comes in their composition.

Why should you use glutinous rice flour?

Glutinous rice flour has many applications when it comes to Asian cuisine. You can use it to make a range of food items that will leave you licking your fingers (or chopsticks). Here are a few options you can try at home:

  • Dumplings
  • Asian Desserts
  • Thickener for soup, sauce or gravy
  • Sushi

Benefits of using glutinous rice flour:

Now that we’re well aware of the different characteristics exhibited by glutinous rice flour, you may be wondering about the possible benefits of adding it to your diet. So we are listing a few down below. Take a look:

  • Helps Manage Chronic Illnesses:

Glutinous rice is known to contain many vitamins and minerals that are excellent antioxidants. Take selenium, for example, which is one of the primary constituents of this chewy treat. It is an incredibly beneficial mineral that lowers the risk of chronic diseases and battles oxidation-induced stress.

  • Aids Patients with Diabetes:

If you’re a diabetic patient, adding glutinous rice flour to your diet can help you practice better glycemic control to stay fit. It can help you adhere to your daily medications and dietary exercises while proving incredibly beneficial for your health.

  • Boosted Metabolism:

Some studies have also suggested that a regular intake of glutinous rice flour can help you stabilize and boost your metabolism. Since this type of rice is rich in Vitamin B, it can help your body create enzymes, balance your hormone and conduct other vital metabolic processes.

  • Anti-inflammatory Properties:

Often stress can lead to inflammatory nerves that may cause distress and unease in the affected person. However, glutinous rice flour contains copper and zinc combined with Vitamin B to give your body an all-in-one package to medical heaven. It can help you boost your immune system and eliminate any inflammation on your nerves, so you stay stress-free.

  • Increased Bone-Density and Heart Health:

Although not fully backed by medical experts, glutinous rice flour is also known to lower the risk of Osteoporosis in senior citizens. People claim that this benefit comes from many helpful minerals that help you strengthen your bones.

Additionally, since there is little to no oil content in these rice, they can be an excellent option for people trying to stay on a strict diet to lose weight. You can also greatly benefit from the no-fat constituency if you suffer from heart conditions or high blood pressure.

Where can you buy glutinous rice flour?

Luckily, getting your hands on these delicious and medically marvellous rice is not all difficult as they are readily available at most local markets. You can find the label, ‘sweet rice’ (as most brands market it with that name), and choose the one from a reputable company. Make sure that the rice grains are short in size and are priced reasonably.

If you find it difficult to head over to the local store, you can find many online options. For example, Amazon has some great options for anyone to order glutinous rice straight to their home. However, always remember to keep an eye on customer reviews and conduct extensive research before making the final purchase. 

This way, you won’t have any regrets, and you’ll be able to take pleasure out of your glutinous rice flour meals as they are meant to be enjoyed.

Glutinous rice flour vs Normal Rice Flour:

The question that gets asked a lot by the general public and many culinary enthusiasts is the difference between glutinous rice flour and regular rice flour. We are here to answer this question once and for all.

Regular rice flour exhibits almost the same properties as glutinous rice flour, but subtle differences set them apart. Foremost, the Amylopectin concentration is a lot more in glutinous rice than in regular rice. This characteristic gives the former its sticky texture as a significant amount of starch is released while cooking. On the other hand, normal rice is Amylose-rich, which provides them with their sturdy, long shape.

While both these rice types have their perfect applications, they are often interchanged in various recipes. But there are some food items you can’t possibly imagine without glutinous rice. For instance, Sushi can be a great example to back our point.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some readers may still have some queries about glutinous rice flour, so we are listing some frequently asked questions that can help clear out many doubts and answer most of your questions. Take a look:

Is rice flour the same as glutinous rice flour?

Although used interchangeably in many parts of the world, rice flour and glutinous rice flour are not the same. Each of them is sourced from a different type of rice that gives it specific characteristics the other one doesn’t contain.

For instance, as we mentioned, rice flour is made out of long-grain rice, also known as Japonica. While on the other hand, glutinous rice flour comes from short-grain rice known to be sticky and full of starch. The glutinous rice flour offers a more chewy meal with grains hugging each other in sheer harmony.

What is a substitute for glutinous rice flour?

If you don’t find your regular supply of glutinous rice flour at home, don’t worry. We have a range of alternatives you can use to carry out your kitchen endeavours and enjoy your chewy meals to the fullest. We are listing glutinous rice flour substitutes down below:

  • Tapioca Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Almond Flour
  • Sorghum Flour
  • Coconut Flour
  • Cornstarch

However, it is essential to note that these substitutes may not provide you with the optimum taste that glutinous rice flour brings to the table. So if you’re too lazy to step out of the house to get actual glutinous rice flour, you’ll probably have to make a minor compromise.

Does glutinous rice flour have gluten?

No. It is a common misconception among many people that glutinous rice has high amounts of gluten. However, that is not the case. There is zero gluten present in glutinous rice.

We can understand how the name can be misleading to the general public, but here the word ‘glutinous’ stems from the fact that these rice have a sticky, gluey texture that sets them apart from regular rice.

Can I use tapioca flour instead of glutinous rice flour?

Yes. You can use tapioca flour instead of glutinous rice if you find yourself in a situation where the latter is unavailable. It is also a great substitute option in the sense that you’ll need the exact amount of tapioca flour as glutinous rice flour to prepare your meal. This way, you can navigate through the recipe easily without spending any time figuring out the correct quantity.

Additionally, a pro-tip: tapioca flour is best used as a substitute when you’re making baked goods.


Glutinous rice flour has cemented its place among Asian cuisine, and it is safe to assume that it is here to stay for many more years. For people who have never tried this delicacy, we urge you to take the leap and introduce your taste buds to the wonders of sweet rice flour.

We hope that our aim to provide you with all the necessary information about glutinous rice flour through this detailed buying guide was a success. And now you can quickly go out to the nearest market to get your hands on the best products without feeling lost. Bon Appetite!

Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!