Using Arrowroot as a Thickener

Using Arrowroot

(Maranta arundinacea) A fine, white powder with a starch content of 80 percent. It is extracted from a tropical plant by pulverizing the rhizomes and washing them in water to obtain a milky liquid which, after further washing and drying, yields the fine grains of starch.

It is used as a thickener, and often added to rice flour in Thai dessert dishes. It is also used in China to make a variety of clear noodle, slightly tinged with yellow, with a rectangular shape (as distinct from the fine round strands or flat ribbon shapes of bean starch noodles) and a unique texture.

As a thickener, arrowroot starch is considered superior to cornflour in clarity and viscosity, and has no taste of its own, although overcooking will cause the starch to break down and the sauce to separate.

An ingredient long known to the West for its easy digestibility (hence its suitability for infants and invalids), arrowroot jelly is taken to stop diarrhea.

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