Cornstarch or cornflour is a simple and common ingredient in our kitchen. It is used for thickening liquid-based food like soups, making of corn syrup, and most especially for making gravy sauces like this shredded chicken sauce and this beef sauce. However, cornstarch and cornflour are often used interchangeably, they both mean the same thing.
This homemade cornstarch is very easy to prepare at your convenience as it requires only corn; either white or red corn. In fact, cornstarch is a good alternative to flour thickener especially in gravy sauce recipes and beef stew recipes. It is often preferred over flour due to its transparent glue-like result instead of opaque after being mixed with water.
Uses of Cornstarch
Cornflour is quite useful, cheap, and very versatile. Even though cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in food, it has numerous uses such as:
- As an anti-sticking agent in paper products
- People also use it in textile manufacturing, for gluing school projects
- Used as barter in fried foods
- It is used in medical therapy
Cornstarch also has the ability to double its thickening power and when added to a sauce, it blends easily with the sauce without adding any unwanted flavor to it. Cornstarch and all-purpose flour could be combined together to make a cake. This helps to soften the flour and creates a good texture and crumbs
However, if you want to know how to make cornstarch from corn, a few steps are involved which are well explained below. You should also watch the Youtube video below to see a more detailed explanation.
- 2 cups white or red corn
- Two medium bowls
- Cheesecloth/ sieve
Steps on how to make cornstarch at home
- Bring two cups of either white or yellow corn into a bowl.
- Add water to completely cover the corn and set aside to rest at one corner of the kitchen
- Let it stay at least overnight or for 2 two days.
- After that rinse the corn with clean water. Bring the soaked corn into a blender and add water to cover it, then blend until very smooth.
- Pass the paste over a strainer, add a little water and mix to allow it pass easily
- To get a very smooth consistency, strain it the second time by wrapping a cheesecloth or chiffon material over a bowl
- Tie the ends of the cloth at the bottom of the bowl and place the bowl over another bowl to have a stable surface.
- Now, pour the already strained corn over it gently using your hand to gently sweep the surface of the material for the paste to stain out easily. This is the method used for processing Akamu (corn pap).
- Once you are done and starch is all out, remove the material from the bowl and squeeze the water out and discard the fiber (the fiber can be used in poultry feed or as manure in your nursery farm).
- Leave the paste with the water to settle until the water is clear and a thick starch settles at the bottom of the bowl. Then strain out the liquid till it remains small. This process can be repeated until the water is completely strained out of the starch.
- Use a paper towel to soak up the little trace of water at the top of the starch.
- Now bring the thick paste on a flat surface and spread it out, sundry the wet starch for a whole day. If you’re located in a humid environment or use the oven to dry it.
- When dried, it will form some tiny crumbs, place in a coffee grinder and pulse it a few times to reduce the little crumbs.
- Once you have that smooth consistency like the store-bought cornstarch, empty it into an air-tight container and keep it safe from moisture.
- Now you have your homemade cornstarch powder, use it for your gravy sauces or any recipe that calls for cornstarch.
Dr. Brown is the founder of Jotscroll, he is a Medical Doctor, Entrepreneur, and author. Dr. Razi Brown holds a medical degree from the University of San Diego. He has invested in many startups and is currently working on his fifth book to be published in the upcoming year.