Arrowroot; The Mercedes of Thickeners

Discussion in 'The Good Life' started by The Scent Fairy, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. The Scent Fairy

    The Scent Fairy New Member

    Anyone ever used arrowroot before?

    The French use it to make the most sparklingly clear sauces. The Chinese use it also. I discovered it a couple of years ago in an Asian market. Of course you can get it in any large supermarket, but what you get for your money is a complete ripoff. One tiny bottle of it and they charge you a king's ransom. Better to go to an Asian market and get it there. I get it in an 8 oz box for less than $2.00.

    You use it the same way that you'd use cornstarch, but with a slight difference. Measure out your arrowroot, same as you would cornstarch and mix it with your liquid. The difference is that, unlike cornstarch, you have to lower your heat to a simmer and then add the slurry. It'll look milky, at first, but begin to clear and thicken. The minute it turns clear, turn the heat off. Arrowroot is delicate and will break down if you allow it to boil. Get ready for sparkling, clear sauces with no starchy taste.

    Bon Apitit
  2. Mama Bear

    Mama Bear New Member

    Oh Wonderful! A Cook! Is this something that you would use to thicken up a stew Gary??
  3. fuerein

    fuerein New Member

    Never heard of the stuff. Out of curiousity, what type of recipes would it be used in rather than cornstarch? I know you said sauces, but I honestly don't think I've ever seen a clear sauce.
  4. DragonBoy

    DragonBoy Team Player

    In many asiatic foods you have clear sauces thickened with arrowroot.. I havent used it much (Its damn expensive, at least in Sweden) but it works like magic..
  5. The Scent Fairy

    The Scent Fairy New Member


    I use it exclusively in my Chinese recipes instead of cornstarch for thickening. You get a sauce that coats your ingredients like diamonds but doesn't have that starchy taste you sometimes get with cornstarch when you don't cook it long enough.

    I've also used it in chicken gravy instead of flour and I can say it doesn't get heavy like the flour thickened ones. For stews, I'd stick to the flour. Reheating them would break down the arrowroot and you'd wind up with soup instead.

    For a good dessert sauce, try defrosting a package of frozen strawberries or raspberries and simmering them. Then add 2 teasp. of arrowroot mixed in 1 tbsp. of water. Add it to the simmering berries and cook til it's clear. Voila! You'll pour liquid rubies over that pound cake or ice cream. Yum.
  6. Mama Bear

    Mama Bear New Member

    Oh Man.. this sounds like it is going to be a staple! Is there a good place online to buy this Gary?
  7. The Scent Fairy

    The Scent Fairy New Member

    You can go to and get 20oz of it for only $6.08. If you buy it in the super market, I believe the Spice Islands brand costs just about $7.00 for a measly 1 1/2 to 2oz bottle. Check them out. If you need staples, they're the place to go to stock up, and at wholesale prices.
  8. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid


    Would arrowroot make a suitable "thickener" for an ASB? (or ASG) a safer alternative to chemicals,
  9. Mama Bear

    Mama Bear New Member

    BRILLIANT question Joe!! Gary, what say you on this dear??? I LOVE the idea!
  10. qhsdoitall

    qhsdoitall Wilbur

  11. The Scent Fairy

    The Scent Fairy New Member

    What in heaven's name are those?
  12. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    After shave Balm:)

    After Shave Gel
  13. The Scent Fairy

    The Scent Fairy New Member

    Well, Sue, I'm wondering if a better choice would be one of the alginates, like extract of Irish Moss or Agar Agar. These are natural thickeners, derived from seaweed. I'm afraid that the arrowroot is a starch, and as such, will need a preservative to keep it from either fermenting of becoming contaminated by bacteria. I'll look around and see if there are any preservatives that are based on natural oils that can be used instead of lab created ones.
  14. TraderJoe

    TraderJoe Pink Floid

    You may be on to something there. I believe Art of Shaving uses a seaweed-derived thickener in their ASB (possibly Agar Agar).

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