Rice flour is milled flour that is made by grinding the inner kernels of long-grain brown or white rice. This gluten-free flour lends a chewy, stretchy texture to various dishes and is a staple ingredient in Asian cuisine. Rice flour is commonly used in gluten-free baking. You can partially swap it for [wheat flour](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/guide-to-wheat-flour) in combination with another gluten-free flour, such as tapioca, sorghum, or [almond flour](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/almond-flour-recipe), depending on the recipe. \n\nRice flours are an excellent pantry staple that you can use in a few different ways:\n\n1. __As a batter base__: Gluten content determines a batter’s texture. While [all-purpose flour](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/cake-flour-vs-all-purpose-flour) is a go-to option for dishes such as fried fish (its average protein content leads to a thick, semi-dense crust), white rice flour absorbs less fat when fried in oil, leaving the surface dry and crispy, rather than greasy. This texture is ideal for tempura.\n2. __For dredging__: When panfrying fish or tofu, first coat filets or slices in rice flour before dredging in egg and panko. Rice flour offers substantial breading with an airy quality. \n3. __As a thickening agent__: White rice flour, brown rice flour, and sweet rice flour all naturally inhibit liquid separation. You can use them as thickening agents, similar to cornstarch, potato starch, xanthan gum, or [sorghum](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-cook-with-sorghum) flour. To thicken a sauce or stew, start by stirring in about two to three tablespoons of rice flour.\n4. __To prevent dough from sticking__: Rice flour does not contain gluten, so it can help prevent dough from sticking as you roll it out without affecting the bake (like all-purpose flour).\n5. __For sweets__: Rice flour gives baked goods a chewy, sticky texture. *Mochiko* and *shiratamako*, glutinous rice flour made from short-grain *mochigome*, are key ingredients in mochi (sweet rice cakes) and *kashi dango* (sweet dumplings). \nTo make a DIY batch, you’ll need a clean coffee grinder and the rice of your choice. Grind ¼ cup raw white rice at a time. Sift to remove debris leftover from the hulls and achieve a finer texture.\n\nHomemade rice flour may not yield the same results as commercial rice flour production, where the rice is put through a rigorous washing process to remove the outer hulls and expose the inner kernel before milling. \n\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Niki Nakayama, Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, and more.\nPowder-fine rice flour is a great way to ensure an airy, crispy texture or build a gluten-free treat.