Sweet Rice Flour vs Glutinous Rice Flour – Are They The Same?

It’s quite difficult to tell the difference between sweet rice flour vs glutinous rice flour, but what if I told you they are the same? What if I said you have been unable to get the differences because they are essentially the same?

Keep reading this article to learn more.

What is rice flour?

Rice flour, which is also called rice powder, is a form of flour you make from finely milled rice. It is used as a wheat flour substitute, especially for people who are gluten sensitive.

You can also use it as a thickening agent for recipes that you refrigerated or frozen because it inhibits the separation of liquid. Rice flour can be made with white rice or brown rice.

To make the flour, remove the husk of rice or paddy for you to obtain rice and then grind it into flour.

What is sweet rice flour?

Sweet rice flour is starchy flour you make into powder from short-grain sticky rice. You can also label it as glutinous rice flour and mochiko flour.

Sweet rice flour is like glue even though it contains no gluten, and although people call it sweet, it is not sweet.

The sweet rice has a very mild and delicate flavor. It is the best flour to make the popular delicious Japanese rice cake, commonly called mochi. Sweet rice flour has two forms of starch.

This rice flour contains amylase and amylopectin starch which are responsible for its glue-like properties.

The starch content enables the proteins to stick together. If you have ever tried it, you would know recognize it for its chewiness.

The stickiness can mimic the elasticity of gluten. Sweet rice flour is excellent at absorbing fluid, which makes it easy for you to use it to make smooth gluten-free gracias and sauces.

What is glutinous rice flour?

Glutinous rice is Oryza sativa var. It is commonly known and called sticky rice, waxy rice, or sweet rice. This type of rice is grown mainly in northeastern India, Bhutan, and east and southeast Asia.

It has opaque grains, and it is very sticky when you cook it. People across Asia widely consume it.

Contrary to what many think, it does not contain gluten and differs from the non-glutinous strains of japonica rice, which is also sticky when you cook it.

Sweet rice flour vs glutinous rice flour

They are the same. Glutinous rice flour and sweet rice flour are ground forms of long and short-grain sweet white rice. The names are used interchangeably.

You will find that the grains are typically solid white, and even though they are tagged sweet, they do not taste sweet at all.

The grains do not contain gluten but become very chewy when you cook or heat them. Sweet rice flour is an excellent thickener for gravies and sauces.

The flour tends to separate when you combine it with water. When adding it to a batter, stir it well to remove any settling before you cook.

Glutinous rice flour is raw flour, so you must cook it before consumption. Do not eat it raw to avoid health complications.

Uses of sweet and glutinous rice flour

1. You can use it to bake

Glutinous rice flour is a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. It gives you perfect baked goods that do not crumble.

The best reason for using glutinous rice flour is its glue-like binding properties. The high starch contained in sticky rice mimics the elasticity of gluten when you heat it and add it to liquid.

To enjoy all the benefits of baking with sweet rice flour to bake, mix it with gluten-free flour.

2. Thickener for sauces and batters

Sweet rice flour is not only used to bake, but it also makes an excellent thickener for gluten-free savory recipes.

Glutinous rice flour has an amazing quality that keeps liquid from separating. It is an excellent thickener for sauces and gravies without having an overbearing taste or texture.

You can use it in place of all-purpose flour in sauces that you make with a roux.

Use this flour to make gluten-free sauces and batters such as gravies, bechamel sauce, pancake batter, or cheese sauce.

Advantages of sweet and glutinous rice flour

1. High in fiber

Choosing the high fiber diet does not only aid your body to eliminate waste. There is a high possibility it will help you lower your cholesterol and keep your blood sugar levels in check.

You may never even realize that it helped you reduce the risk of colon disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and diverticular disease. Enjoy rice flour with foods that contain plenty of fiber.

2. Great gluten-free option

Rice flour is made from gluten-free grains. This makes it the best choice for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

Rice flour gives you the results you’ll get from gluten flour but it is gluten-free.

3. May help maintain healthy liver function

Sweet rice flour is rich in choline. Choline helps transport cholesterol and triglycerides from your liver to where they’re needed. Therefore, it may help you maintain a healthy and strong liver.

Your body also requires choline to maintain essential components of its membranes.

Disadvantages of sweet and glutinous rice flour

1. It contains less folate

Rice flour is low in folate. It does not offer up to 14 percent of the daily recommendation of folate.

Folate helps to remove homocysteine from your blood. This process may also lower the risk of you having cardiovascular disease.

Folate is also essential for pregnant women. It’s necessary for the production and advancement of new cells, which is helpful during the development of pregnancy.

2. It does not have enough phytonutrients

Glutinous rice flour provides essential cancer-fighting phytonutrients called lignans, but it’s not enough. Lignans can assist you in balancing estrogen levels in your body.

You should also eat foods that contain these lignans so they may help lower the risk of cancer and reduce cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease. This will help supplement what is not in sweet rice flour.


Can you substitute glutinous rice flour for all-purpose flour?

Yes, you can. You should be careful and use it in the right recipes because of how sticky sweet rice gets.

Are rice flour and sweet rice flour the same?

No, they are not. Although they are both finely ground rice, they are made from different types of rice. Rice flour is made from medium or long-grain rice while sweet rice flour is made from glutinous rice.

Can you use rice flour and sweet rice flour interchangeably?

No, you can’t. The two flours are very distinct and are used in different recipes. Rice flour will not give you the stickiness of sweet rice flour.


Sweet rice flour and glutinous rice flour are essentially the same types of rice flour. The terms are used interchangeably, and this flour makes a great addition to any meal.

If you are gluten tolerant or suffering from celiac, then it’s excellent for you. Feel free to experiment with different recipes to see what you like best.

Thank you for reading.

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