Lately, I've been looking at a few deep fried recipes and have noticed different types of refined starches being used.
As far as cornstarch goes, I've seen a sweet potato and Idaho/Russet (normal) potato fry recipes that used cornstarch for crispiness. This bon apetit recipe uses a light coating of cornstarch as well. In this Chinese recipe, the egg plant is coated with cornstarch for crispiness as well. It would appear, that cornstarch seems to be favored for light coating.
Flour, seems to be much more widely used for heavier battering. Flour seems to be paired with baking powder in a lot of buttermilk fried chicken or fish recipes.
I also found a un-cited forum post on chow-hound which claims:
Corn starch is a bit crispier than flour, but if you want best results fro a single-layer fry coating then rice flour is the best. -RealMenJulienne
My question is what would happen if you subbed cornstarch for the flour dredging in something like buttermilk chicken? More crispiness? What about rice flour, is that the crispiest?
How do you choose the best starch/flour when choosing to deep fry foods?
*Note, if the scope is too wide, let's answer this question in the context of fried chickens dredged vs. lightly coated.