49 votes
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I never succeed in thickening sauces with pasta water. What am I doing wrong?

You seem to have the wrong expectations. No, it will never be as thickening as a cornstarch slurry. If that's the level of thickening you expect, you are really better off using the slurry. Don't ...
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  • 125k
20 votes
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Common ingredient to thicken the soup

There are lots of potential thickeners, but you often need to select the one that works best with your given need (temperature, if it has dairy, resulting mouthfeel, etc). In your case, you're ...
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  • 75.5k
18 votes

I never succeed in thickening sauces with pasta water. What am I doing wrong?

Think of your pasta water as a tool for emulsification, rather than "thickening." Adding pasta water to your condiment pan has the benefit of helping the condiment form an emulsified sauce that ...
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  • 64.6k
17 votes
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Possible to thicken gravy without flour or cornstarch?

Another thickener that is readily available is gelatin. This has the added advantage that its free of carbohydrate (if you are avoiding that).
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  • 932
15 votes

Possible to thicken gravy without flour or cornstarch?

Consider the use of gums, which are essentially thickening agents. Xanthan gum, a bacterial byproduct, can be used to thicken sauces. Here is an example of using xanthan + [pectin] (a plant sugar ...
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  • 376
13 votes

Possible to thicken gravy without flour or cornstarch?

Tapioca Starch - Add at the very end of cooking, it works quickly and has a pretty neutral flavour. You don't it to spend much/any time over heat. If you can't find it in your typical grocery store, ...
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13 votes
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Thicken stew/sauce twice with flour

A reaction that prevents starch from the same plant thickening if you add it later instead of all at the same time seems very unlikely. And anyway, a roux could be made with non-wheat flour even ...
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  • 38.6k
12 votes

How can I thicken egg yolks for a sauce?

Not a recipe, but I will share a technique. Using sous vide you can cook egg yolks to a consistency where they will behave like a sauce. You separate the yolks, and drop them into a container of oil,...
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  • 64.6k
11 votes
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How do I thicken tomato-based pasta sauce without adding starch?

Fresh tomatoes are insanely watery, so you're starting at a pretty big disadvantage here. Trying to fix it with a thickening agent alone might not be the best plan. That said, if you want a short ...
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  • 57.3k
11 votes

I never succeed in thickening sauces with pasta water. What am I doing wrong?

As moscafj said, pasta water cannot be understood as a thickening agent at all. In fact, I understand it as a thinning agent: after your sauce has boiled down to more of a paste (great taste, but not ...
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10 votes
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Is sugar a thickening agent?

While sugar makes a liquid thicker, it is not considered a thickening agent. Sugar is a crystal. When you add it to water, what you get is a simple solution. A solution of a solid in water is always ...
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  • 125k
10 votes
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How to thicken salad dressing

A very small amount of xanthan gum will work. It is commonly used in salad dressings. Be careful though, too much will result in an unpleasant texture that some describe as mucus-like. Maybe start ...
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10 votes
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How to decide whether to reduce a sauce or thicken it?

The best way to decide whether to reduce a sauce or to add a thickening agent is to taste it. If the flavour is as strong as you want it to be, then reduce it no further and add something to thicken ...
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  • 2,404
8 votes

Fixing too much corn starch

Corn starch is a thickener, but not right out of the box. It needs to be heated to gelatinize, which also gets rid of the chalky taste. If you tried to cook your random sauce now, you'd get a very ...
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  • 53.9k
8 votes

Common ingredient to thicken the soup

If you are looking for the basic and common ingredient to thicken the soup then I would suggest to go with Corn flour. All you need to do is mix corn flour in cold water. Add it into soup and stir ...
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7 votes
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Substitution for idealmjöl

The closest thing you are likely to find is a product called Wondra flour. Like idealmjöl, it is a pre-gelated wheat flour, but unlike idealmjöl it also includes some malted barley flour. One post ...
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  • 6,958
7 votes

Possible to thicken gravy without flour or cornstarch?

You can use cooked dry beans. I use baby Lima's, canned or freshly cooked. Do not rinse away the starch after you cook them. Cream them in a blender or food processor, place them in a skillet and ...
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  • 71
6 votes

What is bearnaise sauce thickened by?

The thickening in Bearnaise, as in mayonnaise, is not so much in the ingredients as in the technique. These sauces get their thickness by being emulsified. An emulsion is formed by rapidly mixing, ...
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  • 58k
6 votes
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Why do light and dark roux have different effects when thickening sauces?

You can visualise it like this: starch is the way that plants store energy, you can see it like long chains of glucose molecules. If you have these long chains, they lock in water at high temps (...
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  • 1,379
6 votes
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Can I add seasoning to the beurre manie?

Using roux - flavoured with curry powder and aromatics - is a well known, often used technique for japanese and chinese style curries. Your mileage may vary with beurre manie (known to be finicky), if ...
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6 votes

How to get the texture of commercial ketchup?

Try sugar. Per Heinz' website, the ingredients in their ketchup are: TOMATO CONCENTRATE FROM RED RIPE TOMATOES, DISTILLED VINEGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, SALT, SPICE, ONION ...
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  • 2,990
6 votes

How can a Bavarian cream that includes orange juice thicken with so much liquid?

The egg yolks can thicken the liquid when you heat it, like in a standard egg custard (the home made version, not the one made from custard powder). But this is a fairly tricky procedure: if you heat ...
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  • 1,147
6 votes

How to decide whether to reduce a sauce or thicken it?

You are on the right track. Reducing is when you let the cooking liquids gently evaporate until the resulting sauce is concentrated to your desired taste and consistency. Thickening is when some type ...
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  • 18.3k
5 votes

Best thickness for shaped pizza dough for good sliding from the peel/tray into the oven

Sliding well has nothing to do with weight or thickness, although too thin makes the dough prone to tearing. A generous spread of ground semolina under the pizza dough after shaping will keep it from ...
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  • 67.1k
5 votes

What is the difference between a thickener and an emulsifier?

As Max points out, emulsifiers work by allowing two normally incompatible ingredients to mix. There are different ways that emulsifiers do this. Lecithin, probably the most common emulsifier, can do ...
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  • 11.3k
5 votes

How do I thicken tomato-based pasta sauce without adding starch?

Cascabel has already given a thorough answer, but I'd like to offer some advice about reducing the sauce. Any time you are trying to get rid of liquid, you want as much surface area as possible. As ...
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  • 2,946
5 votes

What is the best way to thicken the liquid in this recipe?

If you are making a tortilla filler then you probably don't want that much sauce in the end product, so rather than thickening it you might want to consider reducing the amount of liquid that goes ...
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  • 67.1k
5 votes

Alternative thickener for soups and stews

Take one or two scoops of your soup (prefer the solid parts), put it into a blender, blitz until smooth and put it back into your soup. You'll get zero additional calories and zero awful stuff your ...
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  • 1,221
5 votes

How to thicken salad dressing

Most dressing is thickened by an emulsion, so @moscafj's answer of xanthan gum is probably the most direct improvement of this recipe if you're happy with the flavor balance. But another thing you ...
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  • 725
5 votes
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How to thicken watery gravy?

Your options are really limited to: Reducing, i.e. simmering until you have less of a thicker gravy, but then (i) you might not have enough and (ii) you risk overcooking the chicken (and some other ...
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