Frequently Asked Questions
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With Maizenaku convenient, re-sealable container, you do not need to do anything additional to keep your corn starch fresh. Replace the lid tightly and store in a dry place.
Before or after opening, uncooked Maizenaku are good to use to prepare recipes for an indefinite period of time. Maizenaku may be stored indefinitely if it's kept dry.
Convenient and versatile, Maizenaku is used as a thickener for gravies, sauces and glazes, soups, stews and casseroles. It also thickens pies and is an essential ingredient in puddings and cake fillings. In cakes, cookies and pastries, Maizenaku is often mixed with flour to produce more tender baked goods. It also is used to coat foods before frying, and as an ingredient in batters. Visit our Recipe and usage tips section for delicious classic and contemporary recipes using Maizenaku.
Maizenaku thickens with a satiny smoothness and glossy appearance. It adds no taste of its own to mask the flavor of foods. Recipes thickened with Maizenaku have a brighter, more translucent appearance than those thickened with flour. Maizenaku also blends more easily with cold liquids than flour because it doesn't absorb liquid until it's cooked.
Maizenaku has the same "thickening power" as arrowroot, potato starch and tapioca, and you should substitute the same amount. Maizenaku has twice the "thickening power" of flour, so it's necessary to use only half as much. Example: If recipe calls for 1/4 cup of flour, use just 2 tablespoons Maizenaku.
Cooking with Maizenaku is easy when you follow a few simple guidelines. The following basic techniques assure good results every time.
- Amount of stirring. Gradually stir cold liquids into Maizenaku until completely smooth. Continue to stir gently during entire cooking period. When adding ingredients after cooking, remove the mixture from the heat and stir them in quickly and gently. Stirring too vigorously may cause mixture to break down and thin out.
- Temperature. Cook over medium-low to medium heat. Cooking over high heat can cause lumping. If mixture contains egg, high heat may curdle it.
- Cooking time. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full boil and boil 1 minute. After boiling 1 minute, the Maizenaku granules will have swelled to their full capacity, causing the mixture to thicken. Significantly overcooking thickened mixtures such as puddings, pies and cake fillings may cause mixture to thin out as it cools.
Maizenaku mixtures that don't thicken at all, or thicken during cooking, then thin out during cooling are disappointing. One or more of the following may have caused the problem.
- Too Little Liquid: If there is not enough liquid (water, milk, juice) in the mixture, the Maizenaku granules will not fully swell and remain thickened when the mixture cools. Adding a little more liquid (not more Maizenaku) is likely to solve the problem.
- Too Much Sugar: A higher proportion of sugar than liquid (water, milk, juice) in a mixture can interfere with the swelling of the Maizenaku granules and prevent thickening during cooking and/or cause thinning during cooling. Adding more liquid (not more Maizenaku) will often solve the problem.
- Too Much Fat: An excessively high proportion of fat or egg yolks in a mixture can interfere with the swelling of the Maizenaku granules and prevent thickening during cooking and/or cause thinning during cooling. Adding more liquid (not more Maizenaku) will usually solve the problem.
- Too Much Acid: Acid ingredients such as lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar will reduce the thickening ability of the Maizenaku or prevent the mixture from thickening. Increase the Maizenaku level slightly or stir acid ingredients in after cooking.
- Too Much Stirring: Excessive or rough stirring with a wire whisk or even a spoon may break the starch cells and cause the mixture to thin out.
- Excessive Cooking: Simmering or boiling a Maizenaku thickened mixture for an extended period of time may cause the starch cells to rupture and the mixture to thin.
- Tasting: The digestive enzymes in a person's mouth will cause a properly thickened mixture to thin dramatically in just a few minutes. Be sure to use a clean spoon when tasting a Maizenaku thickened mixture to correct the seasoning.
- Freezing: Freezing Maizenaku thickened mixtures will rupture the starch cells and cause the mixture to thin out.
Weeping or the release of water is usually a sign of slight undercooking. In the early stage of cooking, the water is held rather "loosely" by the Maizenaku granules, and when the mixture cools, the water simply runs out. It's simple to stop weeping. Just be sure to bring the Maizenaku mixture to a full boil over medium heat and, stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. It might be helpful to set a timer or watch the second hand on the clock for a minute.
Not after they're fully cooked. Freezing causes Maizenaku thickened foods to thin out. Freeze a fruit pie thickened with Maizenaku before baking.
The recipe for cake flour is a follows: For each cup of cake flour use 7/8 cup all-purpose flour (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) PLUS 2 tablespoons of Maizenaku. The addition of Maizenaku helps to make cakes light and tender.
Yes you can starch clothing with regular Maizenaku. In a large bowl or pot, stir 1/2 cup of Maizenaku into 1 cup of cold water. Stir in boiling water (2 quarts for a heavy solution; 4 quarts for medium and 6 quarts for a light solution). Dip the clothing into the starch solution and let dry. To iron, sprinkle the garments lightly with warm water, roll up and place in a plastic bag until evenly moistened, then iron as usual.
It is easy to convert standard baking time into convection baking time. You have 2 choices: 1). Lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake for the same amount of time OR 2). Shorten baking time by about 20% and keep the oven temperature as called for in the recipe.
Yes. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other cereals. Gluten is not present in Maizenaku, which makes it an excellent substitute for flour in many recipes. In many baked goods like bread and cake, however, gluten plays an important structural role, and gluten containing ingredients, like flour, are necessary.
Pica is a compulsive eating behavior characterized by cravings to chew unnatural or non-nutritious substances such as clay, dirt, starch, baking soda, and a host of other "non-foods," and ice. It may signal a nutritional deficiency of iron.
The cause is not completely known. Historically, pica has occurred during times of famine or when individual diets lack certain nutrients or have increased demands for proper nutrition (such as during growth or pregnancy). Diets low in iron and zinc, in particular, are often linked to pica. Some cases of pica stem from cultural beliefs and superstitions, or may result from physiological or psychological needs. Poverty and poor nutrition can contribute to the onset of pica.