Slurry is made up of a combination of starch and cold water. It should not be confused with roux, nor should it be confused with Googles answer of “a semiliquid mixture, typically of fine particles of manure, cement, or coal suspended in water. That’s definitely a slurry, but not the kind we want to talk about.

In culinary terms, a slurry is a thin, watery paste made by mixing water with a starch such as cornstarch, arrowroot, or tapioca. Wines and broths can be used in place of water as well. Flour is sometimes used as the starch, however water isn’t able to achieve the necessary heat to remove the flavor of the flour, so I recommend not using it when making slurry.

Slurry is used to thicken soups and sauces. It is used quite frequently in many of the recipes found in typical take out Chinese food restaurants. The slurry is what produces the glossy effect in many familiar sauces such as Sweet and Sour Pork or Sesame Chicken.

Here’s what you need to know if you haven’t worked with slurry before. It’s super simple to make but you can’t add the starch directly to hot liquids. If the starch is added directly to a hot liquid or sauce, the granules in the starch can’t easily disperse and clumps quickly begin to form.

The starch should be mixed directly with a cold liquid before being heated or added to anything else already hot. Once the slurry is brought to a simmer it will begin thickening. Try adding a little at a time, bringing it to a simmer each time, until the desired consistency is reached.