Wondra, which you may think of only as a rescuer of watery gravies, is an excellent ghost ingredient that works best when you don’t realize it’s there. A little shake fixes the texture of a too-watery Instant Pot stew, and it can turn an oily stir-fry glossy. It’s also the best dredge for pan-seared fish and scallops as it creates the impression there is no coating at all, just crispness. I’ve seen Wondra in plenty of high-end restaurant kitchens for just this purpose.
Wondra melts away so readily because it has been pre-gelatinized; in other words, it won’t bind to itself. Imagine you make a really nasty gravy consisting only of flour and water. You cook and stir over a flame until that starchy, sticky texture goes away. Then you dry it out completely and render it into a fine powder. That’s sort of the process.