Asian Recipes/ Condiments and Sauces/ Recipes/ Super Simple

Thai Toasted Rice Powder – Khao Khua

11/03/2021 (Last Updated: 03/06/2021)

An aromatic and versatile condiment with just 1 ingredient! Thai Toasted Rice Powder (khao khua) is THE addition you need for Larb and other Southeast Asian delights.

Small dish of ground toasted rice powder.

Why We Love This

Slowly roasting the rice in the frying pan fills the kitchen with a rich and nutty aroma – hinting at the flavour it will bring to your cooking.

This versatile ingredient not only adds flavour, but can be used to thicken soups, replace breadcrumbs in a burger and be the star in dishes like Lao Larb Gai.

Freshly ground toasted rice powder in mortar and pestle.

What is Toasted Rice Powder? 

Toasted Rice Powder, also known as khao khua (ข้าวคั่ว) in Thai, is an aromatic condiment made from dry roasting raw glutinous rice (also called sticky rice). It’s often used as a seasoning in dishes like chicken larb salad, or in condiments like Thai nam jim dipping sauce.

Most popular in Northeastern Thailand (Isan) and Laos, this is a staple pantry item that’s so simple to make at home. The Vietnamese version is known as bột thính and hidden away in famous dishes such as nem nuong.

The smell and taste is like popcorn but more toasty, and the optional addition of roasting it with herbs only adds to this.

If you’re looking for this at the Asian supermarket, it can also be labelled ground roasted rice or toasted sticky rice.

Khao khua is a great replacement for breadcrumbs in burger patties – try it in our Thai chicken burgers, Korean gochujang chicken burgers, Japanese beef burgers or Taiwanese pork burgers!

What You’ll Need

Just one ingredient!

Glutinous Rice – Look for glutinous or sticky rice at your local Asian supermarket. If you aren’t able to track it down, you can substitute with Jasmine rice. The flavour won’t be exactly the same, but it’ll work.

Small dish of raw glutinous rice.

How to make khao khua at home:

  1. Place the glutinous rice in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir the rice every 10-15 seconds or use the pan-flipping technique. This helps move the heat around and cook the rice evenly. Note: If the pan starts smoking, turn the heat down to low. Continue cooking for around 10 minutes or until rich golden brown in colour. Allow to cool.
  3. Transfer to a mortar and pestle in small batches (or the whole lot in a spice grinder) and grind to your desired coarseness.
  4. Cook immediately in any dish that calls for toasted rice powder, or store for future use (see tips).

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – Keep in an airtight container in the pantry for a month or two, or pop in the freezer for 6 months to a year.
  • Batch Grind – Grind the roasted rice in batches for a smoother powder consistency and less effort.
  • Go for Golden – You want to finish with rich golden rice. If the rice goes black, it will taste burnt instead of nutty, and not enough toasting will leave you with a less aromatic finish.
  • Watch the Heat – Keep your pan on medium, if it’s smoking a lot, bring that heat right down. Slow and steady wins the toasty race!
  • Leftover Rice – If you have glutinous rice leftover, use it to make the popular Indonesian dessert – Seri Muka!

FAQs

Do I need to wash the rice first?

You don’t need to. If you want to you can, just make sure after washing it’s first patted dry, then left to completely dry out again for a day or two before roasting.

When is the best time to add toasted rice powder to a dish?

Usually it’s good to add the powder into the dish once it’s cooled down, unless otherwise stated, to keep the texture nice and crispy. This works especially well in larb.

What’s the best way to grind the toasted rice?

A mortar and pestle is the best tool for a finer powder, especially when done in batches. You can also use a spice grinder, although you may end up with uneven, coarse result.

Variations

  • Add Herbs – You can add herbs such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf and chilli for a more fragrant result.
Close up of the texture of glutinous rice powder.

Toasted rice powder ready? Pop it in these dishes:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Small white dish with Thai toasted rice powder.

Thai Toasted Rice Powder – Khao Khua

An aromatic and versatile condiment with just 1 ingredient! Thai Toasted Rice Powder (khao khua) is THE addition you need for Larb and other Southeast Asian delights.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 1 jar
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $3

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup glutinous rice also called sticky rice, Sub Jasmine rice

Optional (for extra aromatics):

Instructions

  • Place the glutinous rice in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
  • Stir the rice every 10-15 seconds or use the pan-flipping technique. This helps move the heat around and cook the rice evenly. Note: If the pan starts smoking, turn the heat down to low. Continue cooking for around 10 minutes or until rich golden brown in colour. Allow to cool.
  • Transfer to a mortar and pestle in small batches (or the whole lot in a spice grinder) and grind to your desired coarseness. Cook immediately in any dish that calls for toasted rice powder, or store for future use (see tips).

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Storage – Keep in an airtight container in the pantry for a month or two, or pop in the freezer for 6 months to a year.
  • Batch Grind – Grind the roasted rice in batches for a smoother powder consistency and less effort.
  • Go for Golden – You want to finish with rich golden rice. If the rice goes black, it will taste burnt instead of nutty, and not enough toasting will leave you with a less aromatic finish.
  • Watch the Heat – Keep your pan on medium, if it’s smoking a lot, bring that heat right down. Slow and steady wins the toasty race!
  • Leftover rice – If you have glutinous rice leftover, use it to make the popular Indonesian dessert – Seri Muka!

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 36mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Thai Toasted Rice Powder - Khao Khua

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