Toasted Rice Powder Recipe | Khao Khua | ข้าวคั่ว

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Whenever a Thai recipe calls for toasted rice powder, even just a smidgen of it, don’t be tempted to leave it out. Don’t get me wrong; I am all about shortcuts and convenience as long as the quality is not severely compromised. But when it comes to toasted (sometimes called ‘roasted’) rice powder, in my opinion, it is never optional. This insignificant-looking khao khua is what differentiates a vaguely Thai-inspired dish from what a Thai mother serves her family somewhere in Thailand as we speak –  Leela Punyaratabandhu, Author

If you are wondering why your home cooked laab does not taste close to your local Thai restaurant, it’s probably missing khao khua (ข้าวคั่ว), or toasted sticky rice.
A quick Google search shows that a good proportion of laab recipes are missing this ingredient, however khao khua is a really essential part of Thai laab as it gives the dish a crunchy bite and a roasted fragrance.

 

Is your laab missing khao kua?
What is khao khua ?
In Thai, khao (ข้าว) is rice and khua (คั่ว) is to dry roast.
The rice in khao khua is sticky rice, which is then dry roasted in a pan and finally pounded into a coarse powder.
Khao khua is used in a variety of meat salads like nam tok (น้ำตก) and laab (ลาบ), sometimes in soups like gaeng om (แกงอ่อม), and finally in chili dipping sauces like nam jim jaew.

As an ingredient, khao khua acts as a thickener, contributes a crunchy texture (which I sort of think tastes and feels like those un-popped popcorn kernels at the bottom of the bag), and also adds a wonderful smoky roasted flavor to dishes that use it – Mark Wiens, Migrationology

 

Although it’s a simple ingredient, be sure not to leave it out of recipes that include it, because you can really taste it and it really enhances dishes its included in.
For dishes, usually just 1 – 2 spoons of the powder is added.

Whenever a Thai recipe calls for toasted rice powder, even just a smidgen of it, don’t be tempted to leave it out. Don’t get me wrong; I am all about shortcuts and convenience as long as the quality is not severely compromised. But when it comes to toasted (sometimes called ‘roasted’) rice powder, in my opinion, it is never optional. This insignificant-looking khao khua is what differentiates a vaguely Thai-inspired dish from what a Thai mother serves her family somewhere in Thailand as we speak –  Leela Punyaratabandhu, Author

 

 

Some people say regular long grain rice works just as well. I disagree.Long grain rice is much more dense than glutinous rice, and while the latter melds seamlessly into the dish, the former tends to create the undesirable gritty texture – Leela Punyaratabandhu Author

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place rice in a skillet and shake pan to distribute grains into an even layer. Cook over medium heat, shaking skillet frequently to redistribute rice into an even layer, until rice is lightly golden, about 10 minutes
  2. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature
  3. Transfer toasted rice to a spice grinder or the bowl of a mortar and pestle. Grind to a coarse powder. Allow rice powder to cool to room temperature, then store in a dry, airtight container.

 

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