Toasted rice powder adds a wonderfully nutty and toasty flavour and a little bite to dishes it’s used in. Good news is, you can make it in about 15 minutes, give or take.
Previously published in 2016. Republished with updated content on June 2022.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Table of contents
What is Toasted Rice Powder?
Known in Thai as Khao Khua, toasted rice powder is very simply, glutinous rice (or sticky rice) that’s been dry toasted in a frying pan, then ground to a powdered form.
- khao = rice
- khua = dry toast/roast in a pan
Toasted rice powder is an essential ingredient in Thailand and, especially in Isan and Lao dishes. It adds flavour and texture to a dish, and also acts as a thickening agent when used in soups.
In Myanmar (Burma), instead of toasted rice powder, they use toasted rice flour, which when you think about it, is practically the same thing!
How to make Khao Khua?
It’s very, very easy to do at home and only takes a few minutes. All you need is dry, uncooked rice, and this is what we’ll be doing:
- Dry toast the rice in a frying pan for 7-10 minutes.
- Leave to cool, then grind in a coffee or spice mill to a powdered form.
That’s it. And you can store your toasted rice powder with your other spices, in an airtight container, for up to 6 months.
What Rice should You use?
The best kind of rice to use when making toasted rice powder is Thai glutinous or sticky rice. The starch content of the grains make a noticeable difference to the aroma of the toasted rice, as well as its thickening ability.
In these modern times, Thai ingredients should be fairly easy to get in most parts of the world, I think. However, if you can’t find Thai glutinous rice where you are, you can use pudding rice, sushi rice or even risotto rice to make Thai toasted rice powder.
How to use Toasted Rice Powder?
It’s traditionally used for sprinkling on salads, soups and noodles. And you can use it right across the board on many South East Asian dishes.
One of the most traditional ways to use khao khua is in Nam Jim Jaew, a hot, sour, smoky and slightly sweet Thai dipping sauce, as seen in the image below.
If you enjoy the recipe, drop me a comment and let me know. And if you are feeling like a star, don’t forget that 5-star rating!
If you make this recipe, post it on Instagram and tag me @azlinbloor and hashtag it #linsfood.
Toasted Rice Powder Recipe (Khao Khua)
- 1 frying pan
- 1 spice or coffee mill
- 2 Tbsp Thai glutinous rice (or more, depending on what your recipe calls for)
Heat a small frying pan on medium low heat. Toast the rice DRY in the pan, for 7-10 minutes, shaking the pan frequently so all the rice gets a good browning.
Let cool for about 5 minute, then either pound in a pestle and mortar or blitz by pulsing in a coffee mill. That's it! Use it all up or store in an airtight container with the rest of your spices. Use within 2 months, as it starts getting stale after that.