How to: Toasted Rice Powder (Khao Kua)
A little bit of Khao Kua goes a long way. Toasted rice powder add texture and an element of smokey nuttiness to so many dishes and sauces. Two of my faves are Larb Gai and Nam Jaew. I like to make small batches and keep it for two weeks at a time. You can also buy this at SE Asian grocers but a little bit of effort here goes a long way. Do not feel tempted to leave this ingredient out.
1/2 cup of glutinous rice
1. Toast half a cup of uncooked glutinous rice grains over medium-low heat. Shake pan every few seconds to evenly roast until desired rich brown color. The rice will look less opaque and more white, then eventually brown. Toasting on high heat only leads to burnt kernels and undercooked chewy insides. These burn very quickly so keep an eye on it. Let grains cool. These rice kernels retain some serious heat from the stove. The overexcited part of me has burned myself several times before.
2. Once toasted and cooled, pound lightly in a mortar and pestle or run through a coffee grinder. I use glutinous rice grains because the typically long grain rice grinds into an undesirable grittiness.
3. Pound until desired fineness. Think really coarse sand or tile grout.