Monday, December 08, 2008

Bot Thinh/Kao Kua (Vietnamese/Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder)

Bot Thinh (Vietnamese Ground Roasted Rice) 1

Bot Thinh/Kao Kua (Vietnamese/Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder) is something I've only seen my family use a few times. Once, when my oldest uncle's wife made a vegetarian salad and sprinkled a lot of roasted rice powder. Again, when my mom made be thui (Vietnamese beef with roasted rice powder and bean curd). Ground roasted rice powder adds a nutty flavor and fragrance to salads, while helping to absorb excess moisture.

While you can buy small bags of roasted rice powder at the Asian grocery store, it's so quick and easy to make it yourself that I see little need to do so. I just make a small batch and save it in a glass jar in my cupboard. It'll last for up to a year.

The funny thing is, although this is a Vietnamese ingredient, I'm much more likely to use it in Thai recipes. Or in particular, larb (Lao/Thai ground meat salad).

Bot Thinh/Kao Kua (Vietnamese/Thai Ground Roasted Rice Powder)

You'll need:
1/2 cup uncooked jasmine rice or glutinous rice

In a dry skillet, turn the heat to medium-low. Saute the dry rice grains until they turn lightly brown. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Let the rice cool. Don't be overeager as the rice will be very hot and might damage your appliances if you attempt to grind it right away.

Then, after it's cooled down, grind to a fine powder in a food processor or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

That's it. So quick and easy right?

Bot Thinh (Vietnamese Ground Roasted Rice) 2

Obviously, as you can see, my rice powder isn't quite a "powder." No coffee grinder. :( And my food processor wasn't quite up to the task. Nonetheless, this size works just fine for me. The uncooked rice will become quite hard so you want to grind them fine enough that you don't end up with little hard specks that will get stuck between your teeth when you chew.

Bot Thinh (Vietnamese Ground Roasted Rice) 3

My recipes using roasted rice powder:
Larb (Lao/Thai Ground Meat Salad)

1 year ago today, oh, the weather outside is frightful...


  1. I didn't know you could buy this. But like you said, why bother when its so easy to make at home.

    Do you have a mortar? I always grind it in a mortar. Takes a little effort, but not too much.

  2. Darlene,
    I do have a mortar, but I also have wimpy arms. :P

  3. Seeing this bring back memories. I remember back when I was little and staying with my grandma, she use to roast the rice and then we would wait for it to cool. While we waited, she took down this old manual coffee grinder. As that was cooled, each grandkid would have a small hand in grinding the rice with that coffee grinder. I haven't seen a manual one like hers since we moved away. Never ate it but it was fun messing w/ the coffee grinder then.

  4. Easy peasy! I love it with pork- what's that called? Bi?

  5. I have toasted and ground the rice, will make the laab tomorrow, my xmas eve dinner. Am looking forward to good eating! Happy Holidays, WC!

  6. Bluang3lbby,
    Oh, that's a lovely memory of your grandma. Thank you for sharing it. I've seen manual coffee grinders at the Asian supermarket. I've been eyeing the porcelain Delft ones on eBay but haven't really felt the need to buy one yet.

    Yes. I totally forgot about using it with bi. The vegetarian tofu strips I had with this in a salad must be a variation of that?

    Happy Holidays to you too! I hope you have a fab Xmas even dinner. Do let me know how my recipe turned out for you.


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