Ground roasted rice is an easy condiment to make, and very aromatic. It will enhance the taste and texture of your cooking, and it's an essential ingredient used in many Isaan region salads, sauces, and even as a thickening agent in Northern soups and stews.
Here's a simple step-by-step photo guide to making it yourself
3 tips to ensure perfection
- It does keep for a week or two – but must be airtight. Like all ground spices, ground roasted rice is always more aromatic when it's freshly made .
- This is a classic recipe using sticky rice. This is because it comes from Isaan and Northern Thailand where sticky rice is the staple crop. It's also ok to make it with Thai jasmine rice.
- The beginner will make the same old mistake as the novice baker – taking it off when it is light golden so it doesn't burn. hehehehehe. Wrong. A deep golden colour will give you the best aroma.
My sous chef at Centara used to add thin slices of peeled galangal, kaffir lime leaves & finely sliced lemongrass.
When it was all roasted and crispy, he'd grind up the whole lot together.
It's nice touch, but not very common. It's definitely not needed for the classic Isaan larb salad, or the wonderful Northern stew called "Kaeng Kaere" which consists of flowers, herbs, greens and vegetables with meat and roasted chilli, thickened with ground roasted rice
Ingredients and things you'll need
- White glutinous rice
- A frying pan or wok
- A blender or a stone mortar and pestle
Put rice in a clean, dry wok or frying pan over medium heat. Slowly increase the heat and keep the rice moving by tossing or stirring.
Don't use any oil or water.
You're dry frying the dry rice in a dry wok, and stirring or tossing continuously until it's ready.
Here you seesome colour starting to develop.
Making this rice is a little bit like your ass at a club or disco. You have to keep moving it. ALL the time.
If it sits without moving even for a minute or two, the rice on the bottom will start to burn in small spots, and the whole lot will taste bitter.
Then you'll blame me.
"I was reading this blog and the guy didn't say anything about the bottom bit going black and spoiling it"
Well, now I have warned you. And it does burn
Around this point, you'll start to doubt yourself. And you'll definitely start to doubt me.
"But he said it would burn….." Not yet it won't.
Just keep tossing over the heat and it will colour evenly. It takes a while to start.
Expect to be standing there around 15-20 minutes.
THIS is what we're looking for.
A rich medium golden colour. Take it off the heat now, and grind it.
You can grind it in a stone mortar and pestle, or in a blender.
Most Thai chefs and most Thai home cooks I know use a blender.
Pulse or shake as it's blending to make sure it grinds evenly.
A small electric coffee or spice grinder is also good.
Now your ground roasted rice is ready to use.
Cool it down before storing it, and if you are going to keep it, use an airtight container
Now that you know how to make ground roasted rice, here's two recipes that use ground roasted rice as a main ingredient for flavouring and texture.
You have to try this authentic larb salad recipe from Isaan and a Northern stew called Kaeng Kaere which is flowers, leaves, herbs, vegetables and one type of meat thickened with toasted rice powder and roasted dry red chilli powder