Khao khua - Lao ground rice powder
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Khao khua is an indispensable ingredient in many Lao dishes, including Laos's national dish - "larb". Besides other dishes, it is also used to make a popular Lao dipping sauce ("jeow") to accompany sour fruits which are eaten as a snack.
Recipe type: Ingredient
Cuisine: Lao
  • 3 cups of raw white glutinous rice
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 lemongrass (roughly chopped)
  1. Wash the kaffir lime leaves. Wash, crush/bruise and roughly chop the lemongrass into 3 cm pieces.
  2. Bring a wok or frying pan to medium-high heat. Add the glutinous rice grains, kaffir lime leaves and chopped lemongrass to the wok/pan and dry roast/fry.
  3. Continually stir the rice grains and aromatics until the rice grains turn to a golden brown colour. Do not leave the grains unattended to ensure that they don't burn.
  4. When the rice grains are golden brown, turn off the heat and allow the grains to cool down.
  5. Remove the kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass pieces from the rice grains (optional).
  6. Transfer the cooled rice grains (and aromatics) into a mortar and pound the mixture until it is a fine powder. This process can also be done by using a coffee grinder. It is ok to have some large pieces of rice grains in the final mixture.
  7. Once finely pounded/ground, transfer the khao khua into an airtight container/storage jar. It can keep in a cool kitchen cupboard or fridge for several months.
  8. Used khao khua in the preparation of Lao "larb", "jeow" and other classic Lao recipes. Enjoy!
You can experiment and optionally add other aromatics/spices when dry roasting the rice grains, including - galangal, ginger, star anise, cinnamon sticks and chilies.
Recipe by Padaek at