Khao khua (ข้าวคั่ว), or roasted rice powder, is probably one of the unsung heroes in northeastern Thai cuisine. It’s what makes a dish embodies its distinct Isaan flavours, yet its inconspicuous powdery form is often overlooked. It’s absolutely vital in certain Isaan dishes, such as laap (Isaan/Lao-style minced meat salad) and naam tok (grilled meat salad). And khao khua is certainly one of the easiest Thai ingredients to make and stock up at home—all you need are just some jasmine rice (glutinous rice is even better), a skillet and a mortar and pestle (a grinder will also do).
Yes, Mr. P did help to cook these eggs for the entire brood but that’s not the reason why this dish is so named. Khai luuk khoei (ไข่ลูกเขย), which translates as son-in-law egg, is commonly featured in Thailand’s raan khaao kaeng (mixed dish food stalls).
Origins of its quirky name are hazy. The version circulating on English blogs–probably because most got the story from the same few sources—attributed it to a Thai mother-in-law who cooked this dish as a warning to her new son-in-law not to mistreat her daughter or else his “eggs”—males testicles are often referred to as eggs in Thai—would be the next to be fried.