December 3, 2007

Cooking With Pandan

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Reading Ruy's blog got me drooling for chicken wrapped in pandan. This is a very popular appetizer which I had countless of times in Thai restaurants but have never cooked it because it seems tedious to prepare. It takes time to wrap the chicken pieces and I am not a deep-fry enthusiast but the finished dish is rewarding in its yumminess. Unbelievably, my 2 Thai cookbooks both don't have a recipe for this dish and searching on the web is frustrating because there are several versions of it. I used the ingredients that I like from 2 recipes and made my own marinade. It is so finger lickin' (and pandan-licking) good and does not need any dipping sauce. All you need is plenty of steamed rice.

Chicken Wrapped In Pandan
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro with roots
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1½ tablespoons fish extract
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon palm or regular sugar
1 tablespoon rice wine
pandan leaves, thawed and well cleaned
peanut or grapeseed oil
  • Mix all ingredients except pandan and oil. Marinate for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Form pandan into little pockets and fill with 1 tablespoon of the marinated chicken, or simply wrap a few pieces of chicken with pandan. Fry in medium hot oil until pandan has turned brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain well and serve immediately.

finger and pandan-licking good

Pandan is used extensively in Asia: Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and I think, India. They all use pandan to flavor sweets and savory dishes. In the Philippines it is used to flavor rice cakes, chiffon cakes, ice cream, gelatin, hopia, polvoron, barquillos, and any sweets you can think of. My mother used to add a leaf in boiling rice for its fragrance and flavor. It also makes the house smell good that you want to dig in as soon as you get inside.


Sidney said...

He,he... you can even do this with frog meat. ;-)

Ruy said...

Amazing... That's so expertly done! Even the wrapping method seems perfect. You just make it look so easy Oggi.

Oggi said...

Norris Hall (at Virginia Tech?) thanks so much for the link, it's an excellent resource for Thai cooking and it's been bookmarked.:)

Sidney, yes I can imagine those would be delicious wrapped in pandan. I saw some frozen legs at the Korean grocery but I may have a hard time convincing my family to eat them.:D

Ruy, thanks. It took some time making the pockets. I also tried wrapping them twice on both sides then securing with toothpicks which takes just as long.:)

Marvin said...

hello oggi. this looks spectacular! pandan isn't the same as banana leaf is it? i'm assuming i can find pandan at an Asian market.

btw, i tagged you for a meme over at my blog. feel free to participate if you want, but if you don't have time, that's ok too;)

Oggi said...

Thanks Marvin.

Pandan fronds are thin and long fronds. Yes, I buy them frozen at Asian groceries. A few summers ago I saw pandan plants at Home Depot. I should probably plant it next summer if they become available again.

I'll try to post the meme as soon as I can, thanks:)

Chibog in Chief said...

this is one thing i really miss to use..pandan..i've never seen in france :-(

Anonymous said...

looks good.. i love chicken pandan

Oggi said...

That's too bad Dhanggit. Maybe in a few years France will import more Asian ingredients. Have you tried looking for McCormick pandan essence that comes in a tiny bottle? It's not as good as the leaves themselves but is okay na din.:)

docchef, thanks. To borrow from Sara Lee ads - Nobody doesn't like pandan chicken!:)

desie said...

hmm, i can almost smell the pandan. i've enjoyed this a few times but never tried making it myself. thanks for the inspiration.

Oggi said...

Maybahay, I love the pandan smell while cooking and the taste is heavenly.:)

Joanne T said...

Gday Thank you for inpisrign me to do! As I have never tried pandan leaves too! SO simple, healthy as can be, Here is a photo taken of what I made from me!

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