I grew up in Malaysia, where I enjoyed cooking and eating local dishes every day.
What Is Daun Pandan?
Daun pandan, or pandan leaves, are very popular in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and other regions in Southeast Asia. My mother always uses daun pandan for making desserts such as pengat pisang (bananas in sweetened coconut milk), kuih bingka pandan (pandan cake), bubur kacang (sweet mung bean), kuih pau (steamed buns), and many others. You can blend the leaves with water just for the color or tie a knot and throw in the pot for the flavor. These majestic green leaves are so glorious and aromatic, and they are a big influence on my cooking.
Although pandan leaves are usually used in desserts, they can also be used in savory dishes. Last night I used them to make a chicken dish. My husband and I had had this dish, ayam bakar daun pandan, or pandan leaf baked chicken, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Surprisingly, he loved it—so, I decided to try making it at home.
A Must-Have Ingredient in My Kitchen
I always have daun pandan in the freezer; it is a must-have cooking ingredient in my kitchen. In this recipe, daun pandan serves not only to wrap the chicken, but also to impart flavor to the meat. The chicken was tender and juicy. We will definitely make this more often.
- 2 pounds chicken breast (cut into pieces)
- Pandan leaves (washed and dried)
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 1 inch ginger (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 4 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine onion, garlic, ginger, sweet soy sauce, light soy sauce, coriander powder, sugar, and salt in a blender. Blend until it makes a paste.
- In a large bowl, pour the paste onto the chicken pieces. Coat the chicken evenly with the paste. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and keep in the fridge at least 2-3 hours.
- With the pandan leaves, use your hands to make a shape like a cone. Insert the chicken in the middle and secure with a toothpick.
- Brush some oil on the pandan leaves and the chicken.
- Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
- Take out the leaves and serve with your favorite rice.
© 2018 Liza