Thai Pandan Chicken Recipe
Thai chicken wrapped in (Pandanus) Leaves is a frequently ordered item at Thai Restaurants. They make great hors-d’oeuvres and can also be served as a side dish. The pandan leaf /screwpine leaf is an integral ingredient in a lot of South East Asian cooking, from sweets to savories. The leaves’s aroma is distinct and hard to describe. Somewhat nutty, reminiscent to fresh hay and definitely pleasant. The scent of pandanus leaves develops only on withering. The fresh, intact plants hardly have any odour. Also known as the ‘Vanilla of the East’, it is widely used as a natural food colouring agent. Pandanus leaves are a popular flavoring in tropical Asia, from South India to New Guinea. They are used for rather different purposes, in connection with rice, since rice can profit most from the hay-like odour of pandanus leaves. In sweet desserts, they are used to impart color as well as aroma. In chicken dishes either as wrappers or as aromatic enhancers for curries.
Dried Pandan leaves can not impart flavor for the most part. If you can not find pandan leaves you might try the essence :Indonesian Pandan essence/ Thai Toey essence/Indian Kewra essence. Please try and let me know how you likes this Thai Pandan Chicken Recipe.
Thai Pandan Chicken Recipe
- 500 gms boneless chicken: boneless leg / thigh is best
- 1 tsp each of Garlic and Ginger, ground to a paste.
- 3 dried red chillies (the shriveled up,long type) – soaked in warm water for 20 minutes.
- 4 shallots.
- 1 small chunk (2-3 tsp) fresh ginger.
- 4-5 large cloves of garlic.
- 1-2 stalks of lemon grass (use only the peeled central white and light green parts).
- 5 corriander roots you can use the stalk portion if you cant get the roots -OR 1 Tbsp Coriander seeds.
- ¼ tsp fresh turmeric root OR turmeric powder.
- 2 tsp light soy sauce.
- 2 tsp worcester sauce OR oyster sauce.
- 1 tsp thai fish sauce – optional.
- 1 tsp sesame oil.
- ½ tsp salt or to taste.
- ½ tsp white pepper powder.
- 1 tsp sugar.
- 1 Tbsp Cornflour.
- ½ cup Coconut milk powder If you cant find the powder, you can use thick coconut cream but it loosens the marinade quite a bit.
- 10 to 15 pandan leaves, washed and wiped clean.
- Canola/Sunflower oil for deep frying.
- lemon/lime wedges for garnish.
- Cut the chicken into 4 × 3 cm / 2 × 1½ inches chunks (approximately)
- Marinate the chicken in the ginger and garlic pastes and some salt for 15 minutes.
- Grind together the shallots, ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemongrass, coriander root/seeds, soaked dry chilly smoothly.
- ( using a pestle and mortar gives the best taste but it involves some amount of elbow grease- alternatively you can just use a good mixer/grinder).
- Add all the other ingredients to this ground mixture and stir well till you get a homogenous mixture. (If using coconut cream be careful not to let the mix go runny).
- Add this mixture to the previously marinated chicken and allow to marinate again in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- Wrap the chicken in the traditional method as shown in the video.
- Or is you find it easier, simply cut into strips of about 12 cm/ 4.5 inches.
- Use two strips for each marinated piece of chicken covering from opposite sides so that the sides remain open. Secure with toothpicks.
- Heat oil in a small wok till a strip of leaf sizzles. Add only a couple of wrapped pieces at a time. Fry covered reducing heat to medium for about 1-2 minutes turning the chicken once mid way to a light golden brown color.
- Strain and serve with lemon wedges or the traditional black sauce (I don’t care for this much though, I feel it overpowers all the delicate flavors of the delicious marinated panda chicken.
Did you enjoy our Thai Pandan Chicken Recipe?
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