The Pandan plant, also known as Screw Pine, is widely used in Southeast Asia cooking. It is pretty much an indispensable ingredient in this part of the world, much sought after for its culinary and medicinal properties. It is believed that pandan Leaves is extremely useful for healing various wounds and diseases such as smallpox, and is said to be a great pain reliever for headache, arthritis, earache, fever, just to name a few. Its pleasing aroma adds flavour to many dishes, especially curries and sweet desserts, and the leaves can be crushed and squeezed to obtain a natural bright green colour to imbue food such as cakes and rice. It can also be used to wrap meat or seafood to keep the juices in during the cooking process so you get really juicy cooked meat.
Pandan Chicken is a very popular dish here, i.e. chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and deep-fried in hot oil. If you don’t like cleaning a greasy kitchen like me, bake it in a hot oven instead – it’s as delicious as the deep-fried ones.
2 large chicken thighs
– skin & deboned and cut into chunks (you may leave the skin on and bone in too)
– put in a bowl and season thoroughly for 30 mins with :
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons ginger juice (from a 1” knob pounded ginger)
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
½ tablespoon dark soya sauce
1 teaspoon white or palm sugar
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 tablespoon sesame oil
(B) 20 pandan leaves, wash and pat dry
1) As you can see, I didn’t really use any special method to wrap the chicken pieces. You can also simply put a piece of chicken meat on a leaf, roll it up and secure with a toothpick. You can wrap it in any way you prefer.
However, if you prefer a more professional wrap like those served in chinese restaurants, the demo on this youtube is easy to follow : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHGOXTv1Fsw
2) Preheat oven at 180°C. In a non-stick pan, drizzle some cooking oil over the pandan chicken wraps and bake for 20 mins or until meat is done (about 30mins if bones are not removed).
(Alternatively : Heat sufficient oil for deep frying and deep fry the pandan chicken wraps in batches for 10-15 mins until meat is thoroughly cooked.)