Pandan is a herbaceous tropical plant with long green leaves. In Southeast Asia, pandan leaves are used to lend a unique taste and aroma to many Thai desserts and some drinks. Pandan leaves can also be used to wrap savory foods, such as chicken. Pandan paste is used in cakes and desserts, as it is sweet and imbues foods with a bright green color. It can be purchased as a ready-to-use paste in Asian specialty stores.
The very good smelling pandan leaves can be found all over Southeast Asia. They can be used fresh or as a paste in many dishes. The intensive flavor can be described as vanilla and nutty. The fresh leaves (Indonesian: Daun pandan, Thai: Bai toei, ใบเตย) can be cooked or the meals can be wrapped in the leaves to get the falvor out of them. The meals with pandan leaves are steamed or deep fried. You can not eat the leaves. They will be removed after cooking. The common way of using the leaves is to flavor rice that hasn´t a high quality. You always have to use the fesh leaves because they lose their flavor when dry.
As we said the best way to use the leaves is next to rice. Buy some fresh pandan leaves in an asian Supermarket and try one of our recipes. Nasi Lemak is a popular dish from Malaysia that cam be found in Indonesia and Singapoure as well. There are also some desserts you should try. Bubur Pulut Hitam is an Indonesian sweet dish made with black sticky rice. The leaves give the porridge their Special flavor.