Pandan: All Your Questions Answered About South-East Asia's Aromatic Plant
Pandan Leaves are one of East-Asia's hidden gems. Bright green in colour, aromatic in many ways, and cheap to buy, the plant is a favourite back home in Malaysia. Its health benefits are also a bonus! We have provided the answers to the most searched questions on Pandan Leaves. Check them out below!
WHAT ARE PANDAN LEAVES
Most familiar to Malaysian and Thai cuisine, Pandan Leaves are taken from the Pandan plant and used as an addition to sweet and savoury dishes to provide an aroma that gives a delicious, unique scent and taste. Distinct in appearance, the plant is a bright green colour and brightens up any food it is mixed with. The leaves are hugely popular in South-East Asia and a staple add-on to Thai and Malaysian desserts.
WHERE ARE PANDAN LEAVES FROM
Pandan Leaves are native to South-East Asia. The plant is cultivated in countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines.
WHERE TO BUY PANDAN LEAVES
Purchasing Pandan Leaves outside South-East Asia is tricky, but still possible. UK oriental stores and Asian supermarkets will sell frozen and fresh leaves. Try Thai shops. Amazon also stocks the products to purchase online.
WHAT DO PANDAN LEAVES TASTE LIKE
The plant is edible although most will advise not to eat it on its own, due to its string-like nature. Initial impressions will find that the leaves are very dull, bland, and tasteless, but the aftertaste will be quite unpleasant. Instead, Pandan Leaves are an aromatic addition to Asian dessert plates. For instance, Kaya, Cendol, and Pandan Layer Cakes. When used in dishes (like rice plates), Pandan Leaves provide the food with a sweet, grassy, floral and herbal flavour.
ARE PANDAN LEAVES HEALTHY
Health benefits are strongly linked to Pandan Leaves. The antioxidant levels of the plant are high and it is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which helps the immune system and eye health.
WHAT DISHES CAN I MAKE WITH PANDAN LEAVES
Many dishes use Pandan Leaves to give that unique aromatic and velvety taste to otherwise bland food. Sweet and savoury foods South-East Asian cuisine are first choice for the plant's addition. Unsure what to make using the plant? Try savoury dish Pandan Chicken (yummy deep-fried chicken wrapped with Pandan Leaves) or even Pandan Rice (Pandan Leaves mixed together with steamed rice).