Aromatic Pandan Chicken

imagePandan (screwpine) leaves are widely used in the Philippines and other Asian countries to add flavor and aroma to rice, meat or fruit drinks.  They’re especially great for wrapping chicken that’s grilled or fried.  Like the Thai pandan chicken.

The leaves are not edible in themselves, but they act as a spice to complement your dish and give it that wonderful aroma.

And here’s a little secret: since pandan is propagated by cuttings, you can actually put it in vase with water to keep it fresh while it doubles up as a decorative plant much like the fortune plant or curly bamboo.


1 lb chicken pieces (drumstick, wings or breast — or a combination)

Pandan leaves enough to individually wrap all of the chicken pieces

2 tbsps soy sauce

2 tbsps fish sauce

2 tbsps oyster sauce

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

Ground pepper to taste

Juice from 3 pieces calamansi or 1 small lemon

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

Olive oil for frying


In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, pepper, ginger, sugar and juice.  Mix well before adding chicken pieces.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator overnight.

When ready to cook, wrap each chicken piece (all around) with pandan leaf, securing it with a toothpick.

Heat Olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Fry the wrapped chicken pieces in batches until they are cooked and turn golden brown. (Caution: frying the wrapped chicken will cause some splattering of the oil, so make sure that you use a splatter guard or pan cover and be careful when turning over the chicken.)

Remove from heat and place on a serving platter.



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