Let’s cook Pandan Chicken
Is Pandan Chicken a Thai dish? Or is it a Peranakan one? Either way, it’s simply delicious!
Pandan chicken is one of the most palatable and visually pleasing dishes out there. There’s just something about marinated chicken wrapped in fragrant pandan (screwpine) leaf – and then fried to a golden brown colour.
A perfect dish for the weekend
It is also a great dish to cook during the weekends, especially for those fasting during the month of Ramadhan. You can marinate the chicken in the morning, fry it closer to iftar, and keep a portion for another meal for sahur.
It’s also a good dish to cook for a gathering of family or friends.
What is Pandan Chicken?
Chicken is first marinated in a blend of spices for hours. It is then wrapped in pandan leaves, which provides its alluring aroma. The wrap also locks in the flavours and moisture within the chicken.
Pandan chicken is best eaten with hands, and dipped into sweet chilli sauce.
How to wrap the chicken?
There are many ways to wrap the chicken. Some use toothpicks to hold the screwpine leaf together. Here’s our method to wrap the chicken pieces. Don’t worry about it too much – it gets easier after a few tries, and you’ll get the hang of it. It’s also a fun activity to do with your family and friends.
Step by step instructions
* We marinated our chicken overnight in the fridge for the flavours to really infuse the flavours. If not possible, marinate for at least 2-3 hours.
* It’s really not hard to wrap the chicken with the pandan leaves. Alternatively, you could use toothpicks to hold the leaf wrappers in place.
* As an alternative to frying, you may bake the chicken or use an air-fryer.
* After wrapping the chicken, we were left with lovely residual blended spice bits. Don’t throw ’em away! Fry the residual bits for extra crunch and flavour (ala ayam goreng berempah).
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More Peranakan recipes
For more similar Peranakan recipes, check out the link below.
Here are some of our favourite Peranakan dishes to cook at home:
Hand-written Pandan Chicken recipe
Here’s our hand-written recipe with illustrations on how to wrap the chicken.
Key Steps in Pictures
Pandan Chicken [RECIPE]Course: Lunch, Dinner, SnackCuisine: Chinese, Thai, Peranakan, NyonyaDifficulty: Easy
This recipes yields 16 pandan chicken pieces.
800g chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
A bunch of pandan leaves, washed
- Blended ingredients
2 lemongrass stalks, white parts
1.5-inch fresh turmeric (or 1.5 tsp turmeric powder)
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp peppercorn
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
3 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
- Cut each breast meat into four portions – roughly into triangular shape. Cut some slits against the grain.
- Blend all the marinade ingredients in a food processor. Add some water to aid the blending process.
- Mix the chicken pieces with both the blended and seasoning ingredients. Allow for chicken to marinate in the fridge overnight (or at least for 2-3 hours).
- Wash the pandan leaves and pat dry. Wrap each chicken piece in a pandan leaf (see pictures above for wrapping instructions).
- Heat enough cooking oil in a wok to shallow-fry. Fry the chicken pieces until golden brown.
- Remove and place on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Serve with your favourite sweet chilli sauce dip.