Chicken Deep-Fried in Pandanus Leaves (David Thompson)

Pandanus, or pandan, or screw pine is one of the flavors predominantly Asian. Mostly used in desserts, it also lends some flavor to Hainanese Chicken Rice and nasi lemak, and of course there is Thai-style Pandan-Fried Chicken.

After some searching on the web I decided on a recipe from David Thompson’s epic Thai Food

Chicken Deep-Fried in Pandanus Leaves – gai hor bai dtoei

3 skinless chicken thigh fillets
2 coriander roots, scraped and chopped pinch of salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cm (1 in) piece of ginger, peeled
pinch of ground star anise – optional
10 white peppercorns
1/2 cup sweet soy sauce {kecap manis)
5 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons Chinese red vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
15 large pandanus leaves
oil for deep-frying
pinch of sesame seeds, roasted

Cut each chicken fillet into 5 pieces.

Using a pestle and mortar, pound coriander roots with salt, garlic, ginger, star anise, if using, and peppercorns into a fine paste. Stir in the soy sauce, palm sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and Worcestershire sauce. Use half of this to marinate the chicken, leaving overnight, or for up to 3 days – refrigerated. Reserve the other half of the mixture to make a sauce, keeping it in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, dilute the reserved marinating mixture with a tablespoon or so of water to make a dipping sauce. Remove chicken from marinade, and wrap each piece of chicken in a pandanus leaf. Deep-fry in oil over a medium heat, being careful not to burn. Drain and resr for a minute or so, then serve with a bowl of sauce sprinkled with a few sesame seeds.

The chicken is tender and succulent and will have a slight, subtle hint of pandanus.

What I didn’t like was the dipping sauce – I’d rather have something hot and pungent with these chicken bites, since the chicken is mild and flavored on the sweet side. An accompanying bowl of prik nam pla or even more so prik nam som would improve the hot-sour-salty-sweet balance a lot. So you really need to make only half a batch of the marinade and opt for something hot and sour as a condiment, if you are like me. Some steamed rice rounds out an otherwise very tasty meal.

Die deutsche Fassung dieses Rezeptes gibt es hier.

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Eine Antwort

  1. 10. Mai 2011

    […] For an English version of this recipe, click here […]