Pandan, also called screwpine and bai toey in Thai, is used throughout Southeast Asia in food preparations. There are many pandanus plant species but pandanus amaryllifolius is the screwpine used in Thai cuisine as it is the only variety with such fragrant leaves.
Pandan imparts a nutty and grassy element to foods. The often repeated expression that pandan is utilised in Thai cuisine like vanilla in European and American cooking is mostly correct, with the exception that pandan is also used in making savoury cuisine.
This hardly qualifies as a recipe, but serves as a reference point for other recipes that call for pandan water.
Nam Bai Toey
- 60 grams pandan leaf, cut into 1 centimetre segments
- 125 millilitres (½ cup) water
- Add cut pandan leaf segments and water to a blender. Blend until broken down. Remove liquid and green pulp and strain (squeeze) to extract as much liquid as possible. Store in the refrigerator and use liquid within a day or two.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Makes: Just over ½ cup
- Cuisine: Thai