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Pandan Leaves

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Pandan (ស្លឹកតើយ) is a herbaceous tropical plant featuring long upright dark-green leaves.  Pandan is known for its mild and sweet aroma. It can be found in some Asian markets in California.

Pandan is commonly used as an aromatic flavoring in desserts, much like vanilla.  Its unique silky pleasant aroma and delicate flavor resembles sweet grass.  Pandan is the “green vanilla” of Southeast Asian desserts.  Try substituting ¼ teaspoon of vanilla with 2 tablespoons pandan extract for your next pound cake, or custard you’ll love it!

Extracting Pandan Flavor

Combine ¾ cups of water with 1.5 ounce of pandan leaves cut to ½” lengths and purée.  Strain the purée into a bowl using cheesecloth, then squeeze all the green liquid out.  Discard the fiber.  Save any left over Pandan extract by placing one tablespoon of the extract into compartments of an ice cube tray and freeze.  Once frozen, remove the extract cubes from the tray and store in a freezer bag; they should remain fresh for up to 6 months.  

Cambodian desserts that use Pandan Flavor:

  •  Sugkya Lapouw

  •  Nom Lort

  •  Bai Treap

  •  Nom Tung Morne