March 11, 2023

Homemade Pandan Extract 自製香蘭精


Have you ever passed a bakery and wondered what that wonderful vanilla-y, grassy, oh so comforting floral aroma floating thru the air was?  Or passed by the windows of a South Asian restaurant and wondered what the tempting green tinted desserts were made from?  

Well, you wouldn't be the first.  Rare in the west but common in Asia, the distinctive flavor and aroma of pandan is a delightful surprise to the uninitiated.  

Pandan is also used to flavor savory rice and curry dishes in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia as well as used in that fan favorite, Thai chicken wrapped in pandan leaves.  Oh, man, those chicken morsels are so delicious!

The pandan extract can of course be bought in bakery supply stores but you can also quite easily make it at home.  If you can access fresh pandan leaves then you can very easily make homemade pandan extract 自製香蘭精!


In Hong Kong fresh pandan leaf can be found in stores that supply Thai or Indonesian food stuffs.  You can usually find a couple of shops that like at the local HK wet markets.

To make the extract you must use fresh pandan leaves.  Dried leaves won't work.

It's pretty incredible that these simple leaves can produce so much flavor.  You can also wrap these leaves around meats before steaming or grilling, deep frying or barbecueing, so good, imparts so much flavor while keeping the meat moist!


To make the pandan extract start by washing and drying the leaves.  Snip the leaves and put them into a food processor or blender.  


Blend until the leaves are pulverized.  Add a bit of room temp boiled water to help the blending process as needed.


Put the pulverized leaves through a strainer to remove strain out all the lovely grassy green liquid.


Now we're on to the final step which will require a bit of time.  Some folks just use the extract as is to add to their bakes or stew or curries.  But I like to carry it one step further and remove the water that was added when we pulverized the leaves.

Doing this is easy.  Just put the liquid in the fridge overnight.  By the next day you should see that it has separated into two parts, the bottom a bright green, the top a watery light green yellow.  Pour out the top part and you're left with a more concentrated pandan extract.  

Green magic, ready to add to your curries and bakes!  We used ours right away to make our yummilicious Pandan Bread 香蘭麵包!

Pandan bread made with our homemade pandan extract
Homemade Pandan Extract Recipe
(makes 2 tbsp extract)  Prep time: 5 mins   Settling time: 1 day



Wash and dry the pandan leaves.  Cut into 1/2 inch lengths.  Place leaves and water into blender or food processor.  Blitz til the leaves are completely pulverized.

Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, pressing with spatula to get out all the liquid.

Pour into a small jar.  Cover and put in fridge for 1 day to let settle.  Pour out the clear water on top, leaving the concentrated green pandan extract behind.

Use immediately or keep in fridge and use within a week.  Enjoy the Green!



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