Pandan Chicken is one of our favorite Thai dishes and is one we often recreate at home. The kitchen gets filled with the delicious smell of fried chicken that marries with the sweet pandan fragrance it’s marinated and wrapped in whenever we cook it. 

Some recipes call for coriander and coconut milk, but we didn’t add them to our mix since we didn’t have them at home. Given our MECQ circumstance, this is another one of our “whatever’s in our kitchen” recipes, and it turned out great!

This mom received at least 8 “masarap!” comments throughout lunch, but who’s counting? Right. I thought so. Anyway, here’re the recipe:

Ingredients

1 kg chicken thigh fillet

-You can use any boneless part you prefer, but we recommend chicken thighs as they tend to be juicier and tastier.

For the marinade

Pandan Chicken Ingredients

A bunch of large Pandan leaves (separate 6 large leaves for marinating. the rest goes to wrapping the chicken)

Note: We didn’t count them per piece to allocate one per chicken. Instead, we bought worth PhP 20.00 of Pandan leaves in the market, and they practically gave us the whole uprooted plant. Also, make sure to get the large ones. We are growing one in our little garden patch but they’re of the small variety so we didn’t use them.

1 bulb garlic

3 stalks of lemongrass

A thumb of ginger

2 tbsp turmeric powder

1 cup lemongrass tea (since we had it freshly boiled) or water

3/4 cup oyster sauce

3 tbsp sesame oil

A splash of seasoning liquid

Salt & Pepper

For frying

Cooking oil

Sauce

Vinegar

A splash of fish sauce

A pinch of sugar

Minced garlic

Crushed chilies

You will need

A food processor or blender

Marinating bowl

Frying pan

Procedure

Marinade

Pandan Chicken marinade
Letting the chicken soak in the juices
  1. Throw in all of the above ingredients in a food processor or blender and run it until smooth. 
  2. Pour the marinade on the chicken. Mix well, making sure that all of the pieces are covered. 
  3. Cover your marinated chicken and let it sit in the fridge to absorb all those beautiful flavors for at least 4 hours to overnight. I did the latter for this batch. 

Note: I blended the pandan and lemongrass stalks for a more intense flavor, but they’re not meant to be eaten with the chicken as they’re fibrous and spiny. 

Time to wrap!

There are two ways to wrap your chicken: the first one involves folding and tucking in, while the second one just needs to be rolled up and pricked with a toothpick. We tried both, and we like the fold and tuck method better as it somehow tends to lock in more moisture in the chicken. And trust me, it’s not as hard as it looks like! 

  1. Remove the pandan and lemongrass fibers from the chicken.
  2. Estimate the length of the Pandan leaves and pair it with the right size of a chicken piece to ensure that everything is covered. 
  3. Place a piece of chicken by the edge of the Pandan leaf and start enveloping it inside the leaf. Here are photos of how I did it:
Step by step guide in wrapping pandan chicken
Make sure you have a dish to catch the sauce that drip from the chicken

Fry it up!

A plate of wrapped Pandan Chicken

Once they’re all wrapped, heat your pan and add a generous amount of oil. I didn’t deep fry this, but I made sure that a good measure of the surface is covered with oil. 

Frying Pandan Chicken in cast iron pan
The kitchen smells amazing while it fries!

Fry it on one side for 10 minutes in medium heat or until you see some parts of the chicken (that peaks through the wrapper) browned, and the leaves have sort of crisped up. 

Friend Pandan Chicken in a plate with slight charring
You’re looking for a cooked-through but juicy chicken. Try one first before cooking the rest.

Sauce

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Feel free to adjust the spices according to your liking.

Serve warm with hot rice and you’re good! It won’t hurt to have some cold lemongrass tea as a drink either. Enjoy preparing and eating this with your family!

P.S. Spare yourself a trip to the grocery by ordering the ingredients from Lazmart!

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