Covid-19 stay-home recipe: Pandan leaf-wrapped chicken


Love to cook, but hate to clean up?

This is a dish so irresistibly aromatic, it is worth the hot and greasy mess of deep-frying.

The recipe is straightforward and you can tweak it to your preference.

I prefer keeping the skin on the chicken for deep-frying as this retains the meat’s juiciness and tenderness. You can always remove the skin before eating.

For the marinade, there is no fixed amount of coriander you have to use. You can also substitute with turmeric powder if you do not have the herb.

The chicken is fairly tasty with the marinade and without the pandan leaf wrap. But the pandan leaves enhance the flavour of the chicken.

Try to pick leaves that are unbroken and fairly wide as it will make the wrapping process easier.

The toothpicks help keep the leaves in place during frying. Remove them when you serve the dish.

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For marinade

15g fresh turmeric root

2 stalks lemongrass (use only 5cm of the white root), sliced

20g coriander leaves

3 to 4 garlic cloves

6 to 8 shallots

6 deboned whole chicken legs, cut into six pieces each

1 tsp white pepper

1 tsp black pepper

2 to 3 Tbs fish sauce

1 Tbs sesame oil

1 tsp sugar

200ml coconut cream

36 pandan leaves

36 toothpicks


1. Grind the fresh turmeric root, lemongrass, coriander leaves, garlic and shallots into a paste.

2. Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the ground paste, white pepper and black pepper.

3. Add fish sauce, sesame oil, sugar and coconut cream. Mix until the pieces of chicken are well coated with the marinade.

4. Leave in the fridge for an hour.

5. Wash and dry the pandan leaves.

Covid-19 stay-home recipe: Pandan leaf-wrapped chicken


6. To wrap, place a piece of chicken in the middle of a pandan leaf and follow the steps shown above.

7. Deep-fry the chicken parcels until the leaves turn dark and brownish.

Serves eight to 10

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