May 1, 2012

Pandan Extract

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Pandan leaves are long and slender green leaves of a member of the pandanus palm or screwpine family. For you who are new to pandan, they impart a sweet floral fragrance to most popular Southeast Asian cooking especially dessert. Their intense green color and it is also used as a natural food coloring.
Pandan leaves aren’t fussy plant to cultivated, it easily grows rapidly without requiring much care.


Fresh leaves are typically torn into strips, tied in a knot to facilitate removal, placed in the cooking liquid, then removed at the end of cooking.
The unique botanical fragrance which is enhances the flavor of foods, especially rice dishes and cakes.



Pound using mortar and pestle or process a bunch of pandan leaves in a blender with add up a little amount of water, then strain through a fine sieve to obtain Pandan Extract. Somehow, bottled pandan extract is also available in shops but often contains artificial green food coloring, this is the reason that I always homemade  it.
Asian people use pandan in the same way westerners use vanilla in their cooking.

To make pandan extract at home it’s very easy, choose mature, dark green color leaves for maximum flavor and color.






Pandan Extract




Ingredients

18 fresh pandan leaves, thawed if frozen and washed
1/3 cup water




Method

Rinse the pandan leaves, using kitchen scissors or sharp knife, 
cut the leaves into short lengths.

Place the leaves and water in a blender , process until pulverized.
Pour through a fine strainer or you may use cheesecloth and discard the solids. 

Measure out the required amount of juice as specified recipe.
Transfer into clean bottle or small jar, refrigerated up to 1 week.
*Do not try to freeze it up as the characteristic sweet fragrance would definitely gone away.



Cook's note
If you may be have no an electric blender, 
you can always pound up the leaves using mortar and pestle without add up water, 
it would give you really intense verdant color.