If you have been out of the loop on trendy cuisine since the avocado, then you could be forgiven for not already knowing about this niche ingredient that foodies everywhere are raving about.
Panadanus Amaryllifolius, or pandan, for short is a tropical plant found primarily in Southeast Asia. It is used in a wide variety of dishes and household uses, and also happens to be the latest craze to hit the culinary scene in America.
Pandan leaves are bright green and very fragrant, often times included in dishes that would normally be considered bland. The taste is not intense, in fact it is very mild, but unmistakable once you've tried it.
Many describe it as being naturally sweet, almost like vanilla, with a nutty scent that transforms any dish into a kaleidoscope of flavor.
Top chefs across the country have already begun ordering the plant in bulk in preparation for the pandan-monium surrounding this funky new food. Even popular UK food critic Nigella Lawson has started talking about pandan leaves, calling it "the new matcha". Lawson previously mentioned how much she loved having avocados on toast, boosting the sales of the berry by 30%.
So how exactly do you go about cooking with this incredible new plant?
The tell-tale sign of how good a food trend is depends on how versatile it can be used. Luckily, pandan leaves have such a soft flavoring that they can be added to just about any dish, with creative results!
Pandan Steamed Rice Basket
With ingredients such as forbidden green rice, enoki mushrooms, and brocolini, this delicious recipe by Forbidden Foods is enhanced by the beautifully tied pandan leaves that the rice is steamed in.
Pandan Wrapped Chicken
A new take on a favorite dish, Nyonya Cooking whips up the perfect platter for hosting your next party when you're looking to impress your guests! Their recipe teaches you how to wrap the chicken in the leaf, and even recommends a variety of sauces for dipping. Yum!
Pandan Coconut Waffles
The perfect breakfast for a sweet-tooth or dessert for the adventurous! The creamy coconut flavor matches the sweetness of the pandan to recreate the authentic taste of Vietnamese street food by Honeysuckle Catering.
There are many ways to enjoy this exciting new food, which one will you start with?