Pandan Chicken

I am uber excited to be sharing the recipe for this traditional Thai dish. Thai Pandan chicken is basically succulent, tender chicken thigh immersed in Thai flavours and kept overnight only to fry them while being swaddled in sweet-smelling Pandan leaf.

Pandan leaf, also known as ‘fragrant plant’ is very common in South-east Asia. The leaves are used for their unique flavour and aroma in both savoury and sweet cooking. The leaf resembles a palm in which they are dark green, upright, long, slender and spiky. In India, they are known as ‘Annapoorna leaf’.

Even though the chicken is fried, instead of having a crisp exterior, the chicken however is super soft and moist because of the overnight marinating and also from being concealed in the Pandan.

Alternatively you could fry the chicken in an air-fryer for a healthier version of the same.

This is a dish to impress and please even the fussiest eaters.

Ingredients:- (makes 12 pieces)

  • 600gms chicken thigh
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened condense milk or coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp maggi seasoning sauce
  • ½ tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 coriander roots, pounded
  • 5-6 garlic, pounded
  • 12 Pandan leaves*
  • 2-3 cups oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (if using)

* Pick leaves that are darker in shade, as those don’t tear easily. Also try to pick really long leaves so that you can wrap big pieces of chicken.


For the dip:

  • ¼ cup water (optional)
  • 2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
  • 5 inch ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


For the dip –

  1. Put all the ingredients together in a pot. Simmer and stir until the mixture thickens.
  2. Turn off the heat and leave to cool down.

For the chicken –

  1. Debone the chicken thigh.
  2. Divide one piece into 2 or 4 depending on your leaf size. If your Pandan leaves are not too long, you will want the chicken pieces smaller.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, unsweetened condense milk or coconut milk, sesame oil, Maggi seasoning sauce, white pepper powder dark soy sauce, soy sauce and white sesame seeds.
  4. Add the chicken pieces. Using gloves, coat each piece well in the marinade. Keep refrigerated overnight.
  5. Wash the Pandan leaves well. Wipe them dry.
  6. Criss-cross he leaves to form a swaddle in the centre, keeping the sharp edge under.
  7. Place a chicken piece into the swaddle.
  8. Take the sharp edge and tuck it in to make a knot.
  9. Gently pull both sides to tighten the knot. Watch video here.
  10. Set a pan, heat the oil on medium-high flame. Once hot, turn the flame to medium-low, fry 4-5 wrapped chicken at a time.
  11. Fry the chicken for 4-6 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken pieces). Flip them once in between the overall frying time.
  12. Strain out any excess oil on a kitchen towel. Serve with dip.


(More images below)


Criss-cross the leaves, keeping the sharp edge under.

Place a chicken piece into the swaddle.
2. Place a chicken piece into the swaddle.












4. Pull tight, make a knot.
4. Pull tight, make a knot.

Tuck the sharp edge in
3. Tuck the sharp edge in.