Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus Leaf (Kai Haw Bai Toey)


The little Thai CookbookPandanus leaves act as both a wrapping and a flavouring in this dish. Leaving a long tail on the parcels will make them prettier and easier to handle so don’t trim the leaves. To eat, carefully unwrap the parcels and dip the chicken in the sauce.

  • Yield: 25 Makes


  • 5 coriander (cilantro) roots, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb 5 oz (600 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 25 cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 25 pandanus leaves, cleaned and dried
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • plum sauce or a chilli sauce, to serve
How to Make It
  1. Using a pestle and mortar or a small blender, pound or blend the coriander roots, garlic, white pepper and salt into a paste.
  2. In a bowl, combine the paste with the chicken, oyster sauce, sesame oil and flour. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  3. Fold one of the pandanus leaves, bringing the base up in front of the tip, making a cup. Put a piece of chicken in the fold and, moving the bottom of the leaf, wrap it around to create a tie and enclose the chicken. Repeat until you have used all the chicken.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil seems hot, drop a small piece of pandanus leaf into it. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Lower some parcels into the oil and deep-fry them for 7–10 minutes, or until the parcels feel firm. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Keep the cooked parcels warm while deep-frying the rest. Transfer to a serving plate and serve with plum sauce or a chilli sauce.

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