weekend lunch

mom is in the philippines at a family gathering (hi karen!), so i cooked lunch for pop today: pandan chicken, red rice, and pickled wing beans.

the pickles were made by my mom earlier in the week with fresh wing beans boiled in a pickling liquid of coconut vinegar, sugar, ginger, onion, garlic and boonie peppers. they've been sitting in the fridge cooling and curing to piquant perfection.

pandan chicken

the pandan chicken is a simplified version of the thai khai hoh bai toey, by way of Big G. usually it is fried in pandan leaves, but errrgggh, no, not if i'm doing it and it's super warm out (like it is today). what i like about it is that because the chicken is boiled first, frying time is cut down dramatically, and some of the fat gets rendered out so the skin is wispy and crispy.

basic recipe: mix one can of coconut milk with sliced ginger (fat knob), several pandan leaves (or pandan extract), crushed garlic (half a small head), whole but slightly smushed boonie (thai bird) peppers, cracked black pepper, a tablespoonful of salt, the peel of one small lime, and a teaspoonful of turmeric. add a couple cups of water to this, and bring it to a boil then quickly reduce it to simmer. cut up a whole chicken into manageable smallish pieces, add to the coconut milk mix, add enough water to cover the chicken, then bring it back up to a simmer until the meat is just cooked (for a 3lb chicken, it was about 20 minutes). place the cooked chicken on a rack over a baking pan to dry out a little. heat up a few inches of oil in a frying pan or wok, then fry the chicken until funktastically golden crispy. the coconut milk keeps the chicken from drying out, and the spices are subtle, but i think more successfully infused than if it was just marinated cold. this, i think, would be a fantastic picnic fare, as the fried chicken tastes better the next day (as it almost always is).

for dessert, a scoop of selecta brand fruit salad ice cream (vanilla with papaya, coco gel, and candied cherries) with a wee bit of anko on the side.


oh, your pandan chicken wings look awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I think cooking the chicken in the coconut milk and spices is a great way to marinate and tenderize the chicken. I haven't had my lunch yet, and after looking at your photos, my tummy is rumbling furiously!


Hi Santos,

Love the idea of pandan chicken. I've had such a hard time finding a pandan plant here. There is one in a community garden not far from my house, but it's too far from the fence for me to reach. I'd love some of the leaves or part of the root stock so I could grow it here.

hi julia!
they were great. i love using this method, because i hate frying chicken, and this cuts frying time down to nothing. oh. whoops. i forgot to add chopped red shallots in there--i better go add it to the ingredients list!

hey reid--if you are feeling particularly felonious (monk) the botanical gardens in kaneohe are surrounded by an ancient pandanus forest :-D you can disturb "the last undisturbed forest in hawaii"....i don't know where you get pandan plants, but they must sell them--i see them growing wild everywhere. well, not *everywhere* but they're around.

More like family gatheringssssss. I'm not counting anymore. :-)

Your fried chicken look good. I have pandan colonising my apartment garden (and my blog masthead) and am tempted to cook this now.

By the way, the fried food reminds me of the garlic sauce served yesterday. It was a bit more special than the regular. I must ask the aunties who the caterer was.

Hi Santos,

Would you be speaking of Ho'omaluhia? If so, I think I'll check it out when I get back from my trip. =) Thanks for the information. I never knew.

hi karen--i heard someone brought a tray of stuffed frogs with the eggs still inside. did you take a picture?

hey reid--you should swing over to karen's place and harvest her pandan plant. ho'oma..luhia...yeah, that's the one :-) if i read in the news of a suddenly denuded ancient forest, i'm checking your blog ;-)

hi santos!

the first time i saw your pic i was hooked! thanks for the recipe!
i'll get some pandan leaves now!! :D

hi reggie! i was just reading your post on pandan. let me know how this turns out.