If you’re wary of artificial pandan extract, this homemade pandan extract (pandan paste) is exactly what you need.

Made with just two ingredients, it will give your dessert a natural, mellow green hue and a soothing aroma.

Homemade pandan extract (pandan paste).

What is Pandan?

Pandan is the vanilla of Southeast Asian cuisine. It offers a mellow taste with a nutty, vanilla-like fragrance.

In Vietnamese cuisine, pandan is known as “Lá Dứa”, “Sâm Dứa” or “Lá Nếp”.

Pandan Leaves
Pandan leaves from mom’s garden

Pandan is generously used in Southern Vietnamese cuisine , imparting a fragrant aroma to savory dishes like Vietnamese chicken rice and sticky rice (xôi).

But it truly shines in desserts such as pandan waffle (bánh kẹp lá dứa), pandan honeycomb cake (bánh bò nướng), and pandan layer steamed cake (bánh da lợn).

Pandan is also a popular ingredient in the cuisines of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Artificial pandan extract is easy to find in Asian markets. However, using even a bit too much can give your dish an overwhelming flavor and a fake neon-green color. Meanwhile, making pandan extract at home is easier than you might think.

There are two versions of pandan extract:

  • Pandan juice: Takes 10 minutes to make and is suitable for recipes with a lot of liquid, such as pandan sticky rice or pandan jelly.
  • Pandan paste (concentrated juice): Besides the 10 minutes of processing, it requires an additional 1-2 passive days for the juice to settle, allowing you to extract the concentrated layer. This is ideal for dishes with less liquid, such as pandan chiffon cake.

Ingredients & Equipment

  • Pandan leaves: fresh or frozen.
  • Water: Soak the pandan leaves in hot water for two minutes, then blend with room-temperature water. This tip, learned from Vietnamese cooks, helps reduce the slight bitterness of the pandan.
  • High-speed blender, a strainer and cheesecloth (or muslin cloth)

Instructions

  • Defrost the pandan leaves if using frozen ones.
  • Wash and rinse the leaves to eliminate any dirt.
  • Cut the leaves into 1.5-inch (4 cm) long pieces.
  • Soak the pandan leaves in hot water for about two minutes to help reduce any bitterness (optional).
  • Place the leaves and room-temperature water in a blender. Blend on high speed to create a thick paste.
  • Set a strainer over a bowl and line it with cheesecloth. Pour the pandan paste into the cheesecloth. Use a spoon and your hands to squeeze out all the liquid from the paste. You now have pandan juice, which can be used immediately.
Blend the pandan leaves with water.
Extract the pandan juice from the paste.
  • To make concentrated extract, let the liquid rest in a covered glass container in the fridge for one to two days (the longer it rests, the more concentrated the paste).
Pandan Juice
Pandan juice
  • After one day, you will see the liquid separate into pandan paste and pandan water. Carefully pour out the water, leaving you with the concentrated paste.
Allow the pandan juice to rest in an airtight glass container.

Storage

Homemade pandan extract (pandan paste).
  • Pandan juice can be stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge for about one week.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the juice in ice cube trays, where it will last for up to a month.

Subtsitutes for Pandan Extract

  • Pandan leaf powder is an excellent substitute for both homemade and artificial pandan extracts (I even prefer the powder over the artificial extract).

Thanks a bunch for giving my recipe a shot! If you enjoyed it, I’d truly appreciate a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating or a comment to let me know your thoughts.

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Homemade pandan extract (pandan paste).

Pandan Paste | Pandan Extract from Leaves

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Made with just two ingredients, this pandan paste (pandan juice) is easy to make and imparts a natural, mellow green hue and a soothing aroma to your dessert.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 8 minutes
Course Condiments
Cuisine Thai, Vietnamese

Equipment

  • 1 High-speed blender
  • 1 Strainer
  • Cheesecloth

Ingredients
  

  • 15 pandan leaves
  • 2 cup room-temperature water (500ml)
  • Hot water (to soak the pandan leaves) (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Defrost the pandan leaves (for frozen ones).
  • Wash and rinse the leaves thoroughly to eliminate any dirt.
  • Cut the pandan leaves into 1.5-inch (4 cm) pieces.
  • Soak the leaves in hot water for two minutes to reduce any bitterness (optional).
  • Put the leaves and room-temperature water in a blender. Blend on high speed to create a thick paste.
  • Place a strainer over a bowl and line it with cheesecloth. Add the pandan paste to the cheesecloth and use a spoon and your hands to extract all the liquid. The pandan juice can be used immediately.
  • To make a concentrated extract, let the liquid sit in a airtight glass container in the fridge for one to two days. The longer it rests, the more concentrated the paste will become.
  • After a day, you will notice the liquid separating into pandan paste and pandan water. Carefully pour out the water, leaving you with the concentrated paste.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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