Chicken Wrapped in Pandan Leaf

Chicken wrapped in Pandan Leaf is a popular restaurant-style dish in Bangkok. The leaf keeps the juices of the chicken inside, so you get very soft & juicy fried chicken. This is an excellent dish to make for a party. I’ve given a large recipe here for that purpose. This recipe makes about 30 leaf-packets.




  1. Cut the chicken into 2″ chunks, leaving the skin on.
  2. Smash the garlic, peppercorns & cilantro/coriander roots together in a stone mortar and pestle to make a paste.
  3. Transfer to a bowl. Add soy sauces, palm sugar, cooking wine, sesame oil and milk. Mix well.
  4. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover and marinate for an hour or more in the refrigerator.
  5. Dry roast the sesame seeds in a pan on medium-low heat until browned and set aside (optional).
  6. In a saucepan, simmer the sauce ingredients on medium-low heat until thicker, about 5 minutes.
  7. When the chicken is finished marinating, create little ‘pandan-leaf’ packets as shown in the slideshow. Add one piece of chicken per leaf packet.
  8. Fry the leaf packet on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, until brown.
  9. Top the sauce with the sesame seeds and serve. (Unwrap & discard leaf before eating).


Pandan leaves ('bai dteuy' in Thai) are available frozen in many Asian groceries. Thaw them and clean well before using. Do not rinse in hot water as you will lose a lot of flavor. (Frozen leaves are already less-flavorful, so you want to keep all you can get!)

Pandan essence is also available in little bottles at many Asian groceries. If your frozen pandan leaves have no fragrant smell or flavor, try adding a few drops to your marinade. The flavor of pandan should be noticeable in the finished chicken. If you use fresh leaves, you won't have this problem.

There are many different ways of folding these packets. The way shown leaves a bit of chicken exposed, so that you get a bit of crispiness. You're welcome to experiment! Do make sure you fold them tight, otherwise the juices will leak and the chicken will be dry (and your oil will pop.)

This is a more difficult (time consuming) dish. Most Thais don't make this at home — it's more of a special dish which is ordered at nicer restaurants.

Cow's milk is used in the marinade to tenderize the meat. It can be left out.

You do not eat the pandan leaf. Make sure to tell your guests to take it off before eating the chicken.



Cut the chicken into 2" pieces


Smash the corriander root, garlic & pepper


Brown the sesame seeds in a dry wok


Boil the sauce until thickened

Folding Step 1:

Start with the non-shiny side up

Folding Step 2:

Fold the bottom-end up and over

Folding Step 3:

Fold the top-end down and through

Folding Step 4:

Pull to make tight

Folding Step 5:

Flip over, and pick up the top-end

Folding Step 6:

Bring through the top-layer and pull tight

Folding Step 7:

Frip again, and stuff with a piece of chicken


Trim leaf ends, then fry on medium heat