Feeling Thai

Chicken chunks wrapped in pandan leaves is probably the first Thai dish that I tried, back in the 90s. As I traveled around the Mekong region through the years I was able to try many versions of this dish. I liked more than one version so I combined the things I liked about them into my version of Chicken in Pandan Leaves or Gai Haaw Bai Dtuey


  • 4 chicken breast fillet, skin optional
  • 24 Pandan leaves, washed well under running water
  • 1 cup canola oil (for frying)
washed & marinated

washed & marinated


  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. minced coriander
  • 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. ground pepper

Dipping Sauce:

  • 5 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 3 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
wrapped & ready

wrapped & ready


  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 2 x 2-inch chunks. Each breast will yield 6 pieces, for a total of 24 pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients very well then marinate the chicken for at least an hour. Cover and refrigerate while marinating.
  3. Wrap each chicken chunk in the pandan leaves, cut off the ends then place in a steamer basket. Steam for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan. Drain the excess juice from the steamer basket before frying the pandan parcels in batches.
  5. Deep fry for about 2 minutes then drain in paper towels.
  6. To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients except the sesame seeds in a sauce pan and heat very close to boiling over a medium flame. Pour the sauce in a dipping bowl then top with the sesame seeds.
  7. Serve with rice and pickled vegetables. Makes 4-6 servings.
steaming & frying

steaming & frying


  • Chicken thigh fillet is an excellent substitute for chicken breast.
  • This is best served hot. If you’re saving it for later meals, you can refrigerate or even freeze the chicken after steaming it.

Happy cooking!

the dish

the dish


One thought on “Feeling Thai

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