Marinated chicken chargrilled in pandan leaves

Marinated chicken chargrilled in pandan leaves

The Food of Vietnam
Alan Benson

The pandan leaf is a fantastic ingredient. The leaf is long, green, narrow and pointy at the tip, and when cooked releases an amazing sweet aroma. Another essential tool you need for barbecuing Vietnamese food is a folding wire grill. It will make things a whole lot easier.


Quantity Ingredient
500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
5 spring onions, thinly sliced, white part only
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 banana leaves
14 pandan leaves
4-6 small vietnamese baguettes, opened out
coriander stems, to serve
mint leaves, to serve
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish


  1. Cut the chicken thighs into three even pieces lengthways, then cut these strips into three even pieces widthways.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar, pepper, oyster sauce, spring onion, garlic and oil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the chicken and marinate for 1 hour, or overnight for a better result.
  3. Heat a chargrill pan, griddle pan or barbecue to medium heat.
  4. Open a wire barbecue grill and lay one banana leaf on one side of the wire grill. Now take seven pandan leaves and bruise them by slapping them between your hands, to release their aroma.
  5. Lay the bruised pandan leaves on top of the banana leaf, then place the chicken on top of the pandan leaves.
  6. Now bruise the remaining pandan leaves and lay them on top of the chicken, followed by the other banana leaf.
  7. Close the wire grill, enclosing all the ingredients together, then place it over the barbecue. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  8. Divide the chicken among the baguettes and add some coriander and mint. Garnish with the chilli and sesame seeds and serve.
  9. Alternatively, instead of baguettes, you can simply serve the chicken with steamed jasmine rice.
The Food of Vietnam
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