Rampe / Pandan

rampe-pandan-leafAlso known as pandan leaf. Almost every kitchen garden in : Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand boasts a pandanus plant, the leaves of which are used in both savoury and sweet dishes. A strip of leaf about 10 cm (4 in) long is dropped into the pot each time rice is cooked, to perfume it. Two or three strips are simmered with curry.

In Thailand, pieces of marinated chicken are enclosed in a clever wrapping of bai toey (the local name for pandan leaf) and grilled or deep fried, their subtle flavour being imparted to the chicken. In Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, the leaves are pounded and strained (or blended with a little water) to yield flavour and colour for cakes and sweets. The flavour is delicate, and as important to Asians as vanilla is to Westerners.

Pandan leaves used to be available in Western countries only in dried form. Gradually, enterprising shopkeepers offered them fresh frozen. It is a sign of the times that for the past few years fresh pandan leaves have been available in at least some large Western cities. Surplus fresh leaves may be frozen in plastic bags.

In South East Asia the leaves are used to make containers for sweets. Cooks are adept at folding them so they make perfect boxes hardly 2 cm (3/4 in) each way, just right for holding little jellies or puddings.

Rampe is also knowb as Screw Pine Leaves. refer to http://www.asiafood.org/glossary_2.cfm?wordid=3294 for picture. attach is derived from the addy. If you cant find it then substitute them with Fresh Thai Basil but nothing can replace the fragrance of the pandanus leaves.

Pandanus Leaf:  Pandanus latifolius, P. amaryllifolius

Other Languages:
Indonesia: daun pandan
Malaysia: daun pandan
Sri Lanka: rampe
Thailand: bai toey
Vietnam: la dua

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