The elusive fragrance of pan-danus leaves permeates a number of rice, meat and chicken dishes of Malay or Nonya origin, while pandanus essence extracted from the leaves is often used in cakes and desserts. If pan-danus leaves are not available, substitute parchment paper.
- 3 shallots, peeled
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (purchased)
- 2 tablespoons sweet plum sauce or honey
- 1½ tablespoons steak sauce (purchased)
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- ½-1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1½ lbs (750 g) meaty pork ribs or chicken thighs, cut into serving pieces
- 24 pandanus leaves, rinsed and dried
- Oil for deep-frying
- Grind the shallots and garlic in a mortar and mix with all the other ingredients, except the meat, pandanus leaves and oil for deep-frying. Rub this mixture into the meat and set aside to marinate for 2 hours.
- Wrap each piece of pork rib or chicken thigh in a pandanus leaf, tying it in a simple knot so the meat is enclosed.
- Deep-fry the meat parcels in very hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes until cooked. Serve hot, still in the pandanus leaf, allowing each diner to unwrap his or her own portions.