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Aug 8, 2008 02:44 PM

Any ideas where I can find screwpine/ pandan ?


I run out of pandan/screwpine extract and wonder where in TO I can find them? I'd love to get the leaves if possible, but paste/extract will do. :)

Thanks much!!

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  1. You should be able to get both at most grocery stores in Chinatown. I find pandan leaves pretty reliably in Chinatown East inside the stores in the coolers.

    1. I bought them at T&T - full leaves in the freezer section - how do I extract the flavour from them?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Apple

        I use the technique in this video, which works very well.

        Alternatively, you may not have to extract, depending on your use. Just toss a leaf or two in the pot or rice cooker to give a nice flavour, for example. No extraction necessary.

        I wonder how freezing affects the leaves. The ones at the Chinatown grocers are fresh.

        1. re: vorpal

          One of my fav Thai dishes is "Gai Haw Bai Toey" (Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus). Often overcooked, but when it's right it's awesome. The flavour of the 'bai toey' , along with the Thai spicing, is very unique.

          You could try it at home:

          Prep pix:

          1. re: koknia

            I love it, too! I haven't made it at home simply because all the recipes I've seen require preparation starting a day in advance. In my complete disorganization, there's no way I can commit to eating something 24 hours in advance *grins*.

          2. re: vorpal

            Thanks vorpal!!

            It's a wonder on how I never thought of looking into Chinatown stores and I go there so often! Geez. I checked out that technique in video and saw it was Make A Dadar video. Can I safely assume that you like pandan dadar? :)

            I usually extract it by using mortar and pestle with little bit of hot/warm water then strain it with cheese cloth.

            Have never had or use frozen leaves .. wonder if it might work out like frozen lemongrass. A friend who lives in Florida succesfully grow lemongrass on her backyard - and it made me think whether pandan can be home-grown in certain tropical area too. They are very common herbs found in people's backyard in S.E.Asia. But of course, I don't know a thing about gardening or planting. :) Wishful thinking.

            1. re: ceciel

              Hi ceciel.

              My first interest in pandan leaves stemmed from having Gai Haw Bai Toey, but after trying Dadar at Matahari Grill, then I really felt compelled to cook with them at home, especially since paying $8 for two just wasn't cutting it. Making them myself, I can have a nice Dadar binge for a fraction of the price, and it's glorious. *grins*

              I would very much suspect that pandan could be grown widely in the tropics. I got back from Hawaii two weeks ago and saw pandanus everywhere, with huge wild plants everywhere sporting massive quantities of leaves. I'm sure it's not difficult.

          3. re: Apple

            Thanks Apple!

            I hope my replies won't be popping out more than dozen times. The internet froze up on me.

            Anyway, which T&T did you get it from, Apple? I only frequent the one on Cherry St.

            For extract, I tear it up, mash with mortar and pestle, strain with cheesecloth.

            1. re: ceciel

              I found it at the Cherry Street one - it is available in the open freezers just by the bakery section - if I recall close by the frozen fruit

          4. Sanko on Queen West has fresh.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dimbulb

              I should pay more attention. Chinatown (as to vorpal's suggestion) and now Sanko on Queen West, though I have never went in there, we walk pass by it hundred of times.

              Thanks Dimbulb!

            2. I thought I would revive this post - has anyone found pandan PASTE? I am planning to make a pandan sponge cake (long weekend, yes!!) and I went to T&T on Cherry tonight and they don't have the paste... I don't see myself extracting it from the leaves. Any help?

              (BTW - T&T makes a pretty decent Pandan sponge cake and I wouldn't have to make it but unfortunately I've been told - it's unpopular and therefore, they would only make it if I ordered five. five! I'd be 300 pounds!)

              1 Reply