Published by: Gourmet Sleuth
Last Updated: 05/12/2014
The aromatic leaves of the pandanus plant are used in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia to dye sweet foods green as well as to flavor rice. The leaves may be used to wrap rice just as you would a banana leaf then the packet is steamed or grilled. Alternately you can simply knot a foot long length of the leaf and add it to the rice (or other foods) so the leaves impart a perfume flavor to the foods they contact.
You can store fresh leaves in a plastic bag in the vegetable section of your refrigerator for up to four days. For longer storage, place leaves in flat layers on baking sheets and freeze. Place frozen leaves in freezer storage bags and store up to 6 months.
A family member, Pandanus tectorius is commonly found in Hawaii where the leaves are used for making mats, hats, mats, bowls and other garments. The sections of the fruits are sometimes made into leis (although it is bad luck to wear it for important occasions).