Saint Patrick’s day is coming up. I’m thinking shades of green, or what do to with that pandan paste that has been sitting in my freezer. My first experiment, pandan coconut muffins. To be honest, I don’t really know what pandanus leaves taste like. It has a prominent odour, after cooking it reminds me of steaming rice. I’ll have to admit the muffins tasted mostly of coconut with a nice, chewy texture and a ton of green. Tasty.
Pandanus leaves are very popular in southeast Asia. They are used in both savoury and sweet dishes. I thought they were hard to find, until I saw them in the freezer section of Lambda Supermarket. I bought the frozen leaves and blended them into a paste.
For this recipe, I found the amount of pandan paste insufficient. Since I made my own, I kept on adding until the batter turned a nice green colour. I’m guessing it was almost a cup when all was said and done.
The aroma of pandan permeated the house so much, that even hours later, it still smelled like the rice cooker was on all day.
I went to Lambda Supermarket today and found some unusual items that I have been looking a while for. I always thought this store had less selection than T&T and Topps, but today I was pleasantly surprised.
I’m slowly putting together a plan for making ramen noodles. Food grade potassium carbonate, lye water or kansui is used to impart the yellow color and chewiness in the noodles. It’s also used to boil bagels. In stronger concentrations, it’s used in soap making as well as oven and drain cleaner. Sound delicious? Now all I need is a pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid standmixer.
I’ve been looking for fresh ramen noodles too. The fresh package I bought did not look or taste like ramen. The frozen is pictured below and locally made; I have yet to try it. The most authentic I’ve tried came from a local shop in Toronto.
The third item is frozen pandanus leaves. They are used a lot in south east Asian cooking. I had a use for them at one point; now I have forgotten what it was. Oh well, when I remember, I will have them at hand. I own a copy of Thai Street Food by David Thompson and it has all sorts of dessert recipes that use that ingredient.