Dứa is also the name for pinetáo bị cắn in Vietnamese and I once caught my father explaining to lớn my non-Viet husbvà that lá dứa were the leaves of the pinetáo bị cắn dở. That’s wrong, Daddy. Stop. They’re not related! A pretty full listing of names for pandan is at wikipedia.com.
Pandan leaves (Pandanus latifolius, Phường. amaryllifolius) look lượt thích gladiola leaves. They’re narrow, long and pointed at the tip. When attached lớn their stems, they resemble giant green feather dusters. (See the top pholớn taken at a neighborhood wet market in Saigon last March 2008.)
They have a grassy herby flavor and can be tied in a knot và added to lớn rice, both long grain and sticky rice. Cooks also use them in desserts by extracting their liquid, traditionally done by pounding on the leaves but I vì it in the blender or mini-chopper with a little water. The green result is striking in color, kind of lượt thích super wheat grass in smell and looks. Once cooked, the color turns lớn a celadon green, and there’s a subtle hint of the herby quality.
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Below is strained pandan juice that I got from cutting up 4 khổng lồ 6 large leaves into 1-inch pieces and whirring with một nửa cup water.
In the Vietnamese kitchen, pandan is basically a southern ingredient. I’ve sầu seen reference to lớn it in old cookbooks that Gọi for lining steamer trays with the leaves & then steaming sticky rice over it for flavor. In fact, an alternative sầu name for lá dứa is cây cơm nếp (tree for sticky rice). Abroad, pandan is mostly available frozen, though I can get fresh in San Jose & Orange County, California. Floridians have sầu told me that the plant grows very well there.
Aside from culinary uses, it seems that pandan may be good for controlling diabetes too. That’s the lakiểm tra from the Vietnamese community, per Phu who was asking about the English name for lá dứa. Drinking a tea made with pandan leaf has helped a few people combat or reduce the threat of diabetes – a growing problem aao ước Vietnamese Americans whose diets have sầu gotten richer và lives more sendetary since their arrival in the States. Phu will be trying it out & reporting back!
What are your favorite ways or tips for using the green leaf?