Give your pandan leaves a really good wash under running water to remove any dirt.
5 pandan leaves
Cut off the ends / base of your leaves with scissors and discard. Cut remaining leaves into small 2 cm / 1 inch thick pieces directly into your blender. Pour in the water over the top and blend. Note: Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to add a little more water and spoon down the sides to get the leaves to blend well. It should look like a thick green paste once ready.
6 tbsp water
Place a square piece of cheesecloth (or paper towel) over a bowl and spoon in your pandan leaf mixture. Wrap up and twist to hold it together with one hand. Using your free hand, grab the bundled pandan and squeeze out the juice. You may need to do this a few times to get out as much as possible.
Use straight away if required in a recipe, or pour the pandan extract into a small sterilised jar and store in the fridge. This will settle overnight to make layers - pandan water on top and more concentrated pandan extract at the bottom.
Should make approx. 170ml / 5.7oz. Use fresh pandan extract within 3 days. While this can be frozen, it's not recommended as it will lose its potency very quick. If you must freeze it, use within the month and keep in a sealed, airtight container.
How to Use: For recipes that call for just a little pandan paste - usually baked goods, then it's best to use the concentrated pandan extract at a 1:1 ratio to add the most potent flavour without the extra water content. For recipes that use water as well like cooking rice or a sauce, it's good to use the fresh pandan extract / pandan juice. We recommend a 3:1 ratio here. So if it calls for 1 tsp of pandan paste, use 3 tsp of fresh pandan extract.
Blend Again - You can repeat the blending step by adding more water to the pulp, but the extract will be weaker this time around. This is good for when you want to flavour rice etc, which requires extra water added anyway.
Need Concentrated Extract? Make the pandan extract the day before and let it settle!
Dark Mature Leaves - To pick the best leaves, you want mature dark green pandan leaves with as few blemishes as you can find. This will give you a stronger extract and more colour so you don't need to add anything artificial.