Pandan plant (pandanus amaryllifolius ) originated from Southeast Asia. Its leaves are extracted to make a fine natural green food coloring with a unique aroma that are used in many Asian snacks and desserts’ recipes.
Central Florida, Zone 9B: Here is my pandan striving very well in my backyard. I have tried to grow pandan for two years now. I planted a few plants in different areas in the backyard and so far, pandan seems to strive in rich soil with constant moist and damp soil. It didn’t do so well being planted near the AC drip pipe since it doesn’t tolerate cold well either. The pandan plant needs partial sunlight and shade. Pandan strives in tropical climate and can be a bit tricky in zone 9B. My mom lives in Dallas Texas and she brings it into the house whenever the temperature falls in the forties.
I bought the baby pandan plant from Van’s Nursery in Apopka, FL. Potted pandan plants can occasionally be available at Vietnamese markets. If you are in Orlando area, check with Tien Hung and Tan Tien Market. If you prefer ordering online, I recommend buying live plants through Etsy from my experiences.
How to Extract the Pandan Leaves:
Cut the leaves close to the stalk. Wash and rinse the leaves well to remove any dirt. Cut or chop the leaves into small pieces about 1/4th-inch length.
Using the big cup from a 900-watt NutriBullet blender, fill it up with the cut leaves to the max line. Pour in 3/4th cup of water. Blend well.
Pour the blended mixture through a cheesecloth laid over a mesh strainer.
Pour the pandan extract into a jar. Seal it with an air tight lid. Store it in the fridge for the next day to let it settle. Pour out about the clear liquid in the upper half portion of the extract. (I used an empty OUI French glass yogurt jar here.)
I was able to store in the fridge for about three weeks. I use this much natural pandan extract for the following recipes: