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Sweet Pork Ribs Wrapped in Fragrant Pandanus Leaves Recipe

Sweet Pork Ribs Wrapped in Fragrant Pandanus Leaves

Sweet Pork Ribs Wrapped in Fragrant Pandanus Leaves Recipe

The elusive fragrance of pandanus leaves permeates a number of rice, meat and chicken dishes of Malay or Nonya origin, while pandanus essence extracted from the leaves is often used in cakes and desserts. The use of pandanus to wrap foods (most often seasoned chicken) before deep-frying is borrowed quite recently from Thailand. This Singapore adaptation uses pork ribs.

Ingredients :

  • 3 shallots, peeled 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet plum sauce or honey (see note)
  • 11/2 tablespoons steak sauce (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 11/2-1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 700 g (11/2 lbs) meaty pork ribs or chicken thighs, cut into serving pieces 24 pandanus leaves, rinsed and dried
  • Oil for deep-frying

Method :

  1. Grind the shallots and garlic in a mortar and mix with all other ingredients, except the meat, pandanus leaves and oil for deep-frying. Rub this mixture into the meat and set aside to marinate for 2 hours.
  2. Wrap each piece of pork rib or chicken thigh in a pandanus leaf, tying it in a simple knot so the meat is enclosed by the leaf as shown.
  3. Deep-fry the meat parcels in very hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes until cooked Serve hot, still in the pandanus leaf, allowing each diner to unwrap his or her own portions.

Note : If unavailable, substitute pandanus leaves with parchment paper. Wrap the ribs envelope-style and fasten with a staple before frying. Worcestershire sauce and steak sauce are both of English origin, and are available in supermarkets. Sweet plum sauce is available where Chinese foods are sold.

Serves 4
Preparation time : 20 mins + marination time
Cooking time : 10 mins


Source :
the food of Singapore
Simple Street Food Recipes from the Lion City
by David Wong & Djoko Wibisono
photos by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni
introduction by Lee Geok Boi


See also Singapore Cooking “Claypot Rice Recipe”