Pandan Waffles

We all know waffles, right? A light, slightly eggy cake cooked in a waffle iron so that it’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We enjoy it with a pat of butter and real maple syrup. Some people eat waffles with fried chicken as a savory Southern twist.

The Southeast Asians put their own twist on the waffle by adding a bit of pandan extract to the batter. Pandan, or screwpine, is a tropical plant that has fans of long, green leaves that, when cooked, imparts a sweet, pleasingly fragrant aroma to whatever it is cooked with. We used whole pandan leaves to infuse our nasi lemak coconut rice dish.

Here’s a pandan waffle recipe that makes a delicious breakfast, snack or dessert so good, you won’t want to stop eating them. It is a tried and true recipe, something we make quite often. The recipe comes from food blogger Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen, who is the author of “Into the Vietnamese Kitchen“.



Pandan Waffles (makes 3-4 waffles)

Ingredients:

1 cup bleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (OR 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda)
1 egg, whites separated from the yolk
1 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp pandan extract
(You can use vanilla extract if you don’t have the pandan, but then it really wouldn’t be pandan waffles anymore, now would it? Find pandan extract in the baking section of your local Asian market.)

Notes:
*If you double the recipe, most cans of coconut milk will be less than 2 cups, just add water to get correct liquid amount.
*Sugar can be halved for less sweet waffles.
*Self-raising flour can be used in place of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

Method:

1. Turn on your waffle iron.

2. In one bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk, melted butter, egg yolk, and pandan extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir it in. Switch to a folding motion towards the end to incorporate all the flour. The batter will be a little lumpy and thick, but the important thing is not to overmix it.

3. Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg white into the batter.

4. Now here comes the easy part. When the iron is hot, ladle some of the pandan waffle batter onto the grid. Close the lid and go get a plate and a fork. Breathe in that wonderful pandan aroma (but be careful not to stick your nose into the steam rising from the waffle maker!) Tell your tummy to stop growling already, because in a couple of minutes it’s going to be mighty happy.

5. When the waffle maker signals that your pandan waffle is ready, lift it out with a fork onto your waiting plate. Put the fork down. Resist the urge to pick up the waffle and jam it into your mouth. Wait for it to cool a little. If you don’t, you’ll give yourself first-degree burns on your fingertips and that little piece of skin on the roof of your mouth will hang down and bother you for the next two days. Resist!

Go back to step 4 and prep another waffle. There, that ought to be enough time now. Go for it. Forget the fork. Forget syrup. Just pick it up and devour to your heart’s content.

In our house, we double the recipe, sometimes even triple it. The kids love these pandan waffles and so do we. They freeze well (the waffles, not the kids!) and reheat nicely in the toaster.

Somehow, they don’t last too long in the freezer though. Within a couple of days, they’re all gone. Pandan waffles are great for breakfast, snack or dessert. Try it with some vanilla ice cream or, better yet, some azuki bean ice cream. Yum!

Aloha, Nate

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85 Comments Post a Comment
  1. SteamyKitchen says:

    >omg, what a great idea to use pandan in waffles. how about a thin crepe and then fill with mangoes?? yum.

  2. Annie & Nate says:

    >Hi Jaden,

    Sure, we could do a pandan crepe. But mangoes around here suck (mostly shipped in from Mexico and Ecuador). So I’d try it with some other local fruit…

  3. Rasa Malaysia says:

    >Hey, you have a new design, I like it. Pandan waffles, such a good idea.

  4. Reid says:

    >Wow,

    These sound great. My pandan plant is doing quite well so I might just have to try this. I think you can make your own extract by blending the leaves with water if you are not able to find extract anywhere.

    I think I read that in one of my SE Asian cookbooks.

  5. Annie & Nate says:

    >Reid,

    Fortunately for me, the extract is easy to find at Ranch 99. I can think of some other ‘ono things to do with whole pandan leaves, though.

    I used to grow pandan in my yard back in Hawaii. It was a pretty big patch, actually. *sigh* too bad, it’s all gone now…

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  6. Sanrio3138 says:

    >Dear Annie, can I make this without a waffle maker? However,I do have a Hello Kitty pancake pan. Thanks ^=^

  7. Annie & Nate says:

    >Hi Sanrio3138,

    I’ve never tried making pancakes with the waffle batter. It might work, who knows? Try it and let us know how it turned out!

    Aloha,

    Nate

  8. soy says:

    >do you have a waffle maker to recommend? i would prefer one that i can switch out the plates, i’m not even sure if that exists… thanks.

  9. Beau Lotus says:

    >Mmmm, I love waffles and I love pandan even more…

    This is a must try!

  10. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@soy – we only have tried one waffle maker, and that was a gift. So we don’t really have any recommendations. But there are those panini presses with interchangable plates. Try Krups brand.

    @beau lotus – let us know how that turns out!

  11. Sha says:

    >Mmmmm I love waffles and pandan too. Pandan waffles sound delicious, especially as a dessert with coconut ice cream and pieces of juicy exotic fruits :)

  12. Johtraz says:

    >So I followed this recipe, but my batter didnt even turn out green. Do you have any ideas what I couldve done wrong?

  13. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Johntraz – the pandan extract that you used — was it a green paste in a plastic bottle or a clear liquid in a glass bottle?

  14. MiNDY says:

    >OH Pandan waffle.. what a great idea. I must try this one one day. Thank you for the recipe.

  15. zerrin says:

    >After seeing this recipe and great pictures in it, my husband (who is a fan of waffle) decided to buy that waffle machine. He has been trying to persuade me for some time, but he achieved it now thanks to you.

    It seems gorgeous. I wish I knew what pandan is. We don’t have pandan in Turkey. I think we will use vanilla extract instead, or any other suggestions?

  16. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@zerrin – I think you’d have a hard time finding pandan extract in Turkey. You see it usually in Asian grocery stores.

    Vanilla would be a good touch. Congratulations on getting a waffle iron. Have fun with it!

  17. steinhc says:

    >1)What is the purpose of separating the yolk for the egg white?
    2)What if I don’t seperate them?
    3) Could I use a mixer to mix everythign together?
    4) What would happen if batter is overmixed?
    5)If the batter is all smooth, does that mean that the batter is overmixed?
    Thank you.

  18. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@steinhc – thanks for your questions!

    1) when you whip the whites separately and then fold them back in to the batter, you get a lighter, fluffier waffle.

    2) don’t know; never tried. Do you want to try it and find out?

    3) yes

    4) you might get a chewier waffle

    5) yes

  19. m says:

    >Hi Annie,

    I bought the Pandan extract and the Pandan paste. I was told by the Vietnamese clerk that the paste works better. In someone’s comments, theirs did not turn out green. Which is better, the extract or the paste?

  20. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@m – the paste.

  21. jadedfork says:

    >What a great idea! I love pandan, especially cooking plain rice with a piece of pandan leaf. Do you have a particular brand you use for the extract?

  22. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@jadedfork – we use Aroma brand. We have a pic of it on our Pandan Kaya post

    http://chezannies.blogspot.com/2008/10/pandan-kaya-bread-recipe-plus.html

  23. samualkj says:

    >Wow! I just found this site on accident. I wasn’t even looking for pandan waffles, but what a wonderful idea! Mmm…I must try this. Thank you! :O)

  24. Anonymous says:

    >are these the same waffles as the ones I see at the asian markets that have coconut in them?

  25. Nate-n-Annie says:

    >@Anonymous – yes!

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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