About six months ago, I took a trip to Thailand. It was my first time in Asia and an unforgettable experience. The scenery was stunning, and the food was amazing and absurdly cheap. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been experimenting with Thai ingredients and flavors making curries, Tom Kha Gai soups, Thai beef salads, and coconut ice-cream with kaffir lime and lemongrass.
Thailand was also the first time I tasted pandanus or pandan leaves. These tall green leaves are as ubiquitous in Thailand as vanilla is here in the States. They add a fresh green grass and nutty coconut flavor and pair particularly well with desserts.
With the Summer heat setting in, I like to infuse water with both lemongrass and pandan leaves and keep a large pitcher of it by my desk to drink throughout the day. I don’t follow a recipe. At the end of the day, it’s flavored water and nearly impossible to screw up. But, the general process is to chop up some leaves and stalks of lemongrass and let steep in water for about an hour. You can leave the leaves and stalks in longer for a more intense flavor but even after an hour, it has an excellent floral, lemony, grassy flavor that reminds me of Thailand.
What worked: Quick and easy.
What didn’t: Nada.
Know this: This infused water makes a great base for lemonade.
Pandan and Lemongrass Infused Water
- 2 or 3 pandan leaves – torn into pieces
- 3″ or 4″ lemongrass – sliced
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Combine panda leaves, lemongrass, and water in large pitcher. Steep for at least one 1 hour and serve over ice.