Make your personal model with the flowery, vanilla-flavored Southeast Asian leaf.
Photograph courtesy of Madame Vo; Design by Grace Han for Thrillist
Pandan is one in every of my favourite flavors of all time. It was the flavour of birthday cake my mother purchased for me all through my childhood—pale inexperienced and embellished with tiny flowers crafted from pandan-infused buttercream. It’s the ice cream taste I go for, regardless of the expansive menu, when visiting New York’s Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. It’s additionally now my favourite taste to have in a latte.
For many who have but to expertise the enjoyment of the Southeast Asian leaves, pandan is floral and vaguely vanilla-like and steeped in a lot of Southeast Asian desserts—jellies, desserts, puddings—throughout Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, and extra.
Chef Jimmy Ly of Madame Vo describes it as “aromatic, milky, and nutty,” but additionally admits that it’s onerous to pin down particularly. “It simply smells superb. One factor about pandan, once you odor it, you’re like, ‘Oh, it simply smells like coconut within the air.’” At Madame Vo, Ly pairs his signature Vietnamese espresso with pandan-infused soy milk made in home for the right latte. It’s a balancing act because of how delicate of a taste pandan could be, however Ly has discovered the right ratio.
“Vietnamese coffee is actually sturdy,” he says. “It’s actually going to kick you in your rear and wake you up and pandan is the full reverse. Pandan is extra soothing—it form of balances it out.” Initially, Ly was crafting lemongrass pandan soy milk for patrons, who have been drawn in by its subtly inexperienced hue. Combining the soy milk along with his daring espresso simply appeared like an applicable subsequent step.
“It simply smells superb. One factor about pandan, once you odor it, you’re like, ‘Oh, it simply smells like coconut within the air.’”
Luke Jung of Luce Coffee Roasters in Houston first skilled the flavour of pandan on a visit to Singapore. “I had by no means tried it earlier than, [and] I didn’t know learn how to replicate it,” he explains. “However the first sip that I attempted made me sure that everybody would love pandan as a lot as I did.” He introduced the reminiscence again with him to Texas and created what he calls the Island Latte—a pandan latte paired with two pictures of espresso—in addition to the Black Island Latte, which additionally contains activated charcoal. Not solely do the drinks carry the signature taste of pandan in each sip, they’re swirls of vibrant colours—gently layered with inexperienced, brown, and black.
The pandan espresso craze just isn’t restricted to the US. In Toronto, at Rustle & Still Cafe, Tri Ngo captures the flavors of his Vietnamese upbringing within the meals and drinks. “It’s positively a childhood taste that we develop up with,” he explains. “It’s additionally a segway into telling the story of how we supply the beans from Southeast Asia, and pair [them] with Vietnamese street food like banh mis.”
Rustle & Nonetheless not solely serves a pandan latte, but additionally affords a matcha pandan latte for an additional inexperienced drink. “These two drinks are the very best sellers, both iced or scorching. They’re notably good with soy or oat milk, in order that’s the go-to order for anybody who want to strive one thing refreshingly good however completely different from a typical latte,” he says. In the course of the pandemic, Ngo additionally crafted one litre bottles of the pandan-infused lattes for patrons to take pleasure in at residence.
In the way in which that matcha has infiltrated each espresso store in America, it appears as if pandan syrups and milks might comply with swimsuit. “It’s simply one thing that you need to expertise in life,” Ly says, “Upon getting, you’re hooked.”
Madame Vo Pandan Soy Milk Recipe
- 10 recent Pandan leaves, minimize into small items
- 300 grams soybean, soaked in a single day
- 2 Liters water
- ½ cup sugar (add extra based mostly on choice)
1. Rinse and pressure the soaked soy beans in a colander.
2. Put half of the soybeans and ½ liter of water into the blender. Mix for roughly 20 seconds.
three. Place a big sieve on high of the blending bowl after which place the cheesecloth on high of the sieve.
four. Pour out the soy combination and pressure. Proceed to mix the remaining soy milk. Pressure this combination.
5. Add the minimize pandan leaves into blender, with the remaining 1 liter of water. Mix for 20 secs, and add to giant bowl. Collect and twist the cheesecloth edges collectively on the high tightly and squeeze out all of the liquid. Discard the clumpy soy bean.
6. Pour the strained soy milk right into a pot. Carry the soy milk to a boil on excessive warmth. Then flip to medium warmth and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continually. Skim any scum, and add any choice sweetener. Serve heat or chilly.
7. Retailer within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
Madame Vo Pandan Latte Recipe
- 6 ounces Pandan soy milk
- four ounces Black Vietnamese espresso
- Coconut milk
1. In a big cup, mix 6 ounces pandan soy milk (Sữa Đậu Nành) and four ounces black Vietnamese espresso, and fill with ice.
2. Liberally drizzle the highest with coconut milk and revel in.