Pandan, a tropical, fragrant green plant from Southeast and South Asia, is special for a few reasons, one being its unique profile, which can
elicit flavors that are savory or reminiscent of vanilla, coconut and almond. Additionally, the leaves are popular from Cambodia to Thailand
to Indonesia because of their numerous health uses: Pandan detoxifies the liver, is a mild laxative, relieves headaches and has been shown
to help lower blood sugar levels. In Indonesia, it’s often featured in sticky-sweet glutinous treats. Indeed, at the modern French-Indonesian
restaurant Wayan in New York City, the sweet custard dessert, topped with passion fruit seeds, is a perfect showcase. But it also figures into
curries and stews—simply break the leaves and add them to the pot—making it super versatile. “It’s also great for making
m i l k s h a k e s !” says Wayan's executive chef Cedric Vongerichten.