Thai pandan-wrapped chicken (gai ob bai toey)

Thai pandan-wrapped chicken (gai ob bai toey) |

Boneless chicken cutlets are marinated in sauces and spices, wrapped in aromatic pandan leaves and fried until crisp and browned. These nuggets are so flavorful they don’t need a dipping sauce and they are great as finger food or served with rice as a main dish.

There is a pandan chicken recipe in the archive where the pandan-wrapped chicken pieces were broiled rather than fried. Broiling works well when the chicken cutlets include the skin which provides the necessary fat to make the meat moist and tender. But when using skinless chicken cutlets, frying is the best way to go.


  • 1.2 k. of skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • pandan leaves equal to the number of cut chicken pieces
  • toothpicks
  • about 2 c. of cooking oil for deep frying
  • Marinade:
  • 8 tbsps. of fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of finely grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of finely grated turmeric (ginger is okay)
  • 2 tbsps. of lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1 tbsp. of sugar
  • 6 to 8 tbsps. of coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp. of oyster sauce
  • 2 red chili peppers, finely chopped (optional)


  1. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade. Mix well. Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Cut off the root and light green portions of the pandan leaves. Take the dark green portion and blanch in hot water for 30 seconds to release the aroma and to make them more pliable.
  3. Take one piece of chicken, wrap with a pandan leaf and secure with a toothpick. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are wrapped.
  4. Heat the cooking oil in a wok. Fry the pandan-wrapped chicken in batches until they are browned and crisp (about 3 to 4 minutes). Drain on paper towels and serve at once.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6 to 8


  1. says

    This recipe sounds fantastic. If you can’t find pandan leaves can you make it without or is there a substitute? Thanks!

    • says

      If you make it without pandan leaves it’s going to be just fried chicken cutlets. It’s the pandan leaves the gives this dish its unique aroma and flavor. And there is no substitute for pandan leaves. Of course, you can try other cooking leaves but the aroma and flavpr won’t be the same.

      • Shekinah says

        hi, i used to cook this recipe once in a while. if i cant find pandan leaves here in baguio…read: don’t want to go marketing :) i usually add liquid pandan flavor on the marinade. but not too much.. the result is almost the same in aroma. but of course, taking them of the leaves, is half the fun…that what you gonna miss! cheers!

  2. Kim says

    I’ve been wanting to cook this recipe for a long-time now since I tasted this at a Thai restaurant in Manila, since I was a student in UST. I live in the US now and I just called the local Fil-Am store after reading this recipe and they told me they do have frozen pandan leaves! hooray!(I can use frozen pandan leaves right?) Nevertheless, I will still try and make it. I love your website. I am a new fan. More power ;)

  3. zara says

    i tried this dish last december in a newly opened thai resto here in cagayan de oro city and since then i can’t get it out of my mind. i wanted to try and cook this dish but i don’t know the ingredients for the marinade. at last, i’ve found this recipe in your site. tnx ms. connie! you inspired me more to be inventive in the kitchen. i always browse your site almost everyday since my discovery of it. God bless! ;)