Like other common syrups, the fragrant syrup is made of sugar and water. What is special about this syrup is that pandan leaf and jasmine essence are added. For Thai people, the scent triggers recollection of jasmine garlands in Buddhist ceremonies. Coupled with pandan leaf which plays a very important role in Thai cooking, both sweet and savory, the fragrant syrup enlivens the taste buds and the sweet memory of all things Thai.
Fragrant Syrup - Nam Cheum น้ำเชื่อม
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3-4 pieces Pandan Leaf
- 2-3 drops jasmine essence
Tips and Techniques
- You can find the pandan leaves in the frozen section of an Asian market.
- Jasmine essence is optional but makes the syrup unmistakably Thai. In Thailand, jasmine is picked before nightfall, before the petals open up and release its fragrance. To make the jasmine water, we float blooming jasmine on the water in a tightly sealed container overnight. Jasmine water is ready for use the next morning.
Microwave Method: In a microwave-safe bowl, add sugar, water and pandan leaf. Heat up the syrup mixture for 2 minutes or until the syrup has boiled. Remove from the microwave and add 2 drops of jasmine essence. Stir to mix everything. Add the syrup to Thai desserts and drinks.
Stovetop Method: Rinse and cut pandan leaf into smaller pieces. You need about 3 to 4 3-inch pieces. Heat the sugar, water and pandan leaf in a pot until boiled. Let the syrup boil until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and drop a few drops of jasmine essence.
Keep the syrup refrigerated and tightly seal for a couple of weeks.