About Panang Curry
Panang is a classic, much loved Thai curry that is very quick and simple to cook, which is why it's perfect one for lockdown! Instead of being soupy like most other Thai curries, this one is more of a saucy curry with a thick, rich, luscious, flavourful sauce.
Panang Curry Paste
You can sometimes find pre-made panang curry paste, but it isn't always available. However, Thai red curry paste is very easy to find, and with that, we can make our own panang paste! Take the red curry paste and add three simple ingredients: cumin, coriander seeds, and peanuts. Typically we use ground roasted peanuts, but for lockdown, a little peanut butter will do the trick.
This recipe calls for beef, but you can substitute any protein you have in the fridge! To make it vegan, you can us sturdy roasted vegetables such as eggplant, butternut squash, or portobello mushrooms. You can also substitute firm tofu as well!
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- 300g beef, very thinly sliced against the grain
- 1½ tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp oil
- ¾ cup + ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 recipe homemade or semi-homemade panang curry paste (recipe follows)
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, 7 roughly torn, 3 finely julienned (see note)
- ~1 teaspoon fish sauce, to taste
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- A handful of julienned red bell pepper for garnish, optional
- Jasmine rice for serving
Semi-Homemade Panang Curry Paste
- 3–4 tablespoon red curry paste
- ¾ tsp toasted cumin seeds, ground
- 1½ tsp toasted coriander seeds, ground
- 2 tsp smooth peanut butter
Note: You can find kaffir lime leaves, fresh, frozen or dried. But if you can’t get to the store and don’t have any, don’t worry about it. You can try adding Thai basil instead as well.
- For the curry paste, simply mix together red curry paste, cumin, coriander, and peanut butter
- For the meat, add the fish sauce and oil and mix it together well. The oil will help the beef separate more easily when you go to cook it.
- In a wok or saute pan, bring ¾ cup of the coconut milk to a boil and let it reduce until it’s thick and creamy. We’re gonna use this fatty coconut milk to saute our curry paste.
- Add the curry paste, and keep stirring for a few minutes until it gets really thick and aromatic.
- Add brown sugar, the roughly tear in the kaffir lime leaves then cook it for a minute or so.
- Add the beef and toss it with the curry paste. You want to separate the pieces quite quickly so they will cook evenly.
- Once the beef is about half way cooked, add the rest of the coconut milk and stir just until the beef is fully cooked.
- If you want you can add some red bell peppers for some colour, and then take it off the heat.
- At this point if it looks too dry and you want something a little more saucy, you can just add a splash of water. And because some brands of curry pastes are saltier than others, you want to give it a taste before you finish, and if it needs more salt, you can add a splash of fish sauce.
- You can garnish with some julienned kaffir lime leaves if you have some, then serve it with some hot Thai jasmine rice.