This Thai Panang curry dish is made with chicken, coconut milk, Panang curry paste and veggies. Just add it to rice or noodles to create a quick and satisfying dish.
There’s something really soul satisfying about Thai Panang Curry. It’s warming and filling, not to mention deliciously aromatic.
We love this dish and could probably eat it for just about any meal. It’s a great meal to make when you’re trying to cut down on meat consumption too, because you can dress it up with as many vegetables as you like, which enables you to cut down on the amount of chicken used. This recipe only calls for 4 oz of chicken to serve 2 people.
You can also make this dish vegetarian by omitting the chicken. You can add tofu, which is very popular in Thailand, or you can add prawns or beef, as well. It’s very versatile.
What is Panang Curry
You might know there are many different types of curry paste in Thailand. Panang curry is just one. It’s always been my favorite. It differs from red curry in that it includes peanuts in the paste. It’s also slightly sweeter and less spicy than red or yellow curry. If you’re new to curry, or don’t like strong or spicy flavors, Panang curry is for you!
Buying Curry Paste for Panang Curry
I haven’t branched into making my own curry paste at home, but you can try your hand at it with this instructional video from Hot Thai Kitchen. You’ll need a mortal and a pestle, plus about 30 minutes to mix it all up into a smooth paste.
The alternative, of course, is buying the paste pre-made. I particularly like the Maesri brand. It comes in a tin and there’s enough in the can to make two of this recipe. You can also buy it in a Curry Set, that includes the coconut milk, paste, and kefir lime leaves. Two other brands that I really like are Lobo and Mae Ploy.
How to Make Panang Curry
You might think it must be difficult to make such a flavorful, aromatic curry, but it’s actually super easy.
You’ll need a wok or large skillet. Put the pan over medium high heat. Add the cooking oil and the curry paste. Mix that around the pan until the aromas bloom. It’s about to smell really good in your kitchen!
Then add the coconut milk and whisk it all together. Add in the chicken and onion and allow it to cook through. When it’s just about done, add in the rest of the vegetables and basil. Let it simmer for just 2 minutes. It’s ready!
Serve it with rice to soak up the sauce. I have also served this with Thai rice noodles and it’s equally delicious. If you’re looking for a low-carb way to eat this dish, serve it over bean sprouts!
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Thai Panang Curry
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp Panang curry paste
- 12 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ onion thinly sliced
- 1 handful Thai or regular basil
- 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast cut into ¼-inch thin slices
- 1 large red bell pepper cut into thin strips
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 kaffir lime leaves optional
- Steamed rice to serve it with
- lime wedges, for garnish
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cooking oil and the curry paste. Mix that around the pan until the aromas bloom, about 1 minute.
- Add the coconut milk and whisk together.
- Add in the onion and chicken and allow it to cook through.
- When it's just about done, add in the rest of the ingredients. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
- Serve it with rice to soak up the sauce.
- I like to use half a green bell pepper and half a red bell pepper to add extra color, but this isn't necessary, so the recipe calls for just one red bell pepper.
- Adding the kefir lime leaves gives the sauce an extra lime flavor that elevates it. However, it's difficult to find these leaves, so it's not necessary to add them. You can add a squeeze of lime juice instead.
- If you can't find Panang curry paste, that's okay. You can use this recipe with any type of Thai curry paste: green, red, yellow, etc.