Simple Thai Recipes | How to make Authentic Thai Panang Curry
I’m taking a break from my traditional West African recipes and sharing this simple Thai recipe that I love almost as much as my native dishes. There are few people who can resist the flavors of Thai cuisine – the alluring combination of hot and sweet, sour and fruity flavors are an irresistible blend.
Panang Curry is a classic Thai dish that has become a Western favorite, because it packs a wallop of flavor using mostly familiar ingredients.
I’ve been to a lot of great Thai restaurants and have found several different recipes, but is just one take on traditional Panang curry recipes. There are many different types of Thai curry pastes, each with their own flavor. Panang curry paste is the mild-mannered cousin in the curry family – it has a bit of kick, but it is slightly sweeter and more docile than some of the other curries. If your local grocery store does not carry Panang curry paste, the more generic red curry paste is also a very acceptable substitute. If you are feeling adventurous, have access to exotic ingredients and would like to try making your own Panang curry, that’s definitely a possibility too, but I’d rather opt for this good and simple Panang Curry recipe.
Traditional Thai recipes often call for kaffir lime leaves, but I have omitted them here in favor of a recipe in which all of the ingredients are commonly available. If kaffir lime leaves happen to be easily available in the area in which you live, by all means feel free to add 2 tablespoons to the broth. Half a pound of shrimp could also be substituted for the chicken in the recipe, if you prefer. Just add the shrimp together with the vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast, cut in small pieces
1 tin of premium coconut milk, 14 oz
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ½ tbsp Panang curry paste, or red curry paste (more to taste)
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp sugar
1 potato, peeled, baked and cubed
1 tomato, cubed
½ yellow onion, sliced in strips
¼ cup roasted peanuts (optional)
1 dried red pepper, crushed (more to taste)
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn in half
Heat the oil in a small pan over medium-high heat, then add the chicken and grill.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the coconut milk until hot but not yet boiling.
Add the garlic and curry paste, and stir until dissolved.
Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, potato, tomato, peanuts, and crushed red pepper.
Finally add the cooked chicken, and stir just until heated through.
Season to taste to adjust the seasonings – you may add extra curry paste or dried red pepper, if you decide that you would like a little more heat at this point.
Stir in the fresh basil leaves just before serving.
Serve over hot, fluffy basmati rice. Enjoy!