Mint Thai Logo
My Personal Thai Food Recipe Blog!

Share This Recipe


Panang Curry Recipe (Thai Panang Curry)

Panang Curry Recipe

If you’re craving a flavorful and aromatic Thai dish, look no further than Panang Curry Recipe.
Discover the rich history and origins of this delectable dish, explore the various variations it offers, and get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the versatile and spicy world of Panang Curry!

History of Panang Curry

Did you know that the history of Panang Curry can be traced back to the royal kitchens of Thailand? This delicious and aromatic dish has a rich heritage that dates back centuries. It is believed that Panang Curry Recipe was originally created in the royal palaces of Thailand, where it was exclusively prepared for the Thai monarchs and members of the royal family.

The name ‘Panang’ actually refers to a small island off the west coast of Malaysia, which was once a part of the ancient Thai kingdom. It is said that this curry dish was inspired by the flavors and spices brought back from trade expeditions to this island. Over time, Panang Curry became more popular among the common people and spread throughout Thailand.

Initially, Panang Curry Recipe was made with beef or pork as its main protein source. However, as it gained popularity across different regions in Thailand, variations were introduced using chicken or seafood instead. The signature characteristics of Panang Curry Recipe are its thick consistency and rich taste, thanks to ingredients like coconut milk, red chili peppers, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and various herbs and spices.

Today, Panang Curry is enjoyed worldwide as one of Thailand’s most famous culinary exports. Its unique blend of flavors continues to captivate food lovers everywhere who appreciate its spicy yet creamy taste. So next time you savor this delectable dish, remember its regal origins in the royal kitchens of Thailand!

Origins of Panang Curry

Have you ever wondered about the origins of this delicious Thai dish?

Panang curry, also known as Phanaeng curry, has a fascinating history that dates back to the royal courts of Thailand. It is believed that Panang Curry Recipe was created by the court chefs who wanted to impress King Rama II with a new and unique dish. The name ‘panang’ itself refers to the city of Penang in Malaysia, where Thai cuisine has had a significant influence.

Panang curry is known for its rich and creamy texture, which can be attributed to its Malaysian roots. The dish incorporates coconut milk, peanuts, and spices like coriander, cumin, and lemongrass. This combination creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is both savory and slightly sweet.

Over time, Panang Curry Recipe became popular not only within the royal courts but also among the general population in Thailand. Its popularity spread beyond borders and gained international recognition for its unique taste.

Today, panang curry is enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether you’re dining at a Thai restaurant or cooking it at home, savoring this flavorful dish allows you to experience a small piece of Thai culinary history.

Variations of Panang Curry Recipe

When you try different versions of this flavorful Thai dish, you’ll discover a range of unique variations that showcase the diverse culinary traditions within Thailand.

Panang curry, known for its rich and creamy texture, is a dish that has evolved over time to suit different regional preferences and tastes. In Central Thailand, you might find a version with more coconut milk, resulting in a velvety smooth sauce that coats the tender meat or vegetables perfectly.

Moving towards the south of Thailand, you may encounter Panang Curry Recipe with an added kick of heat from extra chili peppers or spicy shrimp paste. In the northern region, the focus is on herbs and spices like lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, which give the dish a refreshing and aromatic twist.

Beyond these regional variations, there are also creative adaptations made by Thai chefs around the world. Some restaurants offer vegetarian or vegan versions of Panang Curry Recipe by replacing meat with tofu or seitan while still maintaining its signature flavors. Others experiment with fusion combinations such as adding pineapple chunks for a sweet and tangy twist or incorporating seafood like prawns or squid for a delightful seafood panang experience.

No matter which variation you try, one thing remains constant – the bold combination of flavors that make panang curry so popular worldwide. From its origins in Thailand to modern interpretations across borders, each bite tells a story of tradition and innovation within Thai cuisine.

Health Benefits of Panang Curry

The health benefits of Panang Curry include a boost in metabolism from the spicy ingredients and an increase in antioxidant intake from the variety of herbs and spices. When you consume Panang Curry, the spiciness can actually help to rev up your metabolism, allowing your body to burn calories more efficiently. The capsaicin found in chili peppers, one of the key ingredients in Panang Curry paste, has been shown to have thermogenic properties that can increase your metabolic rate and aid in weight loss.

In addition to its metabolism-boosting effects, Panang Curry is also packed with a wide range of herbs and spices that offer numerous health benefits. These flavorful additions, such as ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and galangal, are not only delicious but also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting your cells against damage caused by harmful free radicals. By increasing your intake of these powerful compounds through Panang Curry consumption, you can support overall cellular health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Panang Curry Vs. Other Thai Curries

Now that you know about the health benefits of Panang Curry, let’s compare it to other Thai curries.

Panang Curry stands out for its unique flavors and characteristics.

One key difference between Panang and other Thai curries is its consistency. While green and red curries have a more soup-like consistency, Panang is thicker and creamier. This is because of the addition of coconut milk and ground peanuts, which give it a rich texture.

In terms of spiciness, Panang Curry tends to be milder compared to other Thai curries like green or jungle curry. It still packs a punch of flavor with hints of sweetness from the coconut milk and depth from the spices.

Another notable difference lies in the choice of ingredients. Unlike green or red curries, Panang Curry often includes kaffir lime leaves, which give it a distinct citrusy aroma.

When it comes to versatility, all Thai curries offer endless possibilities for customization with different proteins or vegetables. However, Panang Curry’s creamy consistency pairs exceptionally well with meat options like chicken or beef.

Panang Curry: Hot or Mild

You may be wondering whether to go for the hot or mild version of Panang Curry. Well, it all depends on your spice tolerance and personal preference. If you enjoy a fiery kick in your taste buds, then the hot version is definitely for you. The combination of red chili peppers and aromatic spices will give your palate an intense heat that lingers with each mouthful.

However, if you prefer a milder flavor profile that still packs a punch, then opt for the mild version. It still has all the rich flavors of Panang Curry but with less heat.

Choosing between hot or mild also depends on who you’re sharing your meal with. If you have friends or family members who can’t handle spicy food very well, it’s best to play it safe and go for the mild option so everyone can enjoy their meal without discomfort.

How to make Panang Curry (Thai Panang Curry) at home

Panang Curry, also spelled as "Phanaeng" or "Panaeng," is a popular Thai dish known for its rich and creamy texture with a slightly sweet and spicy flavor. It's often made with meat, such as chicken, beef, or pork, and features a flavorful curry paste. Here's a detailed recipe for making Panang Curry
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Servings 4
Calories 500 kcal


  • Cutting board : For chopping vegetables, herbs, and meat.
  • Knife : A sharp knife for slicing and dicing ingredients.
  • Mortar and Pestle or Food Processor: For grinding and blending the curry paste ingredients.
  • Cooking Pot or Pan: For sautéing the curry paste, cooking the meat, and simmering the curry.
  • Wooden spoon or spatula : For stirring and mixing the ingredients in the pot or pan.
  • Measuring spoons and cups : For accurately measuring the ingredients, especially the curry paste, fish sauce, and sugar.
  • Can opener : If using canned coconut milk.
  • Strainer or colander : For draining and deseeding soaked dried chili peppers.
  • Tongs or Cooking Utensils: For handling and flipping the meat while cooking.
  • Small Bowls: For organizing pre-measured spices and ingredients before cooking.
  • Serving Dishes: For serving the curry and rice.
  • Pot Holders or Oven Mitts: To handle hot pots and pans safely.
  • Ladle or Spoon: For scooping and serving the curry.


For the Curry Paste

  • 4-6 dried red chili peppers, soaked in warm water and deseeded
  • 3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tender part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste (optional, omit for vegetarian version)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the Curry

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2-3 tbsp Panang curry paste (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat), 14 oz
  • 1 lbs meat (chicken, beef, or pork), thinly sliced or cubed
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Thai basil leaves, for garnish
  • Red chili slices, for garnish


Prepare the Curry Paste:

  • In a mortar and pestle or a food processor, pound or blend the soaked dried chili peppers, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal (or ginger), ground coriander, ground cumin, ground white pepper, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg until you have a smooth paste.
  • If using shrimp paste, add it to the paste and blend until well combined.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the curry paste for a few minutes until fragrant. Set aside.

Cooking the Curry:

  • In a separate pan or pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the Panang curry paste and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the flavors are released.
  • Add the sliced or cubed meat to the pan and cook until it's no longer pink on the outside.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir well to combine with the meat and curry paste.
  • Let the mixture simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Add fish sauce and palm sugar (or brown sugar) to balance the flavors. Adjust according to your taste preferences. The fish sauce adds saltiness and umami, while the sugar adds a touch of sweetness.

Finishing Touches & Serving

  • If using kaffir lime leaves, thinly slice them and add them to the curry for a citrusy aroma.
  • Just before serving, garnish the curry with fresh Thai basil leaves and slices of red chili for a pop of color and extra flavor.
  • Serve the Panang Curry hot with steamed jasmine rice.
  • Remember that Thai cooking is all about balancing flavors, so feel free to adjust the amount of curry paste, fish sauce, and sugar to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy your homemade Panang Curry!


  • Customize Spice Level: The spiciness of the curry paste can vary based on the type and amount of chili peppers used. Adjust the number of dried chili peppers in the curry paste to achieve your desired level of spiciness.
  • Substitute Meat: Feel free to substitute the chicken with other meats like beef, pork, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the meat you choose.
  • Shrimp Paste: Shrimp paste adds depth of flavor, but if you’re vegetarian or allergic to shellfish, you can omit it without drastically affecting the overall taste.
  • Coconut Milk: Use full-fat coconut milk for a creamier texture and richer flavor. You can adjust the quantity based on your preference for thickness.
  • Fish Sauce: Fish sauce contributes saltiness and umami. Adjust the amount to your taste and consider using low-sodium soy sauce or tamari as a substitute.
  • Palm Sugar: Palm sugar adds a subtle sweetness. If unavailable, you can use brown sugar or another sweetener of your choice.
  • Garnishes: Fresh Thai basil leaves and thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves are traditional garnishes. They enhance the fragrance and flavor of the curry.
  • Serve with Rice: Panang Curry is typically served with steamed jasmine rice to balance the flavors and provide a satisfying meal.
  • Prep Ahead: You can make the curry paste in advance and store it in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze it for longer storage.
  • Adapt to Dietary Restrictions: Adjust the recipe to accommodate dietary restrictions. For example, use gluten-free soy sauce for a gluten-free version.
  • Experiment and Taste: Thai cooking often involves finding the right balance of flavors. Taste as you go and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
  • Leftovers: Panang Curry tends to taste even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld. Reheat gently to avoid overcooking the meat.
don’t hesitate to modify the recipe to suit your preferences and dietary needs. Enjoy the delicious flavors of homemade Panang Curry Recipe!
Keyword curry, meat, Spicy, Thai, Thai basil, Thai food

Panang Curry Recipe Around the World

As you explore different cuisines from around the world, you’ll discover that Panang Curry has become a beloved dish in many countries. This rich and flavorful Thai curry has captured the hearts and taste buds of people in various parts of the globe. From Thailand to Australia, Malaysia to the United States, Panang Curry is enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike.

In Thailand, where Panang Curry originated, it is a staple dish that can be found in almost every corner of the country. The authentic flavors of Panang Curry are treasured and preserved by generations of Thai chefs who carefully blend ingredients like galangal, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.

Across Southeast Asia, Panang Curry has gained popularity as well. In Malaysia, it is known as ‘Penang‘ curry and features its own unique twist with added spices like nutmeg and cloves. In neighboring Singapore, locals enjoy their own version called ‘Singapore-style’ Panang Curry which incorporates influences from Chinese cuisine.

Even further afield, Panang Curry has made its mark in Western countries too. In Australia, it is a favorite among food enthusiasts who appreciate its bold flavors and creamy texture. In the United States, Thai restaurants often feature Panang Curry on their menus due to its widespread appeal.

Panang Curry: A Versatile Dish

If you’re looking for a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in many different ways, Panang Curry is the perfect choice. Whether you prefer it spicy or mild, with chicken, beef, or tofu, this Thai curry dish offers endless possibilities to satisfy your taste buds.

One of the great things about Panang Curry is its ability to be customized according to your preferences. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less chili peppers, and you can also play around with the ingredients to create your own unique version of this flavorful dish.

Not only is Panang Curry delicious on its own, but it also pairs well with various accompaniments. Serve it over steamed jasmine rice for a classic combination that brings out the rich flavors of the curry. If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try pairing it with noodles instead. The creamy sauce of the Panang Curry coats the noodles perfectly, creating a delightful fusion of flavors.

In addition to being enjoyed as a main course, Panang Curry can also be used as a dipping sauce or marinade. Its bold and complex flavors make it an excellent choice for dipping crispy spring rolls or grilled skewers into. If you want to add some extra flavor to grilled meats or vegetables, marinating them in Panang Curry before cooking will infuse them with an irresistible taste.

With its versatility and ability to complement a variety of dishes, there’s no doubt that Panang Curry is truly a winner when it comes to satisfying your cravings and exploring new culinary experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Substitute Panang Curry Paste With Another Type of Curry Paste?

Yes, you can substitute Panang Curry paste with another type of curry paste. While Panang Curry paste has a distinct flavor profile with its combination of lemongrass, galangal, and other ingredients, you can use other curry pastes like red or green curry paste as a substitute.

However, keep in mind that the taste may vary slightly. It’s always recommended to adjust the other ingredients accordingly to achieve the desired flavor when using a different type of curry paste.

Is Panang Curry Traditionally Served With Rice or Noodles?

Panang Curry is a delicious Thai dish. When it comes to serving, you have options.Traditionally, Panang Curry is served with rice or noodles. Both choices work well because they soak up the flavorful sauce. Rice provides a neutral base that complements the rich and spicy flavors of the curry. On the other hand, noodles add a different texture and can enhance your dining experience.Ultimately, it’s up to your personal preference to decide which one you’d like to pair with your Panang Curry.

Are There Any Vegetarian or Vegan Versions of Panang Curry?

Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan versions of Panang Curry available. Many Thai restaurants offer a meatless option that replaces the meat with tofu or vegetables.

The creamy coconut milk-based sauce is still used, along with traditional spices and flavors. These plant-based versions are just as delicious and satisfying as the original dish, so you can enjoy all the rich flavors of Panang Curry without any animal products.

Can I Freeze Panang Curry for Later Consumption?

Yes, you can freeze Panang Curry for later consumption. Freezing it allows you to enjoy this delicious dish whenever you want without worrying about it going bad.

It’s a convenient option if you have leftovers or if you want to make a larger batch and save some for another time.

Just make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag to maintain its flavor and texture when thawed.

What Are Some Common Side Dishes or Accompaniments to Serve With Panang Curry?

When it comes to serving Panang Curry, there are several common side dishes and accompaniments that pair well with its rich flavors.

Some popular options include jasmine rice, roti bread, or even noodles like rice noodles or egg noodles. These sides help balance the spiciness of the curry and add variety to your meal.

Additionally, you can also consider serving some fresh herbs like cilantro or Thai basil as garnish to enhance the overall taste experience.

Mint Thai Cafe Profile

About Mint Thai Cafe

My name is Mint. I am a Thai girl who loves to cook and share my Thai food with everyone! Learn more about me here.

Social Media

Stay Updated

Simple Form Button Below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating