Let me just say that this Panang Curry recipe could be my ultimate favorite kind of curry! It’s bursting with rich and creamy flavor from the curry paste and coconut milk and is made hearty with chicken, veggies and fresh basil.
Recently I shared a new Red Curry, Yellow Curry and Massaman curry recipe, but if I had it my way, I’d serve these dishes together on the same night alongside some homemade naan and roasted vegetables! I’ve also included options for vegan and vegetarian panang curry, because this recipe is easily adaptable to any dietary restrictions.
My affinity for Thai food recipes is no secret–especially ones you can make at home, that taste just as good as take-out! You all have come to LOVE my Homemade Pad Thai just as much as I do, and I have too many other favorite Thai recipes to count. I just love the hugely bold flavors and freshness that comes with dishes, including this one!
I think the thought of making homemade curry can sound intimidating but it’s actually one of the EASIEST meals to make! Let’s walk through it, step by step!
Quick and Easy Panang Curry (and overview)
1. Sauté vegetables. Heat oil over medium high heat in large non-stick skillet. Sauté onions for 2 minutes, then add bell peppers, garlic and ginger and sauté for 2 minutes more.
2. Add to make sauce: Add curry paste and peanut butter and sauté for 1 minute. Add 1 ½ cans of coconut milk. Whisk cornstarch into remaining ½ can coconut milk then add to the pan. Stir well.
3. Add chicken. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or just until chicken is no longer pink and sauce begins to thicken.
4. Final touches. Stir in sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Serve curry over hot cooked rice, zoodles or spaghetti squash, with a side for naan.
Panang Curry Paste:
Which type? You have the choice of buying this curry paste or making it homemade. Personally, I prefer to buy panang curry paste and I am partial to the Mae Ploy Brand. You can find it at your local Asian market, or on Amazon.
Spice level. The spiciness of this dish will largely depend on the type and amount of curry paste you use. I have found Mae Ploy to be a little spicier than other brands (2 tablespoons is medium spicy). That being said, I found when I used 1 tablespoon Mae Ploy Panang Curry paste it was lacking flavor for my taste.
If you want, you can always use less Panang curry paste and add additional Sriracha/Asian hot chili sauce to taste at the end of cooking.
Variations and Dietary Restrictions:
More vegetables: This is a great recipe to “clean out your veggie drawer”. Try adding mushrooms, zucchini, bean sprouts, spinach, bamboo shoots or carrots.
Chicken: You can substitute the chicken for shrimp or tofu.
Rice: Brown, white, or jasmine rice pair well with curry, or skip the rice and serve your curry over zoodles or spaghetti squash.
Vegetarian and vegan panang: Use a vegetarian curry paste (one that doesn’t contain fish sauce or shrimp paste) like this one. Also omit the chicken and fish sauce from the recipe and add additional vegetables of tofu!
The customization of this Panang Curry is endless, and so will be your love for it!
Storing and Freezing Instructions:
This recipe will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator (and that makes it a fabulous MEAL PREP dish)! For even quicker meal prep, you can cut the chicken and slice the red bell peppers in advance.
Panang curry can be frozen for 2-3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. Cook rice fresh for serving.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons Panang curry paste *
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 2 pounds chicken breasts , cut into pieces against the grain
- 1 small onion , sliced
- 1 green bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 14 oz cans coconut milk (Chaokoh brand is my favorite)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar , packed
- 1 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves , roughly chopped
- Hot cooked rice white, brown or jasmine
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in large non-stick skillet. Saute onions for 2 minutes, then add bell peppers, garlic and ginger and saute for 2 minutes more.
- Add curry paste and peanut butter and saute for 1 minute. Add 1 ½ cans of coconut milk. Whisk cornstarch into remaining ½ can coconut milk then add to the pan. Stir well.
- Add chicken, stirring to coat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or just until chicken is no longer pink and sauce begins to thicken.
- Stir in sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and basil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve over hot cooked rice.
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