Chicken Panang Curry

8 Aug

NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.

Like I had mentioned in my Panang curry paste recipe, Panang (also spelled พะแนง, Penang and Phanaeng) curry is a mild Thai curry that gets its name from the Malaysian island of Penang. It is similar to Thai red curry but is richer and creamier, and typically uses crushed peanuts as a major part of the dish (I personally use cashews). It is often served with beef, pork, chicken or shrimp in Thai restaurants in the United States, although beef is the traditional meat used in this dish. We love to make this curry with all of these meats, but typically we use chicken for its taste and texture.

You’ll Need:
2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 can Maesri Panang paste or 2 heaping tbsp homemade Panang curry paste
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
10 Thai basil leaves
1 tsp fish sauce
optional: Thai chili peppers to taste

In a skillet, heat the oil on medium heat for a couple minutes, then add the curry paste, stirring together. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until aromatic.

Add 1/3 of the can of coconut milk and sauté, stirring together, for another two minutes.

Add the chicken and another 1/3 of the can of coconut milk, stirring together. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to med/low. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through. Should take 8-10 minutes.

As the chicken is cooking, chop your cashews and set them aside.

Add the chopped cashews, Thai basil leaves, fish sauce, and the remaining 1/3 can coconut milk. This is also a good time to add some crushed Thai chiles if you’re looking to spice up the dish. Raise the heat to medium and simmer for another few minutes, until the leaves are soft and slightly darkened.

That’s it! Serve with cauliflower rice or sticky rice.

Printer-friendly version
Printer-friendly version (paste + curry combined)

29 Responses to “Chicken Panang Curry”

  1. girlmeetspaleo August 8, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Drooling!! Bet the cashews are so good in this

  2. Karista August 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    This looks divine! On my to make list. :)

  3. The Humble Foodie August 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    I am so excited to see this recipe! Panang Curry was one of my pre-Paleo favorites. I just got a 12-pack of coconut milk from Amazon but am a little bored of the same old red curry all the time. Your recipe looks pretty simple and delicious- can’t wait to try.

  4. Alex August 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    This looks SO awesome. Putting this on my to-do list once I have some free time on my hands. Which I hope is soon!!

  5. buttoni August 9, 2012 at 7:35 pm #

    This is right up my alley! I can’t wait to try this recipe! So glad I saw this post on Chowstalker.

  6. Landria August 11, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it!! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sarah M November 3, 2012 at 10:43 pm #

    Hey there, this dish was great! I added bell peppers to mine, plus a little honey to sweeten up – thanks for sharing…take a look at my version!

    • Russ Crandall ( November 4, 2012 at 10:27 am #

      Sarah, looks great! Love the addition of bell peppers, I see that in Thai places often. Our favorite local restaurant also adds broccoli, which gives it a nice texture. Thanks for sharing!

  8. slr522 April 5, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    How many servings does this recipe make? Thanks!

  9. Jaimi June 27, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Made this tonight using Mae Ploy Panang Curry paste. It was good, but I felt like it needed a bit of acid, perhaps a squirt of lime, to cut through the heavy flavors. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Jenn December 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    This had some nice flavor, but mine was SO watery. I use a coconut milk that’s only coconut and water and wonder if that has anything to do with it? It definitely was delicious though just didn’t look the same :) Next time I’ll def try adding peppers, etc to beef it up a bit. Thanks!

    • Shivani January 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      That is exactly what I did today. I added green, red and yellow peppersalong with sliced onions. This recipe is amazing. Ive made a few times and imnot tired of it. Very flavorful!!

  11. Stefanie March 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    I went to the store in an attempt to follow your recipe…and no panang paste at all, nor the ingredients to make it from scratch. Luckily, this Central Market just so happens to employ a woman from Thailand who is an excellent cook. After chatting with her, I bought the Mae Ploy red curry paste and added the cumin, coriander & cardamom as most everything else was in the red paste. She also suggested to add some tamarind pulp – I added about 2 tsp and that was a great addition! I also used about half coconut milk and half homemade chicken bone broth – always looking for opportunities to add bone broth in things for the health benefits! So, it ended up being “inspired by” your recipe…but thanks! it was delicious! Look forward to trying other things from your site & book :)

    • Russ Crandall March 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      Stefanie, sounds like a fun adventure! Glad that I could help inspire it.

  12. KE April 21, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Hi Russ. Wow. So I just found out I have a sensitivity to coconut. And I think more than the fact that I have to stop using coconut oil and coconut flour (and I’m on SCD) for a while, I’m more depressed that I won’t be able to eat this for 3 months minimum. Seriously. It is that good. And my 4-year-old likes it, too! Thanks for the awesome recipe. I am loving your blog and hoping to get your cookbook soon, when I’m back to eating more than chicken soup again.

    • Russ Crandall April 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      Whoa, sorry to hear that! :( Here’s to hoping these three months fly by quickly!


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