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Step-By-Step Guide: How to Make Panang Curry at Home

how to make panang curry
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Written by Lyndas

Greetings, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to share with you my step-by-step guide on how to make mouthwatering Panang Curry right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether you’re craving a homemade Thai dish or looking to impress your dinner guests, this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Panang Curry, also known as Phanaeng Curry, is a delectable Thai dish that combines the aromatic flavors of curry paste, coconut milk, tender chicken, and vibrant vegetables. Don’t worry if you’ve never made it before – I’ll guide you through the entire process, from preparing the curry paste to adding the final touches. Soon enough, you’ll be enjoying a flavorful and authentic Panang Curry that rivals your favorite takeout joint.

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s gather the ingredients you’ll need to create this homemade Panang Curry masterpiece. You’ll want to have curry paste, coconut milk, chicken, a variety of vegetables, and some fragrant basil on hand. Now, let’s get started on crafting this delicious Thai dish!

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to make a delicious Panang Curry from scratch in your own kitchen.
  • Discover the secrets to creating flavorful and authentic curry paste.
  • Sauté vegetables and prepare a creamy sauce to enhance the taste of your Panang Curry.
  • Customize your Panang Curry to accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions.
  • Store and freeze any leftovers for quick and convenient meals later on.

Why Panang Curry is a Favorite Thai Dish

Panang curry is a beloved Thai dish known for its rich and creamy flavor. It combines the bold flavors of curry paste and coconut milk with tender chicken, vegetables, and fragrant basil. This dish is a favorite among Thai food enthusiasts because it can be made at home, taste just as good as takeout, and allows for customization to suit various dietary restrictions.

What sets Panang curry apart is its complex blend of spices and ingredients. The curry paste, made from a combination of dried chilies, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, kaffir lime leaves, and garlic, creates a deep and aromatic base for the dish. The addition of coconut milk adds a creamy and slightly sweet element, balancing out the spiciness of the curry paste.

One of the reasons why Panang curry is so popular is its versatility. You can adjust the spice level to your preference by adding more or less curry paste, making it suitable for those who prefer milder or hotter flavors. Additionally, you can customize the dish to accommodate dietary restrictions by using different proteins such as shrimp or tofu instead of chicken. The fragrant basil leaves add a fresh and herbaceous note to the curry, enhancing its overall flavor profile.

Whether you’re a fan of Thai cuisine or simply looking to explore new flavors, Panang curry is the perfect dish to try at home. With its rich, creamy, and aromatic taste, it’s no wonder why this Thai favorite has earned a special place in the hearts and palates of food lovers worldwide.

Table: Key Points About Panang Curry

Key Points Description
Flavor Panang curry is known for its rich and creamy flavor, with a perfect balance of spices, coconut milk, and fragrant basil.
Customization You can adjust the spice level and customize the dish by using different proteins or adding more vegetables.
Versatility Panang curry can be made at home and tastes just as good as takeout, allowing you to enjoy this favorite Thai dish anytime.
Dietary Restrictions It can be easily adapted to suit dietary restrictions by using vegetarian curry paste or alternative proteins.

Making the Perfect Panang Curry Paste

When it comes to creating an authentic panang curry, the secret lies in the homemade curry paste. While you can certainly buy pre-made panang curry paste from the store, making your own paste adds a depth of flavor that is unparalleled. By using a combination of traditional Thai ingredients, you can elevate your panang curry to new heights.

Authentic panang curry paste typically includes ingredients such as dried chili, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, kaffir lime leaves, and garlic. These ingredients work together to create a complex and aromatic paste that forms the base of your curry. By blending these ingredients into a smooth paste, you ensure that each bite of your panang curry is bursting with flavor.

To make your homemade panang curry paste, start by gathering all the necessary ingredients. Then, using a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients until a smooth paste forms. The texture should be thick, but still spreadable. Once your curry paste is ready, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, allowing you to whip up delicious panang curry whenever the craving strikes.

Homemade Panang Curry Paste Recipe


  • 5 dried red chilies
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of galangal, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves


  1. In a bowl, soak the dried red chilies in warm water for 10 minutes until softened. Drain.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the soaked chilies, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shrimp paste, and kaffir lime leaves. Process until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Transfer the paste to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Now that you have your homemade panang curry paste ready, it’s time to move on to the next steps in creating your delicious panang curry.

Sautéing Vegetables and Preparing the Sauce

Now that we have our homemade panang curry paste ready, it’s time to move on to the next steps in creating a delicious panang curry. In this section, I will guide you through sautéing the vegetables and preparing the flavorful sauce that will bring the dish together.

Sautéing the Vegetables

To start, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Once the oil is hot, add finely sliced onions, bell peppers, minced garlic, and grated ginger to the skillet. Sauté the vegetables until they are tender and slightly caramelized, which will take about 5-7 minutes. This step will help to release the aromas and flavors of the vegetables, adding depth to the final dish.

Preparing the Sauce

Once the vegetables are cooked to perfection, it’s time to add the panang curry paste and peanut butter to the skillet. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, allowing the flavors to meld together. Next, pour in the creamy coconut milk, which will give the sauce its velvety texture. Whisk together a tablespoon of cornstarch with a small portion of the coconut milk to make a slurry. This will help thicken the sauce and give it a luscious consistency.

Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly. This will take approximately 5-7 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, the aroma of the panang curry will fill your kitchen, making your mouth water in anticipation of the final dish.

With the sautéed vegetables and panang curry sauce prepared, we are now ready to move on to the next section, where we will add the chicken and put the final touches on our homemade panang curry. Get ready to enjoy the tantalizing flavors of this classic Thai dish!

Adding Chicken and Final Touches

Now that the sauce for your panang curry has thickened, it’s time to add the star ingredient – chicken. Gently place the chicken pieces into the pan with the sauce, making sure they are fully submerged. Allow the chicken to simmer in the flavorful sauce until it is cooked through and tender.

As the chicken cooks, it will absorb the fragrant flavors of the curry paste, coconut milk, and spices, resulting in a deliciously spiced and creamy dish. The chicken should be juicy and flavorful, making it the perfect protein to complement the bold flavors of the panang curry.

Once the chicken is cooked, it’s time to add the final touches to your panang curry. Stir in a touch of sugar to balance the spice, fish sauce for an umami kick, and fresh lime juice to brighten the flavors. These additional ingredients enhance the complexity of the curry, elevating it from great to extraordinary.

Garnishing and Serving

To give your panang curry the finishing touch, add a handful of fresh basil leaves. The basil adds a pop of color and a refreshing herbal aroma that complements the other flavors in the dish. Stir the basil gently into the curry, allowing it to wilt slightly.

Now that your panang curry is ready to be savored, it’s time to serve it. Spoon generous portions of the curry over steamed jasmine rice, allowing the fragrant sauce to soak into the fluffy grains. The combination of the creamy curry and aromatic rice creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

With its tender chicken, rich sauce, and aromatic spices, your homemade panang curry is now complete. Gather around the table and enjoy this delicious Thai dish that you’ve created with love and care.

Variations and Dietary Restrictions

When it comes to making a delicious panang curry, there are plenty of variations and options to accommodate different dietary restrictions. Whether you’re a vegetarian or looking to substitute the chicken with an alternative protein, there are plenty of ways to customize this flavorful dish.

For those following a vegetarian diet, you can easily create a vegetarian panang curry by omitting the chicken and using a vegetarian curry paste. This allows you to still enjoy the rich flavors of the curry with a plant-based twist. You can load up your curry with a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots to add extra nutritional value and texture.

If you’re looking to substitute the chicken, there are several options to consider. You can replace it with shrimp for a seafood twist or use tofu for a vegetarian protein alternative. These substitutions can add a different taste and texture to your panang curry, allowing you to switch things up and cater to your personal preferences.

For those who prefer to avoid rice, there are alternative options you can explore. Serve your panang curry over zoodles (zucchini noodles) or spaghetti squash for a low-carb and gluten-free option. These vegetable-based alternatives provide a lighter base for your curry while still soaking up all the delicious flavors of the sauce.

With these variations and substitutions, you can create a panang curry that suits your dietary needs and preferences. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make the dish your own.

Storing and Freezing Instructions

After enjoying a delicious homemade panang curry, you may find yourself with leftovers or wanting to prepare some for later. In this section, I will provide you with storing and freezing instructions to help you maximize the longevity of your curry and ensure it stays fresh and flavorful.

Storing Panang Curry

When storing panang curry, it’s important to properly store it in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness. Allow the curry to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Make sure the container is clean and dry to prevent any contamination.

Refrigerate the panang curry for 5-7 days. It’s best to consume it within this time frame to ensure the flavors don’t deteriorate. When reheating, make sure to heat it thoroughly until it reaches a safe internal temperature.

Freezing Panang Curry

If you want to freeze your panang curry for longer-term storage, follow these steps:

  1. Cool the curry completely to room temperature.
  2. Transfer the curry to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top for expansion.
  3. Seal the container tightly to prevent any freezer burn.
  4. Label the container with the date of freezing to keep track of its freshness.
  5. Place the container in the freezer and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen panang curry, remove it from the freezer and thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave until heated through. Prepare fresh rice to serve alongside the curry, and you’ll have a convenient and delicious meal ready in no time.

Whether you’re storing or freezing your panang curry, it’s important to handle it with care and follow proper food safety guidelines to ensure its quality and freshness. By doing so, you can enjoy the flavors of this aromatic dish whenever you desire, without compromising on taste or texture.

storing panang curry

Panang Curry Recipe

Are you ready to recreate the mouthwatering flavors of panang curry at home? Look no further! With this simple and delicious recipe, you’ll be able to enjoy the aromatic and creamy goodness of this beloved Thai dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons panang curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, for thickening)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  2. Add the panang curry paste and peanut butter to the skillet. Stir well to combine with the vegetables.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until everything is well mixed. If desired, whisk the cornstarch with a small amount of coconut milk to create a slurry and add it to the skillet to thicken the sauce.
  4. Add the sliced chicken to the skillet and cook until it is no longer pink in the center.
  5. Stir in the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Allow the curry to simmer for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  6. Finally, add the fresh basil leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve your homemade panang curry over steamed rice or noodles for a complete and satisfying meal.

Enjoy the fragrant and creamy panang curry with its bold and complex flavors. This recipe is sure to impress your taste buds and make you feel like a master chef in your own kitchen!

Tips for a Flavorful Panang Curry

When it comes to creating a delicious and authentic panang curry, a few tips can make all the difference. These handy suggestions will help you elevate your homemade curry to the next level, ensuring a flavorful and satisfying dish every time.

Use Fresh Ingredients

The quality of your ingredients can greatly impact the taste of your panang curry. Opt for fresh herbs like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and basil to infuse your curry with vibrant flavors. Freshly ground spices and high-quality curry paste will also enhance the depth and complexity of your dish.

Toast Your Spices

To bring out the full flavor of your spices, consider toasting them before adding them to your curry. Simply heat them in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes until fragrant. This step intensifies the aroma and adds a rich depth of flavor to your panang curry.

Balance the Sweet, Salty, and Sour

Panang curry gets its unique taste from the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and sour flavors. Adjusting the sweetness with sugar, the saltiness with fish sauce, and the sourness with lime juice allows you to customize the curry to your liking. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed to achieve the ideal balance for your palate.

Let It Simmer

Allowing your panang curry to simmer for a longer period of time helps meld the flavors together and deepen the overall taste. Letting the curry simmer for at least 20-30 minutes allows the ingredients to fully infuse, resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic dish.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a panang curry that bursts with authentic Thai flavors. Experiment with different variations and adjustments to suit your personal taste preferences, and enjoy the satisfaction of a homemade curry that rivals your favorite Thai restaurant.

tips for panang curry


In conclusion, making panang curry at home is a rewarding and delicious experience. By following this step-by-step guide, you can create a flavorful and authentic Thai dish that will impress your family and friends. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can achieve the perfect balance of flavors and spices.

Whether you’re a seasoned curry connoisseur or new to Thai cuisine, homemade panang curry offers a customizable and satisfying meal option. You can adjust the ingredients to suit your dietary preferences or restrictions, making it a versatile choice for everyone.

So why wait? Unleash your inner chef and embark on a culinary adventure by making your own panang curry at home. You’ll be amazed at the complex flavors and aromas that can be achieved with just a few simple steps. Get ready to savor the rich and creamy taste of homemade panang curry in the comfort of your own kitchen!


Can I make panang curry at home?

Absolutely! Panang curry is a flavorful Thai dish that can be easily made in your own kitchen. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll have a homemade panang curry that rivals your favorite takeout in no time.

What makes panang curry a favorite Thai dish?

Panang curry is beloved for its rich and creamy flavor. It combines the bold flavors of curry paste and coconut milk with tender chicken, vegetables, and fragrant basil. It’s a favorite among Thai food enthusiasts because it can be made at home, taste just as good as takeout, and allows for customization to suit various dietary restrictions.

Can I make my own panang curry paste?

Yes, making your own panang curry paste will elevate the flavor of your dish. Authentic panang curry paste typically includes ingredients like dried chili, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, kaffir lime leaves, and garlic. By blending these ingredients together, you’ll create a paste that adds depth and complexity to your panang curry.

How do I sauté vegetables and prepare the sauce for panang curry?

To sauté vegetables for panang curry, start by cooking onions, bell peppers, garlic, and ginger in a skillet with oil until tender. Then, add the panang curry paste and peanut butter, stirring to combine. Add coconut milk to create a creamy sauce. Whisk cornstarch with a portion of the coconut milk to thicken the sauce, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken.

How do I add chicken and finish off the panang curry?

Once the sauce has thickened, add the chicken to the pan and simmer until it is cooked through. To enhance the flavor, stir in sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and basil. Allow the curry to simmer for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Can I customize panang curry to accommodate dietary restrictions?

Yes! For a vegetarian version, omit the chicken and use a vegetarian curry paste. You can also substitute the chicken in the recipe with shrimp or tofu for different protein options. If you prefer to avoid rice, you can serve your panang curry over zoodles or spaghetti squash. Feel free to add more vegetables of your choice to the curry for added nutrition and flavor.

How do I store and freeze panang curry?

If you have leftovers, panang curry can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. To freeze panang curry, allow it to cool completely and transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. When ready to eat, thaw the curry overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. Cook fresh rice for serving.

Can I have the recipe for panang curry?

Here is a simple and delicious recipe for panang curry:

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Do you have any tips for making a flavorful panang curry?

To make the most flavorful panang curry, consider the following tips:

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