Panang Curry


Panang Curry is a rich and flavorful Thai dish known for its creamy texture and vibrant flavors. It combines tender chicken pieces with a luscious coconut milk-based sauce, infused with aromatic Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, and lime juice. The addition of bell peppers, scallions, garlic, and peanuts adds depth and crunch to the curry, making it a truly satisfying meal. This recipe is perfect for those who love the complexity of Thai cuisine and want to recreate it at home. Serve this delightful curry over jasmine rice for a comforting and delicious dinner that rivals any takeout.


  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small bunch scallions, light and dark green parts, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2½ tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1¼ pounds chicken breast or tenderloins, thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice plus lime wedges for serving (you’ll need 2 limes)
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • ⅓ cup dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped


Step 1: Sauté the Vegetables

Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add the diced bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds more, being careful not to let it brown.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

Add the coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, and dark brown sugar to the pan. Whisk together until well combined. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the sauce slightly thickens, about 2 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the Chicken

Add the thinly sliced chicken pieces to the pan. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking, until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. It is important not to let the sauce vigorously boil; the goal is to cook the chicken gently so that it remains tender.

Step 4: Add Final Touches

Stir in the lime juice, fresh chopped cilantro, and finely chopped peanuts. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more lime juice, if necessary.

Step 5: Serve

Serve the Panang Curry hot over jasmine rice, garnished with additional lime wedges. Enjoy the rich, creamy flavors of this classic Thai dish.

Cooking Note

  • Coconut Milk: The consistency of canned coconut milk can vary by brand. Some might be a bit watery, while others might separate. Thai Kitchen brand is recommended for its consistency.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of Thai red curry paste to your preferred level of spiciness.
  • Peanuts: Finely chop the dry roasted peanuts for a crunchy texture and added flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Panang Curry pairs wonderfully with jasmine rice or any type of steamed rice. You can also serve it with:

  • Noodles: Rice noodles or egg noodles for a different texture.
  • Vegetables: Steamed or stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, green beans, or snap peas.
  • Salad: A simple Thai cucumber salad for a refreshing contrast.


  1. Prep Ahead: Chop all the vegetables and measure out the ingredients before you start cooking to streamline the process.
  2. Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  3. Garnishes: Additional garnishes such as Thai basil or mint can add a fresh twist to the dish.

Prep Time

  • 15 minutes

Cooking Time

  • 20 minutes

Total Time

  • 35 minutes

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

  • Calories: Approximately 350 kcal
  • Protein: 25 grams
  • Sodium: 800 milligrams


Panang Curry is not just a dish; it’s an experience that brings the rich culinary traditions of Thailand to your kitchen. The blend of creamy coconut milk, spicy red curry paste, and tangy lime juice creates a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate. The tender chicken pieces and crunchy peanuts add a delightful texture that complements the smooth, velvety sauce. This dish is a testament to how simple ingredients can be transformed into something extraordinary with the right techniques and spices.

Making Panang Curry at home allows you to appreciate the complexity and depth of Thai cuisine. It provides an opportunity to explore new flavors and ingredients, broadening your culinary horizons. The process is straightforward, making it accessible even for those who are new to cooking Thai food. Yet, the result is a dish that tastes like it came from a high-end restaurant.

One of the great joys of cooking Panang Curry is the ability to tailor it to your taste. Whether you prefer it mild or with a fiery kick, you can adjust the level of spice to suit your preference. You can also experiment with different proteins like tofu, shrimp, or beef, making this recipe versatile and adaptable to various dietary needs.

The visual appeal of Panang Curry is undeniable. The vibrant colors of the bell peppers, the fresh green of the cilantro, and the creamy, reddish-brown sauce make for a stunning presentation. Serving this dish to family and friends is sure to impress, showcasing not only your cooking skills but also your appreciation for diverse culinary traditions.

Moreover, Panang Curry is a comforting dish that warms you from the inside out. It’s perfect for any occasion, whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal or a special dish for a dinner party. The leftovers, if any, reheat beautifully, allowing you to enjoy the flavors even on the next day.

In essence, Panang Curry is a dish that celebrates the richness and diversity of Thai cuisine. It’s a meal that brings people together, inviting them to share in the joy of delicious food. By making Panang Curry at home, you’re not only creating a tasty dish but also embracing a piece of Thai culture and culinary art. Enjoy the process of cooking and savor every bite of this delightful curry, knowing that you’ve created something truly special in your own kitchen.

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