NIBBLES: Thai Panang Curry

Hubby and I are absolutely addicted to Thai Panang Curry.  We were introduced to it by a few different friends who had all been to Thailand, as the local place where they love to eat it here in KZN makes it as close to authentic Thai food as they’d ever come here in South Africa.

We buy this curry paste from Sun Sun grocery in Umhlanga, but I’m sure you could find it at most Asian groceries!

Best described as a complete explosion of flavours (it’s spicy, sweet, nutty, salty and creamy all at once), you can cook it with pretty much any protein you’d prefer – but most of the time we cook it with chicken breasts as it’s the easiest.


The most finicky part of this recipe is the dicing up of veg, chicken and fresh ginger – after that it’s so simple and quick you won’t even believe it.  The outcome is a hearty and healthy warm winter curry that you’ll crave again and again – trust me, after we introduced my parents to it, my Dad insisted on having it about 4 times in one week!

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Thai Panang Curry

We first tasted this from a Thai restaurant near where we live. It had been a recommended dish from a number of different friends who have enjoyed it and claim it's as close to eating it in Thailand as you can get! It uses a specific Panang curry paste that we find easily at an Asian grocery in Umhlanga.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Curry
Servings: 4 people
Author: Siobhan


  • Wok or large pan



  • 2 tbsp Panang curry paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4-5 lime leaves
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (you can add more or less to taste, but it does have a slightly sweet taste)
  • fresh ginger, sliced into match sticks (should be about a handful when sliced up)
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter


  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1.5 cups butternut, cut into thin slices (the thinner the slices, the faster it will cook)
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped (can be a mix of cauliflower & broccoli)
  • 1.5 cups baby marrow, cut into slices
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced


  • Melt coconut oil in wok/large pan, and add curry paste. Fry until curry paste has loosened up and flavours are released.
  • Add coconut cream and milk and stir well to combine the curry paste.
  • Add the fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and coconut sugar and mix well. Then add the ginger and lime leaves, and leave to simmer. Finally add the peanut butter, mix in well and taste to see if you need any additional seasoning (You shouldn't need more salt as the fish sauce is very salty, but taste and check. You can also decide if you'd like it a little sweeter).
  • Remove sauce from wok and keep aside in a jug. It's even better if you make it the day before, as the flavours have time to really come out, but not a problem if you can't.
  • Add a little more coconut oil to the wok and then add the chopped up chicken pieces. Allow chicken to become almost cooked through, add your vegetables and a splash of water, and put the lid on the wok. Allow to cook for around 5 minutes.
  • Test veg - it should still be a little crunchy, but almost cooked. Add the sauce back into the wok and mix together. Place the lid back on and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Serve with jasmine rice or egg noodles!


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