Thai food is internationally famous. One of the most famous dish is Panang Curry. It’s a nice red curry usually made with chicken, the way it is in the recipe below, full of the flavors and colors of our vacation to Thailand, and carrying the notes and influences of several distant lands—Burma, Malaysia, even India.
Serves 3-4 people
Takes about forty-five minutes to cook, with about fifteen minutes of preparation and half an hour or so of cooking on the stove-top.
- 4 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 thumb-sized piece galangal or ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. shrimp paste
- 1 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1-2 red chilies, minced, or ½ to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 can coconut milk
- Juice from ½ lime
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, sliced into long pieces
- 3 tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
- 1 red pepper, either bell or sweet, sliced lengthwise
- 2 makrut lime leaves or laurel leaves
- ½ cup of loosely-packed basil leaves, torn or loosely chopped if the leaves are large
How To Cook
- To make the sauce, put all the curry sauce ingredients except the whole curry seeds in a blender or a food processor and process well. If you don’t have time to make the curry sauce yourself, you can usually find Panang Curry Paste at your local grocery store—use about ¼ cup, but you may have to adjust for taste.
- Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring it to a steady simmer over medium-high heat. If you want more sauce, you can add up to ½ cup of some really good chicken stock, but otherwise, just let the sauce simmer. Let the sauce simmer until the natural oils begin to separate, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring throughout, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and lime or laurel leaves, and return to heat, stirring until the vegetables and the chicken are completely cooked.
- Don’t be afraid to taste test! If there’s not enough salt for you, try adding extra fish sauce. If there’s too much salt, add extra lime juice or chicken stock to cut the saltiness, and if there’s too much spice, add extra coconut milk or even a spoonful or two of Greek yogurt.
- When the vegetables and chicken are completely cooked, ladle the dish into bowls and sprinkle your fresh basil leaves on top. If you’re not a fan of basil, you can use any extra lime leaves to garnish the finished plates.
- Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice—white or whole-grain—and enjoy!