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Yummy Panang Curry

Our yummy Panang curry is a tasty, Thai treat you can make at home just about any night of the week. Bursting with a balance of sweet and spicy flavor, this comfort food is surprisingly healthy and a perfect way to get your picky eaters to get more vegetables in their mouths. If you love curry, you must try this easy, less than 30 minute recipe tonight!

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Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

This Recipe's Index

What is Panang curry?

Panang curry is a sweet, spicy, and creamy curry originating in Asia. This delicious dish is filling and full of flavors from red chili peppers, coconut cream, and lime. 

Despite being a great comfort food, the curry is actually quite healthy. It is loaded with veggies and all the fat comes from plant based sources. 

You can serve panang curry over rice or rice noodles alongside your favorite Thai inspired veggies.

Watch Panang Curry Video Recipe

Where does panang curry originate from?

Panang curry comes from Thailand. You can find the dish at most Thai restaurants around the world with similar veggies, sauce, and taste no matter where you go.

Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

Ingredients for Panang curry

When you make panang curry, you’ll need the following ingredients on hand:

  • Organic tofu - look for a firm variety
  • Onion 
  • Peppers - you’ll need both red and green bell peppers
  • Carrot
  • Green beans 
  • Garlic
  • Panang curry paste - you should be able to find this in the Asian section of your local store or online
  • Thai basil leaves - in a pinch, fresh basil will also work

For the sauce, you’ll need to have the following ingredients:

  • Coconut milk
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Water
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Coconut sugar - if you can’t find this, you can use granulated sugar
  • Sriracha
  • Salt 
  • Oil
  • Half lime juice

How to make Panang curry

Yummy Panang curry step by step instructions

  • First, rinse your rice until the water runs clear and then place in a stainless container. You will use the pot for a pot-in-pot cooking method for the rice in later steps.
  • Next, drain all the water from the tofu package and pat the tofu dry. Once it is dry, cut it into bite sized cubes.
  • When the rice and tofu are ready, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, sugar, and water in a medium bowl. Mix the ingredients until it is smooth.

 

Yummy Panang curry step by step instructions

 

  • Once the sauce is ready, press the sauté button. When the display reads “HOT,” add in the oil, garlic, onions, bell pepper, green beans, and carrots and give it a quick stir.
  • Next, add in the panang curry paste and the coconut and peanut sauce and then mix everything together.
  • Once the sauce is mixed, stir in the tofu cubs and make sure there are no bits stuck to the bottom. Scraping the bottom can help you avoid the burn notice when pressure cooking.
  • After you scrape the bottom, carefully place the trivet in the center of the mixture. Next, place the rice bowl with water on top of the trivet.

Yummy Panang curry step by step instructions

  • With the trivet and rice and place, cancel the saute mode and then pressure cook for 5 minutes. When it finishes cooking, do a quick release of the remaining pressure and carefully open the lid. We use tongs to easily remove the rice pot and trivet.
  • Finally, stir in the chopped Thai basil, green onions, and lime juice. Spoon the rice and then curry into bowls and serve with chopped roasted peanuts as garnish.

Pro tips and tricks to make the best Panang Curry

The following are some helpful tips and tricks that can help you when making this curry. Some things we do to make our lives easier include:

  • Always scrape the bottom of the pot before adding in the trivet and rice. This helps ensure you can avoid the burn notice. 
  • Don’t overcook the curry. All it needs is 5 minutes of pressure cook time and a few minutes before that on sauté mode.
  • If you prefer to serve over rice noodles, skip the rice. It won’t affect how long the panang curry cooks for.

Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

Panang curry vs. red curry

Panang curry and red curry both look similar in color. They are both red curries that use red chilies for heat. But they do have some distinct differences. 

Red curry tends to be hotter and spicier because it uses more red chili peppers than panang curry. 

When you make panang, you add in coconut milk or cream, peanuts, and lime juice for a creamier, slightly less hot curry.

What to serve with panang curry

Like most curries, panang goes great over rice. When we make rice, we use the pot-in-pot method to save time and so we don’t have to fire up a separate rice cooker or pot. It’s one of the main reasons we love the Instant Pot!

You could also serve the curry over rice noodles. Rice noodles have a slightly different texture and taste than spaghetti noodles used in Italian cooking. They are also a bit sticker and lend themselves well to a thicker curry like panang.

If you love Thai food, you could also serve it alongside some of our other favorites. Some great Thai inspired recipes to try include:

Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

How to store Panang curry

If you make a large batch or just can’t finish it in one sitting, you can definitely store your leftovers. We highly recommend storing any left over rice separately from the curry if you can. 

Place both the curry and rice in separate, air tight containers. You can store the curry for up to 5 days in the fridge with no issues. 

Though you can store rice in the fridge, we recommend making it fresh when you serve your left overs. Reheated rice does not taste as good and tends to clump.

How to reheat Panang curry

Panang curry is easy to reheat. 

You can reheat it one of two ways. If you are in a hurry or at school or work, you can place the container in the microwave and cook it for about 2 to 3 minutes or until warmed through. 

At home, you can place the curry in a small or medium pot over low heat. As it heats, you may want to stir it a bit to prevent burning on the bottom and to spread the heat throughout.

Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

 

What’s in panang curry paste?

The ingredients in panang curry paste can vary. 

Unfortunately for vegans, a lot of store bought pastes also contain shrimp paste. But you can look for vegan options that do not use this ingredient to maintain your diet without sacrificing taste.

Some typical ingredients in the paste may include:

  • makrut lime leaves
  • dried guajillo chiles
  • fresh lemongrass stalks
  • roasted peanuts
  • galangal
  • chiles de árbol
  • shallot
  • freshly ground pepper
  • garlic cloves
  • kosher salt
  • ground cumin
  • serrano chiles

Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

Is Panang curry vegan?

Surprisingly, panang curry is vegetarian but not vegan! The reason is most curry pastes, including panang, uses shrimp paste as a primary ingredient. So this may work if you follow a vegetarian diet that includes sea food, but it does not work if you follow a vegan diet.

However, you can find vegan curry pastes that do not use shrimp paste. We use vegan curry paste in our recipes, which makes the entire dish vegan.

Where can I get vegan Panang curry paste

You may be able to find vegan panang curry paste at your local grocery store, but it is not likely. You will probably only find ones with shrimp paste. A local Asian specialty store may carry it.

If you can’t find it locally, you can order it online. We often order a few containers of it at a time so we never run out.

Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

Can I use a Pot in Pot (PIP) method to prepare Panang curry with rice?

Yes! Our recipe includes easy to follow instructions for the pot-in-pot method. We think this is one of the many great features of the Instant Pot since it allows you to cook your rice easily while you make your main dish. If you haven’t tried it, we highly recommend using a trivet and a stainless steel pot to the PIP method.

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Thai panang curry , vegetable panang curry

Yummy Panang Curry

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Our yummy Panang curry is a tasty, Thai treat you can make at home just about any night of the week. Bursting with a balance of sweet and spicy flavor, this comfort food is surprisingly healthy and a perfect way to get your picky eaters to get more vegetables in their mouths. If you love curry, you must try this easy, less than 30 minute recipe tonight!

Ingredients

  • 14oz Organic Tofu/firm
  • 1 medium onion / chopped finely
  • 1/2 red bell pepper /Diced
  • 3 tablespoon Panang curry paste
  • 1/2 green bell pepper /diced
  • 1 medium carrot/ diced
  • few Thai basil leaves.
  • 1/2 cup green beans - 2 inch
  • 1 tablespoon garlic/ finely chopped.

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 13 oz can Coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce/ or tamari
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • Half lime juice.
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Jamine Rice

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 cup of water
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. First, rinse your rice until the water runs clear and then place in a stainless container. You will use the pot for a pot-in-pot cooking method for the rice in later steps.
  2. Next, drain all the water from the tofu package and pat the tofu dry. Once it is dry, cut it into bite sized cubes.
  3. When the rice and tofu are ready, combine the coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, sugar, and water in a medium bowl. Mix the ingredients until it is smooth.
  4. Once the sauce is ready, press the sauté button. When the display reads “HOT,” add in the oil, garlic, onions, bell pepper, green beans, and carrots and give it a quick stir.
  5. Next, add in the panang curry paste and the coconut and peanut sauce and then mix everything together.
  6. Once the sauce is mixed, stir in the tofu cubs and make sure there are no bits stuck to the bottom. Scraping the bottom can help you avoid the burn notice when pressure cooking.
  7. After you scrape the bottom, carefully place the trivet in the center of the mixture. Next, place the rice bowl with water on top of the trivet.
  8. With the trivet and rice and place, cancel the saute mode and then pressure cook for 5 minutes. When it finishes cooking, do a quick release of the remaining pressure and carefully open the lid. We use tongs to easily remove the rice pot and trivet.
  9. Finally, stir in the chopped Thai basil, green onions, and lime juice. Spoon the rice and then curry into bowls and serve with chopped roasted peanuts as garnish.

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