Simple Panang Chicken Curry (Phanaeng Curry, Penang Curry)



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(51 Ratings)

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A simplified take on the Thai restaurant favorite that can be assembled with a few Thai pantry staples.

Simple Panang Chicken Curry (Phanaeng Curry, Penang Curry), 4.1 out of 5 based on 51 ratings


  • 1 can regular coconut milk
  • 1 can lite coconut milk (regular can substituted if you can't find lite)
  • 6 tablespoon Panang curry paste, amount can be adjusted up or down depending on spice preference (Tip: Mae Ploy brand is consistently reliable and availabe in most Asian grocers)
  • 5 tablespoon palm sugar (brown sugar also works fine)
  • 6 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 lime
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, cubed
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, ground in food processor
  • 1 cup frozen small peas
  • 20-30 Thai basil leaves, torn (regular sweet basil is also fine)


1.  Open coconut milk, scrape off thick coconut cream from top of can into a large pan.

2.  Add curry paste and stir until combined with coconut cream. Cook over medium heat for several minutes, stirring and "frying" the curry paste. This helps to release the flavors in the curry.

3.  Add the rest of the coconut milk and the lite coconut milk. Add sugar, fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, bell peppers, and chicken. After 5 minutes, add 3/4 of the peanuts, reserve the rest for garnish.

4.  Cook over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Add peas and basil and cook for another 2 minutes.

5.  Serve over jasmine rice, garnishing with more peanuts and basil.

Tips:  Thai basil can usually only be found in Asian grocers, but its unmistakable licorice flavor really rounds out this dish. I have found you can wrap Thai basil in paper towels, then seal in a plastic bag and freeze for later use. Thaw on the counter an hour before adding to the curry. The thawed basil leaves will not be suitable for most other recipes, but they work fine with this curry.

2 Comments add one

  1. SoyMilk says:

    This version of panang curry had so many great flavors. It was bold without being overpowering and all the flavors melded together nicely. Loved it!

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  2. mcleroi says:

    I made this the other day and it was great! I took the leftovers to work and when I opened the container my coworkers’ noses all jumped to attention and 3 of them simultaneously said versions of: “Oh my god that smells amazing. You have to give us the recipe.” By the way, I cut the recipe in half, so I just used one can of regular coconut milk and no lite. Delicious!

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