Thai Panang Curry

Thai food has always been one of my favorite kinds of food! My husband, Scott, and I used to go to this little Thai restaurant in Orem, Utah called Thai Evergreen weekly for date night when we were in college. After a while, I decided that I really should just learn to make some Thai food! So I started with my favorite entrée, panang curry!

I love this recipe and that it actually comes together really quickly! I’ve included my favorite vegetables that I always add into the curry, but you can easily leave anything you don’t like out, or swap it out for other vegetables you do like!

When you look at the ingredient list you may notice a few items that are a little harder to find—panang curry paste, fish sauce, and kaffir lime leaves. I’ve successfully found these items at Asian markets in California, Nevada, and Utah, so check out your local Asian markets! If you don’t have an Asian market near you, you can order panang curry paste on Amazon (my favorite brands are Mae Ploy and Pantai) or you can substitute red curry paste which is available in the Asian section of most grocery stores. Red curry paste doesn’t have quite as good of a flavor as panang, but it’ll still be delicious! I’ve used it a few times in a pinch.

If you’re looking at fish sauce listed and thinking “Gross!” Let me explain, the fish sauce really just adds a good salty flavor to the curry. I am not a seafood person, and the fish sauce really enhances the flavor of the curry. I’ve occasionally seen this in my local grocery store, but every Asian market will have this!

The last hard to find the ingredient is the Kaffir lime leaves. These are pure magic. I always find them in a little bag in the fridge or freezer section of my Asian market. They are so fragrant and liven up the curry immediately! Lime leaves are very tough so make sure you slice them very thinly. The flavor of these Kaffir lime leaves is so good you won’t want to leave them out! Also, whatever leaves you have left over you can just bag up and pop into the freezer until the next time you need them!

If you’re sensitive to spicy foods, I recommend you only add 4 tablespoons of curry paste and have some extra coconut milk (or even regular milk) on hand to tone down the spice if it is too much. If you like things really spicy, like me, top your curry with extra crushed red pepper!



Thai Panang Curry

Yield: 6-8


  • 4-5 tablespoons panang curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-13.5 oz cans of unsweetened coconut milk (4.5 cups of coconut milk), see notes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 Kaffir lime lives, thinly shredded
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 Roma tomatos, diced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • White rice, cooked (or try cauliflower rice if you’re watching your carbs!)


  1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, fry the curry paste in the oil. The curry paste should become very fragrant.
  2. Add in coconut milk. Dissolve curry paste in coconut milk until there are no lumps of curry paste left and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in brown sugar, fish sauce, and lime leaves. Add in chicken and vegetables, keep at a simmer for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked all the way through and vegetables are tender. Serve over rice (or cauliflower rice).


- I recommend using full fat coconut milk; it will give the creamiest and richest flavor. Light coconut milk will make your curry very watery. If you want to use light coconut milk, I recommend using half light coconut milk and half regular coconut milk.

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