A spicy, peanut-ty Thai Penang curry filled with big, juicy prawns.
Ok, so Penang is a popular holiday destination in Malaysia but this is actually a Thai curry. Go figure. You’ll find this on the menu at your favourite Thai take-away and I found this when we went out with some friends to a lovely Thai restaurant a few weeks back.
I’m a sucker for the Cashew Chicken whenever I get Thai food but, on this particular occasion, we each ordered a dish and we all shared everything. Love that way of eating, because then there’s no chance of food envy (from which I suffer REGULARLY). Hehehe. Someone ordered the Penang Curry with Chicken and it was by far my favourite dish of the evening. It’s a coconut based warming, spicy curry with a distinct peanut flavour. It’s like Satay and Curry all in one. Yum, yum.
When researching for my Penang curry recipe, I decided to use Prawns ‘cause … well … just ‘cause. My tummy said prawns and prawns it received 🙂
Now, you could make the curry paste yourself from scratch but that’s a whole long list of ingredients you might not readily have or want to be leftover with, so I simplified this version by using a shop-bought Thai Red Curry Paste, then added the extra ingredients that a Penang Curry requires. From all my research, this seems to be quite an acceptable substitution to make. It makes the shopping list SO much easier to get through. I will, one day, try to master my own Thai Red Curry paste and I’ll be sure to let you know when I do. You could buy a Penang Curry paste but then all you can make with it is Penang Curry as you don’t use a whole jar so I prefer to use the Red Curry paste and have more options with the leftover.
So Penang Curry is sweet, rich and creamy. Traditionally it is made with coconut cream rather than coconut milk resulting in a thicker sauce that is just meant to coat the meat or veg that you use. I used a combination of coconut milk and cream as I like a bit of extra sauce for my rice. So delicious.
I present to you Penang Curry with Prawsn. Now curry-up and give it a try (aaah, yep that just happened). Enjoy 🙂
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp shallots , finely chopped **
- 3 Tbsp unsalted peanuts **
- 3 Tbsp Thai Red Curry paste **
- 2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil **
- 400 ml can of coconut milk *
- 600 g raw prawn meat
- 1 cup green beans
- 270 ml can of coconut cream *
- 1 Tbsp palm sugar **
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce **
- 3 kaffir lime leaves , sliced very finely
- 1 can bamboo shoots
- 1 handful of bean sprouts
- Rice or roti to serve
In a pestle and mortar pound together the spices and shallots. Add the peanuts and pound to grind them up too. Add the red curry paste and mix together thoroughly.
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and fry the mixed curry paste for a minute or so until nice and fragrant. Add in the coconut milk and let the mixture boil until it is reduced to about half.
Add the prawn meat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for another minute.
Add in the rest of the ingredients (coconut cream, palm sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts) and stir for a minute or two until everything is heated through and cooked to your liking. If the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a little water or more coconut milk to thin it out a little.
Taste the sauce and season with a little more fish sauce if required (be careful as it is quite salty).
Serve immediately over rice and / or with some roti on the side
** I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon