A spicy, peanutty Thai Panang Curry filled with big, juicy prawns (shrimp).
Ok, so Penang is a popular holiday destination in Malaysia but this is a different type of Panang. Thai Panang Curry, in fact. 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. What’s your go-to Thai dish? Cashew chicken, all the way for me. Until now that is.
I’m a huge fan of share-food or share dishes. Basically any dish you can throw in the middle of the table and everyone grabs a little bit of everything. I think it’s because there is no chance of me getting food envy (from which I suffer REGULARLY). Hehehe. So, we went out for dinner and each ordered a dish. 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.
I set straight out to research how to make Thai Panang Curry and decided to use Prawns (aka shrimp) ‘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 (as I couldn’t find a Panang Curry Paste). I then added the extra ingredients to turn that into a panang curry paste. From all my research, this seems to be quite an acceptable substitution to make.
It also makes the shopping list SO much easier to get through. I will, one day, try to master my own red curry paste from scratch and I’ll be sure to let you know when I do. If panang curry paste is available, then by all means use that, but as you won’t use a full jar, you may be left with paste that you can only make Panang Curry with. Not such a bad thing, right? But if you use red curry paste, you can make a number of delicious curries.
So this 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 Thai Panang Curry with Prawns. 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