Thai Panang Curry Recipe | The Recipe Critic


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Experience the irresistible taste of Panang curry with this easy recipe. Juicy chicken, colorful bell peppers, and aromatic Thai basil come together in a creamy coconut milk and curry paste sauce, delivering a delightful and flavorful meal.

I love a delicious Thai dish. The recipes have so much flavor in them that I can’t resist. I have recently made this Thai Basil Chicken, this delicious Coconut Curry Chicken and these yummy Thai Lettuce Wraps and they are all so good.

Panang curry in a bowl on a wooden cutting board with two bowls os spices on the side.

What is Panang Curry?

Panang curry is a special kind of food that comes from Thailand. It’s a bit spicy but also very tasty. The main ingredient in Panang curry is a special mixture called curry paste. This paste is made from things like spicy chili peppers, garlic (which gives it a strong flavor), and some special herbs and spices. Thai food is known for their delicious and flavorful recipes and this chicken curry is no exception.

This Panang curry is full of so many delicious spices and topped with some ssweet Thai basil to bring them all together. And not only is it delicious, it cooks up in the wok in less than 30 minutes. That makes this recipe an easy choice for those busy, on-the-go nights.

Ingredients in Panang Curry

These ingredients are actually pretty simple and once you get some curry paste, you will be cooking Thai food all week long! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all of the exact ingredient measurements.

  • Olive Oil: This is used to cook the chicken and vegetables so they don’t stick to the pan.
  • Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs have more flavor than chicken breasts, so I used these instead.
  • White Onion: Adds a flavorful base to the curry.
  • Bell Peppers (red and green): The peppers add in a nice crunch and sweetness to balance the flavors.
  • Garlic: The garlic adds a strong and yummy taste to the curry.
  • Panang Curry Paste: This paste gives the dish its signature spicy and rich flavor.
  • Peanut Butter: Makes the curry creamy and adds a nutty taste.
  • Brown Sugar: Brings a touch of sweetness that balances the spiciness.
  • Coconut Milk: Creates a creamy sauce that cools down the spiciness.
  • Fish Sauce: Enhances the savory and salty flavors in the curry.
  • Lime: The lime adds a tangy kick that brightens up the dish.
  • Thai Basil: The basil adds freshness.
  • Peanuts and Red Pepper Flakes: They are toppings that add texture and extra spiciness for those who like a kick.

Is Panang Curry Hard to Make?

No! Panang Curry is simple to make, and the best part about it is that it’s all cooked in the wok together, making cleanup a breeze!

  1. Heat Oil: Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook Veggies: Add the onion and peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Set the vegetables aside.
  3. Cook Chicken: Add the chicken pieces to the wok and more oil if needed. Cook until the chicken is browned on the outside. It will fully cook in the sauce later. Set the chicken aside.
  4. Add Paste: Returning to the wok, scoop the paste into the wok and stir to release the oils from the paste.
  5. Combine: Stir the cooked vegetables and chicken into the paste. Continue cooking it for a minute more.
  6. Cook: Stir in the peanut butter, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice. Continue to cook and stir regularly for 3 minutes.
  7. Add Coconut Milk: Lower the heat to medium and pour in the coconut milk. Whisk to combine.
  8. Cook until Sauce Thickens: Let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce slightly thickens. Add the Thai basil leaves right before serving.
6 process photos in a collages showing how to add all of the ingredients to a large wok.

Is Panang Curry Spicy?

Yes, Panang curry can be a bit spicy. The curry paste used to make it often contains spicy chili peppers, which can add some heat to the dish. However, the level of spiciness can vary depending on how much curry paste is used and personal preferences. If you’re not a fan of too much spice, you can adjust the amount of curry paste you use or look for milder versions of the paste.

A closeup of cooked parang curry in a wok with a wooden spoon.

Tips and Variations

Here are a couple of tips that will make your Panang Curry turn out perfect every single time!

  • Switch up the veggies: Bell peppers are most common in Panang Curry, but add any veggies you would like. Eggplant, zucchini, and carrots are a few ideas that will also be delicious!
  • Heat the Panang paste: Make sure to follow the directions closely on heating the curry paste to release the oils. It’s important because it adds maximum flavor!
  • Use full-fat coconut milk: Full-fat coconut milk is best in curry recipes. It adds richness to the sauce that light milk can’t achieve.

The top view on panning curry in a bowl topped with a spoonful of rice and some slices limes.

How to Store Leftovers

We all know Thai food makes the best leftovers, and this Panang Curry is no exception! Here is how you can store it and even freeze it for later!

  1. In the Refrigerator: Once your Panang Curry has cooled, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Panang Curry can typically be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  2. In the Freezer: Store the cooked leftovers in an airtight container in your freezer, and they will last about 2-3 months.
  3. To Reheat: If you are reheating from frozen, then make sure to thaw the Panang Curry in your refrigerator overnight. Once ready to eat, you can reheat your curry over the stove on medium-low heat until the chicken is warmed through.


  • Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.

  • Add the onion and peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Set the vegetables aside.

  • Add the chicken pieces to the wok and more oil if needed. Cook until the chicken is browned on the outside. It will fully cook in the sauce later. Set the chicken aside.

  • Returning to the wok, scoop the paste into the wok and stir to release the oils from the paste.

  • Stir the cooked vegetables and chicken into the paste. Continue cooking it for a minute more.

  • Stir in the peanut butter, fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice.

  • Continue to cook and stir regularly for 3 minutes.

  • Lower the heat to medium and pour in the coconut milk. Whisk to combine.

  • Let it cook for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce slightly thickens.

  • Add the Thai basil leaves right before serving.



Serves: 6

Serving1gCalories380kcal (19%)Carbohydrates13g (4%)Protein25g (50%)Fat26g (40%)Saturated Fat15g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat2gMonounsaturated Fat7gTrans Fat0.02gCholesterol108mg (36%)Sodium360mg (15%)Potassium565mg (16%)Fiber2g (8%)Sugar8g (9%)Vitamin A3702IU (74%)Vitamin C47mg (57%)Calcium66mg (7%)Iron4mg (22%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner

Cuisine Thai

Keyword Panang Curry, Panang Curry Recipe, Thai Panang Curry





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