This Easy Thai Beef Panang Curry Recipe (Panang Neua) is one of the easiest Thai curries to make. It uses minimal ingredients but has flavors that get better with each spoonful! It can be put together in less than 30 minutes! Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.
- What is Panang curry?
- More Thai Curries
- WHY YOU'LL LOVE this Panang beef curry recipe
- INGREDIENTS FOR Beef panang curry
- The best Thai curry paste brands
- HOW TO MAKE Panang Beef CURRY
- HELPFUL KITCHEN NOTES AND TIPS
- MORE HOMEMADE CURRY PASTES TO TRY
- Frequently Asked Questions
- MORE THAI RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
- Easy Thai Beef Panang Curry Recipe (Penang Neua)
What is Panang curry?
Thai panang curry (แกงแพนงเนื้อ) is a light curry made with beef cooked in creamy panang curry paste and coconut milk. Then it's seasoned with sugar, fish sauce, and crushed peanuts. Don't let the minimal ingredients fool you into thinking it may lack flavors.
No. It's quite the opposite. The understated flavors of this beef panang curry dish keep building and building in every bite, making it quite addicting. Trust me on this.
More Thai Curries
If you love light and creamy Thai curry, try these delicious recipes. Thai Beef Massaman curry, authentic Chicken Massaman curry recipe with sweet potatoes, salmon Choo Chee recipe, and Pad Prik Khing with shrimp and green beans. All three a light on the spiciness and are full of rich, creamy flavors that will keep you wanting more.
WHY YOU'LL LOVE this Panang beef curry recipe
- The minimal ingredients used alone are a huge bonus. Less time to prep and more time to enjoy! (:
- It's delicious! Meal with flavors and aromas from dried spices and fresh ingredients.
- The recipe is adaptable! Use any protein, pork, chicken, duck, shrimp or tofu.
- Panang curry has a mild flavor and is a great recipe to share with beginners or kids.
INGREDIENTS FOR Beef panang curry
Use store-bought curry Panang paste. Make your paste using this easy and authentic Massaman curry paste. Most dried spices can be found at your local Asian market.
- Beef. Choose tender cuts of beef for this recipe and slice them into small pieces. Chuck roast beef tends to get too tough. Save those for stewing or braising instead. Using pork, chicken, turkey, fish, or tofu works well too.
- Thai Panang curry paste. Use the Aroy-D, Mae Ploy, or Maesri brands for premade Panang curry paste. Most Asian markets will carry at least one of these brands.
- Coconut milk. If your coconut milk hardened at the top, use that as your coconut cream and save the rest of the coconut milk for adding to the pot later down the steps.
- Sugar. To sweeten the curry, use white, palm, brown, or coconut sugar. My recipe used brown sugar. Traditional Thai recipes use palm sugar. Honey or agave works too as sweeteners.
- Fish sauce. Use fish sauce to season the curry. Soy sauce is not recommended for this recipe.
- Peanuts. Use coarsely ground peanuts to add a nutty flavor to the curry.
- Kaffir lime leaves. Julienned the leaves and saved a few kaffir lime leaf pieces for sprinkling on top of the curry on the serving plate.
- Chile pepper. Use these as a garnish on top of the plated Panang curry. Be careful of the Thai chiles. They are hot.
- Oil. We'll need just a little oil to fry the coconut paste, like stir-frying to extract the flavors. Use avocado, vegetable, canola, or coconut oil.
The best Thai curry paste brands
Below are the suggested Thai curry paste brands I've used and loved. I used the Maesri brand and homemade Panang curry paste for this recipe. (Recipe on the way!)
- Mae Ploy massaman curry paste. Mae Ploy paste is heavy on the salty side. Use less fish sauce when making your massaman curry. Mae Ploy is my go-to store-bought curry paste for making Massaman curry.
- Aroy-D brand. It tends to be on the saltier side. Adjust your salt when making your curry paste.
- Maesri brand. The Maesri massaman curry paste tends to be sweeter and tangy. Adjust the fish sauce and tamarind accordingly when making curries.
HOW TO MAKE Panang Beef CURRY
Step 1. Add oil and curry paste on medium heat in a soup pot, Dutch oven, or a large wok. Stir fry the paste, and break up any large clumps until fragrant. It takes about 1-2 minutes.
Step 2. Add the coconut milk and stir until you have a thick coconut cream sauce, about 2-3 mins.
Step 3. Season your sauce with fish, sugar, and sliced kaffir lime leaves. Stir and cook for a minute.
Step 4. Add the beef, and stir until all the pieces are covered in the golden thick sauce. Lower the heat slightly if the curry is getting too thick too quickly. Cook for 5 minutes.
Step 5. Last, add the peanuts to the pot, then stir well. Carefully taste the curry and adjust the flavors as needed. Use fish sauce for saltiness, Sugar to sweeten it up, a bit of water, or coconut milk for more liquid. Serve over jasmine rice. Enjoy!
Garnishing options: Add fresh basil leaves, sliced kaffir lime leaf pieces, sliced red pepper, or hot pepper for more heat.
See the recipe card for quantities.
HELPFUL KITCHEN NOTES AND TIPS
- Cutting the meat into smaller pieces helps the meat to cook quicker.
- Panang curries are typically not spicy. But if you'd like some heat, add sliced red chilies to the curry during the cooking process or as a garnish.
- Use sweet red bell pepper instead for less heat, and it adds a pop of color to the color.
- Peanut butter is an ok substitute for crushed peanuts. It makes the curry more creamy and thick. I've seen plenty of recipes using it, and in a pinch, it works fine, but the nutty and light crunch of peanuts adds an extra depth of flavor and experience to your Panang curry (:
- If using lighter protein like tofu, fish, or shrimp, cut the cooking time to about 4 minutes each, as the protein can get too tough and chewy if cooked too long.
- Firm fish, tofu, or tempeh work for this recipe. Cut the cooking time to half the amount specified in the instructions.
- Make a vegetarian version by adding your favorite vegetables.
- Great vegetables for Penang curries are carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, onions, broccoli, squash, baby corns, water chestnuts, pea eggplants, bamboo shoots, and snap peas.
- Note that most Thai curry pastes have shrimp paste in them. I haven't used a vegan curry paste before and can only suggest making your curry paste and using vegemite instead of shrimp paste.
MORE HOMEMADE CURRY PASTES TO TRY
If you are feeling adventurous and want to explore Thai cooking more in-depth, try these new recipes by making your curry pastes at home. These pastes are well-known in Thai cuisine and will give you a new appreciation for freshness and bold flavors you can't find in most Thai restaurants.
It's a great way to learn about Thai ingredients and the many benefits of making your curry pastes.
- The best authentic massaman paste
- Authentic Thai yellow curry paste
- Authentic green curry paste
- Authentic Thai red curry paste
- Authentic Prik Khing curry paste
- Authentic Choo Chee curry paste
- Tom Yum curry paste
Frequently Asked Questions
Panang curry in Thai is called Gaeng Paa Nang. There are many English spellings of this delicious Thai curry. Here are what you might see, Phanaeng, Panang, Penang, or Phanang.
In Thailand, curries are called "Gaeng" (แกง). Then it's called whatever type of curry paste and meat is used. For example, Thai green curry made with chicken is called Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (แกงเขียวหวานไก่). The literal translation is Curry-Green-Sweet-Chicken. (The sweet is added because green curries are typically sweeter.)
Panang curry (แกงพะแนง) in Thai is pronounced Paa-Nang with emphasis on the Paa with short stucco sound rather than the elongated Pa sound.
Yes! Panang curry is excellent as leftovers. It tastes better the next day because all the ingredients get a longer chance of soaking in the curry flavors.
Yes, you can. Store your leftover Panang curry in an airtight container and keep the freezer for 2-3 months.
Panang curry is excellent with Jasmine rice or any plain white rice.
MORE THAI RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
Try the following recipes for more tasty Thai food.
- Chicken Massaman curry with sweet potatoes
- Thai Green curry. A well-loved curry in and outside of Thailand
- Easy Yellow curry with chicken. A mild curry that is quick to put together.
- Authentic Red curry. One of the most well-known and popular Thai curries.
- Prik King curry with shrimp and green beans. A dry curry with shrimp and long green beans.
- Choo Chee salmon curry. A type of red Thai curry with creamy, rich flavors.
- How to make purple sticky rice
- Thai basil fried rice
** Love a recipe you've tried? Please leave a 5-star ?rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram! **Print
Looking for more delicious recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite drinks to serve with Thai food.