Me and my chicken panang? Yeah, we're best buds.
Let me just start by telling you that your homemade chicken panang will almost always be better than any takeout version because you get to choose your own ingredients and eat it fresh off the pan. Yes, panang does reheat well, making it perfect for make-ahead meals. But who doesn't want to eat it freshly cooked?
If you look online, you'll see that there are a few ways to make panang. Some people start by cooking the protein in coconut milk, others by frying the curry paste with coconut milk. There's no right or wrong here or at least that's what I think. At the end of the day, it's all about good food and being comfortable in the kitchen, right?
Now, when I said some people start making panang by cooking meat in coconut milk, those people will usually set the meat and coconut milk aside, and then move on to the curry paste. This is absolutely fine, BUT when it comes to panang curry, I have a one-pan policy, and boy, don't I love it. If you're like me, I think you're going to love my easy panang recipe which is ready in just 30 minutes too!
SOME TRUTHS ABOUT THAI PANANG CURRY
PANANG CURRY PASTE
I realize I'm generalizing here but really we don't usually make our own panang curry paste. This isn't just true for panang but also our other curries (my family only makes our own paste for Thai sour curry). In Thailand we can get curry pastes inexpensively at any local market. Of course, they aren't all great but we have our favorite curry paste stand at the market that we always go to. Generally, it's more convenient to buy, unless you're in for a good arm workout! This is not to say that making your own curry pastes is bad (I even want to explore that myself). It's to say that, just because you buy the paste, it doesn't mean your panang isn't 'real.'
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY THAI CHICKEN PANANG CURRY WITH:
Thai Chicken Panang Curry Recipe
- 3 tablespoons panang curry paste
- 250 ml coconut cream
- 225 grams chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup pea eggplant also known as Turkey berry
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 5 Thai red chilis halved and deseeded
- 9 kaffir lime leaves 8 torn, 1 finely julienned
- In a large skillet with deep sides, fry the panang curry paste over medium heat until fragrant.
- Pour half of the coconut cream into the pan and bring to a boil.
- Once the coconut cream is boiling, add the chicken and pea eggplant and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the rest of the coconut cream. If your curry is too thick at this point, add ¼ cup of water or more. If not, skip the water.
- Season with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Taste and adjust as needed, but remember Thai panang curry has to be a little sweet.
- Add the red chili peppers and torn kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another minute and turn off the heat.
- Transfer the curry to serving bowls, garnish with finely julienned kaffir lime leaves and serve with rice. Even better, serve it on a bed of rice!
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