The name of this central Thai curry is often confused with the Malaysian state of Penang, but the oft declared link is untrue.
Panang curry falls under the category of kluk klik curries, or those which are gravy like but not soupy. The addition of peanuts in this style of red curry acts as a thickener.
Like with all other Thai curries, Panang is best served alongside a simple portion of steamed white jasmine rice.
Vegan Panang Curry
Kaeng Panang Weegan – แกงพะแนงวีแก้น
Panang curry is a tourist-in-Thailand and restaurant favourite. You will be left with a good amount of curry paste – far more than is needed by this recipe – but it will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. Try to use brands of coconut milk that do not include any ingredients aside from coconut and water (this will help to ensure that glistening oily sheen on top of the curry, but it will still taste good even without this layer).
- 7-10 dried red long chilies
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 8 white peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sliced lemongrass, lower portion with purple rings only
- 1 teaspoon chopped galangal
- ½ tablespoon roughly chopped kaffir lime rind
- ½ tablespoon chopped coriander root (or 1 tablespoon chopped coriander stems)
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- ¼ cup sliced shallots
- 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon vegan shrimp paste, dark miso or Korean doenjang
- 2 tablespoons (40 grams) panang curry paste
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (90 millilitres) water or sodium free stock
- 2-3 cups mock meat or cubed tofu
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
- ¼-½ teaspoon salt
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and cut into thin slivers
- 1 long red chili, seeded and julienned
- Handful of Thai basil
- Remove the seeds from the chilies. Use a small knife or scissors to open the dried fruit lengthways and scrape the seeds out. Cut the chilies in a few pieces and soak in warm water until soft.
- Toast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium-low heat in a dry saucepan until fragrant. Grind with the white peppercorns using a pestle and mortar. Tip the ground spices into a small bowl.
- Add the salt and soaked chilies to the mortar and pound until broken down into a smooth paste. Add the lemongrass and pound until smooth. Repeat with each ingredient, in order as they are listed, ensuring each is pounded into a smooth paste before adding the next. After the shallots, add the ground dried spices and peanuts, pounding until smooth. Lastly, work the vegan shrimp paste or miso through.
- Add the coconut cream and coconut oil to a wok or saucepan. Cook over medium heat for a 3-4 minutes until the coconut milk begins to look curdled. Add the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes, until the smell of raw garlic is cooked out.
- Add the coconut milk and water, stirring to evenly incorporate the paste. Add the mock meat or tofu, palm sugar, soy sauce, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Serve garnished with kaffir lime leaves, fresh chili and Thai basil.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Serves: 2-3, with rice
- Cuisine: Thai
This recipe is a replacement of a woefully inaccurate previous recipe.