I’m always impressed and satisfied when eating curry in a Thai restaurant. I tried making this dish before but it came out nothing like what I’ve eaten in Thai eateries in both the States and abroad. One day I went over to my neighbors home and saw him add a brown disk into his Thai curry. I asked him what it was and he said it was palm sugar, or what I call “the secret ingredient.” Palm sugar is is a natural and unrefined sweetener from coconut palm tree flowers. The sap is collected from the flower and shaped into a hardened disk. You will see palm sugar used in a lot of Thai, Indonesian and Philipino cuisine.
My neighbors are the sweetest Jewish and Thai married gay couple. I LOVE them and have learned how to cook a lot of dishes because I am always lurking in their kitchen.
I made my way to Viet Wah, a Vietnamese grocery store in Seattle’s International District. I usually plan my Vietnamese and Asian recipes for the week when I have to make a drive down to the International District. On this weeks’ menu I also included Vietnamese congee (porridge) and shrimp and pork Vietnamese spring rolls. Let’s get to cooking some Thai curry!
Easy Thai Panang Curry Recipe
Below is my EASY Thai Panang curry recipe. This took me a total of 30 minutes to prep and cook. It offers 4-6 servings and is plenty of food if you are meal prepping for the week. You may not ever have to go into another Thai restaurant for curry again. (I am totally kidding. You should definitely visit all the mom and pop Thai restaurants and support them!)
- 1 palm sugar disk
- 4 tablespoons of panang curry paste (I use the Mae Ploy brand)
- 1 cup of white or brown rice
- 1 13.5oz can of coconut milk
- 1/4 cup of water for curry and 3 cups for rice
- 10 garlic cloves minced
- 1 white onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Optional Fish sauce (to taste)
- 1 crown of broccoli cut into two inch florets
- 4 small potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 cup of mushrooms sliced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced into disks
- 2 green onions sliced
- 1/2 lime for juice
- 2 sprigs of Thai basil leaves
- Begin to cook your rice. Rinse the rice to clean it before cooking. Once rice is done you can move it aside and fluff with a fork. As the rice cooks, begin to prep the vegetables.
- Peel and slice the carrots. Peel and cube the potatoes. Bring a pot of water to boil and boil the potatoes and carrots for 15 minutes to soften. Drain it once you’re done and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking, slice the mushrooms, green onion and prep the broccoli florets. Set aside.
- Mince the garlic and chop the onion.
- In a pot, heat it up on medium and add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Stir it with a wooden spoon.
- Add panang curry sauce to the pot and mix until the sauce starts to break apart.
- Add coconut milk to the pot. Add 1/4 cup of water to the can and swirl it around to get the remaining coconut milk bits. Add it to the pot.
- Add the palm sugar into the mix and stir it around until it starts to soften.
- Add the potatoes and carrots and let it cook on medium for another 8 minutes.
- As the curry cooks, slice the Thai basil into small strips.
- After the curry is done cooking, turn off the heat and add 1/2 juice from the lime and fresh Thai basil into the pot. Mix the ingredients into the pot.
- Scoop some rice into a bowl and the curry onto the rice.
- Garnish with sliced green onions.
And VOILA there you have it! Some Thai panang curry that I would consider comparable to what you can order in a restaurant. All the veggies (except for the Thai basil) were from my Imperfect Produce box. Imperfect Produce sends ugly fruits and vegetables to your home for 30-50% cheaper than grocery store pricing. Sign-up and get a $10 off Imperfect Produce coupon code towards your first box.
In case you were wondering, it took me longer to write this post than to make this curry. 😉 ENJOY!
- Notice that I did not add salt or pepper. You will NOT need it. The paste is heavily seasoned.
- For a healthier alternative, opt for steaming cauliflower and sliced celery instead of rice.
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