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Thai Chicken Panang Curry Recipe

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Thai Chicken Panang Curry is a classic Southeast Asian takeout favorite that’s simple to make at home with tender chicken and vegetables simmered in a fragrant coconut curry sauce. Perfect for 30 minute weeknight meals!

Top view of Thai Chicken Panang Curry in a terracotta bowl with steamed rice.

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Thai Chicken Panang Curry is your go-to recipe when you need a chicken curry fix–with a kick. The secret ingredient is the curry paste, originally from Malaysia and now popular all over northern Thailand. It keeps in the fridge for months, and once you have it, you will want to keep it in stock for quick recipes!

What is Panang Curry

One of my best friends grew up in Malaysia and only recently moved to the U.S. There is nothing quite as delicious as the food cooked in her kitchen!

She introduced me to Panang Curry and I became an instant lover of this delicious curry!

Panang Curry (also known as Phanaeng) is a sweet and salty peanut flavoured curry with a unique taste that distinguishes it from other curry dishes. It’s a thick, creamy curry made with coconut milk, that’s rich and aromatic in flavor.

Panang Curry Ingredients

You will find the ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick overview of what you will need to make this easy but delicious dish!

  • Cooking oil: Like vegetable oil
  • Aromatics: Minced garlic and shallots (or green onions) for both cooking and garnishing.
  • Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or tenders cut into bite-size pieces
  • Panang curry paste: Panang curry paste (available at Amazon if you can’t find it in your market) is a peanut flavored curry that’s difficult to replicate. The closest curry paste is Thai red curry paste. If using, I would suggest adding 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter with the curry paste in the recipe, or use 1/2 cup of dry roasted, chopped peanuts at the end of cooking and as garnish.
  • Spices: Ground turmeric for additional flavor. If you don’t have this on hand, simply eliminate it.
  • Coconut milk: Be sure to use unsweetened coconut milk
  • Sugar: You can use packed brown sugar, granulated sugar, or palm sugar, which has a lower GI and is considered healthier.
  • Fish sauce: Both Thai and Vietnamese fish sauce works well.
  • Herbs: Cilantro leaves and Thai basil leaves
  • Limes both for juice and garnish

Kitchen Tools Needed

This Panang Curry cooks in one large nonstick skillet. A whisk is also helpful when making the sauce.

How to Make Panang Curry

Full step-by-step recipe instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post, but this will give you a quick idea of how easy this chicken curry dish is!

  1. Heat oil skillet then add garlic and shallots. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Whisk in coconut milk, curry, turmeric, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened; about 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Stir in the cilantro, lime juice, and basil. Garnish and serve over rice.

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Top view of Thai Chicken Panang Curry garnished with Thai basil and Thai red peppers.

Thai Chicken and Noodle Panang Curry

Make mouthwatering Thai Chicken Panang Curry at home in just 30 minutes! Tender chicken and vegetables simmered in a fragrant coconut curry sauce.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic about 3 large cloves
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots or green onions
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts (tenderloins) chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Panang curry paste or Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric ground
  • 1 14-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sugar like packed brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (Thai or Vietnamese)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and small sprigs
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil* leaves and small sprigs

For Garnish

  • 1/2 scallions chopped
  • Thai red peppers thinly sliced (seeds remove if desired for heat preference)
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, but do not brown the garlic.
  • Whisk in coconut milk, curry paste, turmeric, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered until slightly thickened; about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken and simmer until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. For tender chicken, the curry mustn't boil; just gently simmers.
  • Stir in the cilance, lime juice, and Thai basil leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Garnish and serve over rice.

Notes

  1. Panang curry paste: Panang curry paste (available at Amazon if you can’t find it in your market) is a peanut-flavored curry that’s difficult to replicate. The closest curry paste is Thai red curry paste. If using, I would suggest adding 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter with the curry paste in the recipe, or use 1/2 cup of dry roasted, chopped peanuts at the end of cooking and as garnish.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 812mg | Potassium: 436mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1226IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Thai chicken, Penang curry, chicken curry

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