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Thai Beef Panang Curry

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This beef panang curry ticks all the boxes!

If you’ve never tried a Thai panang curry, it’s really time you did. This panang curry recipe is from my new cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Thai’ and I love it.

The most important thing in making the perfect beef panang curry is making your own homemade panang curry paste. It is also a good idea to velvet the beef (tenderise it) using bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). You can see how to do that here. It’s a simple process that makes a huge difference!

Yes, there are some good commercial brands of curry paste out there but you really will get the best results if you use my homemade  curry paste here.

Panang curry

So easy and delicious too!

What is panang curry?

Panang curries are similar to red curries and can be on the spicy side. The main differences are that Panang curries include peanuts and are often thicker and sweeter than red curries, which is why no stock is added to this recipe.

However, there is no reason why you couldn’t make this curry just like the red curry so that it is thinner and more soupy.

If making this recipe as it’s written, the thick sauce is delicious served over hot jasmine rice.

Which vegetables should I use?

Although authentic Panang curries are not cooked with vegetables, I have added baby sweetcorn, courgettes (zucchini) and mushrooms to mine, so leave them out if you want a more traditional flavour and presentation.

Really, if it sounds good, add it.

Working ahead…

There really isn’t much to a panang curry but no one who tries it would know that.

If working ahead, be sure to make the curry paste and the rest is a breeze. All of the preparation such as cutting the meat and vegetables can be done a day or two in advance too.

Then all you need to do is cook it all up which only takes minutes.

How spicy is panang curry?

It is about the same spiciness as red curry. Many people think Thai red curry is the spiciest but it is actually Thai green curry that is the spiciest.

So this panang curry is spicy but not blow your head off spicy. You can always make it less spicy by adding fewer chillies to your panang paste.

Why do you tenderise the mean?

If using expensive cuts of beef such as ribeye or sirloin, tenderising the meat is not as important. If you would like to make a delicious Panang curry using stewing beef, you should tenderise it before cooking.

This reduces the amount of cooking time required to cook the curry and the results are amazing. Just as important as tenderising the meat is cutting it correctly against the grain. All is explained in my velveting beef recipe.

How do you make the perfect panang curry?

It is important when cooking Thai food to taste as you go. You want a good combination of spicy, sweet, sour and savoury. By tasting the panang curry as you cook it, you can adjust the flavours so that they are perfect for your taste preferences.

Add more lime juice, for example to achieve a more sour flavour. For a salty flavour, add more fish sauce. Get the idea? Just taste as you go and your panang curry will be amazing.

Can you use a shop-bough panang curry paste for this recipe?

Yes. I recommend making your own though as it is fresher and better. If you do decide to use a shop-bought panang paste, just add about 2 tablespoons to start. Commercial pastes can be a bit on the salty and spicy side. You can always add more to taste later in cooking.

How long can your store the leftovers in the fridge?

You can store any leftover beef panang curry in the fridge for at least three days, wrapped tightly. The best way to reheat it is to pour it into a wok or pan and heat it up over a medium high heat.

If it a rush, you could also heat it up in your microwave.

Can you freeze this curry?

You can but coconut milk does not freeze well. So if you are cooking up a batch to freeze, don’t add the coconut milk. You can add that later when you defrost and heat it back up.

If you do have leftovers, don’t throw them away. You can freeze it and it will still be good.

Here are a few step by step cooking photos of beef panang curry…

Ingredients for beef panang curry

It’s always a good idea to get al your ingredients ready before starting.

Adding meat to wok.

Add the beef to hot oil in a wok over medium high heat.

Browning beef in pan

Brown the meat for a few minutes.

Adding curry paste to pan

Once the meat has browned, stir in the panang paste. If using a commercial brand you will need a lot less as they can be spicy and salty.

Stirring paste into the meat

Stir well to combine.

Adding coconut milk to pan.

Now add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

Adding vegetables to the pan

Stir in the vegetables if using.

Finished panang curry

All finished!

Panang curry

Dig in!

If you like beef panang recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Thai Recipes

How To Make Thai Red Curry
Green Thai Curry
Beef Massaman Curry
Thai Drunken Noodles
Tom Kha Gai Soup
Tom Yum Gai Soup

Chinese Recipes

Bang Bang Chicken
Beef in Black Bean Sauce
Black Bean Noodles
Sesame Chicken
General Tso’s Chicken
Crispy Chili Oil Noodles
Soy Sauce Chicken
Bam Bam Chicken
Chinese Chicken Curry
Cashew Chicken
Pork Potstickers
Shrimp and Broccoli

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Yield: 4

Thai Beef Panang Curry

Beef Panang Curry

This traditional Thai beef panang curry is made even better with homemade panang paste. You are going to get restaurant quality results or better with this recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil 600g (1lb 5oz) beef rib-eye, cut thinly against the grain
  • 1 batch of Panang curry paste
  • 1–2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 600ml (2 1⁄2 cups) thick coconut
  • milk
  • About 225g (8oz) vegetables,
  • such as chopped baby sweetcorn, courgette (zucchini), mushrooms
  • 3 lime leaves, stalks removed and leaves finely julienned
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (more or less to taste)


  1. Get that meat cooking first so that it becomes nice and tender. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. When visibly hot, add the meat and fry for a couple of minutes to brown it.
  2. Add the curry paste and sugar, starting with just one tablespoon of the sugar. You can always add more for a sweeter flavour.
  3. Add the coconut milk and simmer for about 5 minutes to thicken. Stir in your vegetables of choice and simmer for another few minutes until cooked through but still fresh and not at all mushy.
  4. Stir in the lime leaves and fish sauce. Taste the sauce, adding more sugar for sweetness or more fish sauce for a saltier flavour.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 442Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 1104mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 4gSugar: 54gProtein: 13g

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