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Thai Panang Curry with Beef

Thai Panang Curry with Beef


Thai Panang Curry with Beef Recipe (Kaeng Phanaeng Neua)

1 lb beef, sliced into about 1/4-inch thick (I use chuck roast here)
5 tablespoons oil
3 kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded
16 oz coconut cream (or coconut milk)
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or sugar)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
fish sauce, salt and sugar to taste

Panang Curry Spice Paste:

1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon water
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-inch galangal, chopped
1 lemongrass (use white part only), cut into 2-inch length
1 tablespoon cilantro stems (or roots)
2 shallots
2 clove garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons red-skin roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon shrimp paste (or Belacan)


1. Blend all the Spice ingredients into a smooth paste.

2. Heat up oil in a wok, stir-fry kaffir lime leaves for 30 seconds. Mix in the Spice paste and continue to stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Turn the heat to medium and continue stir-frying until the oil slightly separates.

3. Add the beef in and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Mix in the coconut cream and give it a quick fry for 1-2 minutes. Add in the palm sugar, fish sauce, stir well and cover the wok.

5. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is thoroughly cooked, tender enough to your liking. Salt or fish sauce, and sugar to taste. Add some water if you prefer it saucier than a gravy-soup-like texture, or when it appears bit dry. Dish up and serve with hot steamed Jasmine rice.

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36 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Angela Tellone Hatch via Facebook

    Thanks for the recipe for the curry paste. I like to know all the ingredients and make them myself rather than rely on commercial.

  2. I LOVE panang curry and it is so good to get a recipe from you! I HAVE to try this. Can you tell me if there is a substitute for shrimp paste for vegetarians?

  3. Bee, I saw this on FGawker and came sprinting over here just because I knew there’d be more images of this luscious curry to really gawk at (lol)

  4. Shruti

    Made this curry last night, but with Chicken Thighs. I added some sauteed red pepper strips and portabella mushrooms slices to the gravy after I turned the heat off, for some extra veggies. It was so delicious!! Thanks so much for such a wonderful recipe.

    • Rasa Malaysia

      For this recipe, I use canola oil. If I’m doing deep-frys I prefer corn oil. In salads or lighter cooking, I would go with EVOO or vegetable oil.

  5. Azusa

    yum! tried this with chicken last night and taste sooo good. Took it for lunch, people at work keep saying it smelled so nice! so easy to make too, i have yet to find something from you that doesn’t turn out awesome :)

  6. acwangph

    Hi, tried this and it was yummy, but the color of my panang curry was definitely not the same. How did you make it red and oily? Mine was very light pastel red with very little oil. I used Chaoko coconut milk 16 oz can.

  7. HI I have just made the paste ahead of a dinner party c’est soir!!

    The paste is divine – I am eating it raw!

    I have some sirloin and wondered if I could cook the curry in advance and then re-heat later?

    Or would this ruin the taste and impair the meat??

    Many thanks for your help

  8. Hi Bee!
    I love your recipes and have been reading and cooking them for years now! So if on the likely occasion that we’re crazing penang curry but not up to making the paste, do you have a favorite penang curry paste that you would recommend?

  9. Elsa

    I cooked this with Mae ploy panang curry paste . It turned out good but it was too spicy. How much paste should I put if I’m using 13 oz coconut milk and 2 lbs of beef?

  10. Emmeline Yeo


    Thanks for the recipe, this is my second time doing it, it is very tasty BUT why is it that my Panang Curry is not orangey red and oily like yours?? Instead it is green or dark brown in colour, like beef rendang. Why?? What is your secret to making it orangey red? Or did you purposely leave out the “secret” ingredient, lol!

    Please reply soon because I am debutting this dish at a big Christmas party and I need it to be perfect like yours!

    Thanks heaps!

    Best Regards,

      • Emmeline Yeo

        Ahhhhhh, I see. Thank you SOOOO much Bee!

        Btw, what is “tumis”??? Sorry, I’m not Malaysian so don’t know! ;p

        Will also add more chilli powder next time.

        Thank you again!!

        • Eddie Low

          I see no reply yet re: ” Tumis” I shall be a “kay poh” ( Penang hokkien – a busy body)
          T. Tumis is to slow fry the ingredients in a wok – low heat until fragrant. Use your cooking skill – do not burn it.

  11. Cody

    I just tried this recipe and it came out great. I didn’t have any kaffir lime leaves on hand so I used lime zest instead. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  12. Sally

    Thanks for such an aromatic paste recipe. I’ve just finished cooking it and despite being delicious, it is very saucy, not thick at all and very very spicy. Is it supposed to be really spicy?? Any suggestions on thickening my sauce and reducing the heat factor a bit! Thanks in advance.

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