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Thai Panang Curry with Beef

Thai Panang Curry with Beef
Thai Panang Curry with Beef pictures (1 of 9)

When I requested my friends at TX Bar Organics, North Cal for their most suitable cuts of organic grass fed beef to showcase my Thai beef Panang curry post, they instantly delivered several choices, all beautifully vacuumed-packed in an ice box, and distinctively labeled. After careful deliberation, I decided on chuck roast (click on the picture gallery above), which by the way is excellent not just for Panang curry, but any braising recipe as well. Coming in close was a tender juicy piece of top sirloin, which I can’t wait to share with you in my next beef recipe post.

The name of the curry – Panang/Phanaeng, originates from my hometown, the beautiful island of Penang on the west coast of Malaysia. Spices commonly used in Malaysian curries (coriander and cumin) are shared in this Thai curry, along with other aromatic herbs (kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, etc.). An authentic Panang curry is fried in thick coconut cream as opposed to boiling, as in the Red curries, providing a thick, creamy, soup-like gravy. And in most Thai restaurants, beef is the most famous choice, best suited for a Panang curry. Because of its  bursting savory spice ingredients, with a touch of roasted peanuts and cilantro roots, this is usually the more popular version than the regular Thai curries (Green, Yellow, Red, Massaman). Aside from that, this is also one of the creamier, rich and mild spicy curry which is easier to take on with a bowl hot steamed Jasmine rice.

Thai Panang Curry with Beef

The last time I cook Panang was with chicken, and I kept it simple using a can of off-the-shelf Panang curry paste. So, what better way to showcase this delightful fresh organic grass fed beef  with some good home-made Panang curry paste? If you enjoy making some good old-fashion curry paste, like I did with my usual suspect, ie. Rendang with beef,  making Panang curry from scratch is most certainly very easy, a definite must-try to your perfect Panang curry beef.

By the way, I am excited to inform everyone on an upcoming organic grass fed beef giveaway sponsored by my good friends at TX Bar Organics.

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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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