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Panang Curry

2 main  
45+ min  
This curry is named for the Malaysian island of Penang, but the style has been enthusiastically adopted in Thailand. Beef is most common in restaurants, but it is also made with Pork, Shrimp, Chicken, Fish and Potatoes. The photo example is with pork.



Option (1)
Kaffir Lime leaf (2)  
Chili, fresh (3)
Thai Basil leaves
Panang Curry (4)
Coconut Milk
Fish Sauce
Prep   -   (30 min)
  1. Cut and prepare OPTION
    • Beef:   cut into bite size pieces about 1/4 inch thick. Put in a pot with water to cover and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse (this is to keep the curry a nice color).
    • Pork or Chicken:   cut into bite size pieces about 1/4 inch thick.
    • Shrimp:   Shell and de-vein. These can be left whole if not too big. Add them in for the last 4 minutes of cooking.
    • Fish:   This can be cut into pieces or left whole to be broken up at the table. It is usually fried or poached separately and added at the last minutes. Very firm fish like catfish can be added raw, as with Shrimp, but give it about 8 minutes of cooking.
    • Potatoes:   Cut into bite size chunks about 1/2 inch thick. Hold in cold water until needed.
  2. Roll up LIME LEAVES and slice extremely fine, discarding central rib, then chop fine. Cut SCALLIONS into 1 inch lengths. Slice SHALLOTS thin. Mix all.
  3. Cap and seed CHILIS. Cut into narrow threads.
  4. Remove BASIL LEAVES from stems and set them soaking in cold water. This will slow discoloration when added to the curry.
Run   -   (10 min to 1-1/2 hr depending)
  1. In a sauté pan heat Oil over medium heat and stir in Curry Paste until aromatic and well distributed in the oil, then slowly stir in Coconut Milk and Stock. Use care, coconut milk foams over just a badly as cow milk.
  2. Stir in Lime Leaf mix and simmer for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Stir in Option and simmer covered until cooked tender, adding stock if needed to keep it quite liquid. Perhaps 1-1/4 hrs for Beef, 3/4 hr for Pork or Chicken, 20 minutes for Potatoes. For Shrimp or cooked Fish simmer for 10 minutes, then add Fish or Shrimp and cook 4 minutes for Shrimp, 3 minutes for cooked Fish, just to warm through, (see also Note-6).
  4. When Option is done, stir in Fish Sauce and Chilis.
  5. Sprinkle Basil Leaves over and serve hot with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
  1. Option:   Most familiar in restaurants is Beef, but Pork, Chicken, Potatoes, Shrimp and Fish are also used. The best Potatoes to use are White Rose, Red, or similar medium waxy type. Avoid "Yukon Gold" type potatoes as they turn to mush if cooked just a little too long. For Fish use a type that holds together well, Catfish (Vietnamese or American) or a firm cooking ocean fish. Fish is fried or poached separately to keep it from breaking up in the sauce.
  2. Kaffir Lime:   These leaves come as pairs on a single stem, so this recipe calls for three half pairs. For details see our Kaffir Lime page.
  3. Chili:   Around here we all use red ripe Fresnos, though other medium hot such as Holland Red can be used. Yellow chilis like Hungarian Wax can also be used. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Panang Curry Paste:   For a recipe see Panang Curry Paste.
  5. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. For details see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  6. Fish:   If fish is cooked as whole or half fillets it can be kept warm and placed in a shallow serving bowl and the finished sauce pourd over. It is then broken up at the table.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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