Phaenang, Panang or Penang Curry is a type of Thai curry which is milder than the usual Thai curries. Though peanuts is an optional ingredient, in my recipe peanuts take the lead. My version of the Penang Curry is creamy, mildly spicy & tangy and very peanutty. It goes best with some sticky steamed rice in a bowl 🙂
You can make your own Penang Curry paste or buy it from a store. But I use my staple Thai Red Curry paste to make the Penang curry. For me the Thai Red Curry paste is very versatile and I even use it make a Satay marinade and dip as well. In fact I think my Penang curry flavor is very close to a satay sauce. Hardcore Pan Asian chef’s may probably consider this as blasphemy…but this is my recipe, my kitchen and my blog 😉
Cooking time (Prep : 20 minutes, Cooking : 15-20 minutes)
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
Thai Red Curry Paste : 2 tablespoons
Chunky Peanut Butter : 2 tablespoons
Soy Sauce : 1 tablespoon
Tamarind Paste : 1 teaspoon
Brown/Palm Sugar : 1 teaspoon
Coconut Cream : 200 ml
Veg stock : 2 cups
Oil : 2 tablespoons
Kafir lime leaves : 4-5
Crushed/Broken Peanuts : a handful
Firm Tofu : 200 gms
Zucchini : 100 gms, chopped into thin quarter pieces
Bell Peppers : 2 halves of red and yellow peppers, chopped into bite sized pieces
Bokchoy : 1 cluster, cleaned, bottom chopped off and leaf blades separated.
1. Absorb water out of the Tofu by wrapping it in a kitchen towel. Cut into bite sized triangular pieces.
2. Pan fry the tofu in a non stick pan with some salt. Remove and keep aside.
3. Next fry the curry paste in the oil for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the soy sauce, peanut butter, tamarind paste and 2 tablespoons of coconut cream and continue to fry until oil separates from the edges, it is creamy and has a nice aroma. This is a very important step in the recipe !
5. At this point add rest of the coconut cream, veggies, kafir lime leaves and veg stock. Mix well and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add sugar and check the taste. It should be mildly spicy, slightly tangy, peanutty and should have an oily creamy consistency. Add the tofu at this stage, let it simmer for a couple of minutes and turn off the heat.
6. Pan sautee the bok choy with a bit of salt and use it for garnish.
Serving suggestion : It can be had with plain steamed noodles or rice. My favorite combo is with sticky steamed rice. Take the rice in a bowl, top off with the penang curry, some sauteed bok choy and sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top.