My sister gave me a wonderful wedding gift: a collection of recipes from our good friends & family. One of our good family friends is from Thailand and shared this wonderful easy recipe. Enjoy. Thank you, Mrs. Higgins!
What is Panang curry? It is a type of red Thai curry that is thick, salty and sweet, with a nutty peanut flavor. The curry paste is made with dried chili peppers, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander, cumin, garlic, & shallot. The flavors are inspired by the Indian influence in Thailand. Here is the recipe for you to make at home.
1 lb. beef steak, such as sirloin, cut into strips
1 large diced red bell pepper (or vegetable of your choice)
2 cups coconut milk (higher fat, 100% coconut cream is best)
2 tbsp. Panang curry paste
1-2 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. palm sugar
2 tbsp. roasted peanuts
3-4 fresh kaffir lime leaves
3-4 fresh thai chili peppers
Heat the coconut milk, except for 3 tbsp, set aside, in a wok or skillet until the oil comes to the surface. Add Panang curry paste, and fry until it becomes aromatic. Add meat and cook until the meat is nearly done, then add bell peppers. Add fish sauce and palm sugar. Let it simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat. Top with 3 tbsp coconut milk, slivered lime leaves, peanuts, and fresh Thai chili peppers. Mix this up, serve with freshly steamed jasmine rice. For an elegant touch just before serving, dab a spoonful of thick coconut cream.
If you don't live near a Thai market, you can order kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, and Thai chili peppers from Amazon. You will have a lot of extra! The Thai chili peppers are hot, so use with caution. Halfway cooking I realized I had no rice, so I just ordered delivery from the Indian restaurant down the street. They strongly recommend 100% pure Chaokoh coconut cream (I used regular coconut milk). Could also be made with chicken or tofu. In a pinch, you could make this without the kaffir lime leaves and Thai chili peppers, the flavor is really in the curry paste. Some Thai recipes take all day to make; this one was quick & easy.
Here is a photo of me with Mrs. Higgins in Thailand in 2011.