Easy Panang Curry Beef
When we mention about Thai cooking or Thai food, one of the dishes that we often talk about is curry. There are two kinds of Thai curry; one without coconut milk and one with coconut milk. Red curry, Green curry, Yellow curry, Masaman curry, and Panang curry are curries that contain with coconut milk. The curries without coconut milk are pretty much from Northeast and Northern regions of Thailand such as wild curry. The curries with coconut milk are recipes come from the Central region of Thailand, and they are more popular than the curry without coconut milk.
What is the reason for this assumption?
There’s a level of spiciness involved with it. It seems like spicy food is not a favorite flavor for Thai people in the central region, and a creamy coconut milk tends to cool the spiciness down. On the other hand, people from Northeast and Northern regions tend to like spicier food thus they don’t add coconut milk in their curries.
Authentic Panang Curry
When I first moved to the U.S., I had a hard time finding an original Thai Panang curry at Thai restaurants. Panang curry that has been served at most of restaurants in here are pretty much Americanized. The traditional Panang curry has a thick and creamy texture not a mellow texture.
Once I asked an owner of a Thai restaurant that I used to work for; why Panang curry here doesn’t look like what we have in Thailand?. She told me that most people in the U.S. still don’t eat Thai food with rice. Panang sauce is thicker and saltier than the other curries, and if we serve the original version they may not like it.
Picking the healthiest yet tastiest protein or meat for your panang curry
The most popular Panang curry is Panang beef. It can be substituted with any kind of protein such as chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu, or only mixed vegetables. In this recipe, I did it with beef which we haven’t had it for a while. According to USDA, there are two types of leaner beef cuts which are extra lean cuts and lean cuts. The leanest beef is eye round roast and 100 g. of it contains less than 5 g. of total fat, 2 g. saturated fat, and 95 mg. cholesterol. Next come sirloin rib side and top round roast. A rule to find extra lean beef at a grocery store is looking for a label says “round, chuck, or loin”.
If you want to try an easy original version of Panang curry, I have an easy recipe for you.
- • 1 lb. thin sliced beef
- • 1 can (13.5 fl.oz.) lite coconut milk
- • 2 tbsp Panang curry paste
- • 2 tbsp olive oil
- • 4-5thin cut kaffir lime leaves (as optional)
- Heat olive oil in a medium pot.
- Add Panang curry paste and stir fry it just a few seconds.
- Add a half can of lite coconut milk and stir the paste with the coconut milk.
- When the coconut milk starting to boil, add sliced beef follow with the rest of the coconut milk.
- Cook until the meat is well done and add kaffir lime leaves.
- Turn off the stove and serve with steamed brown rice.