Thai Panang Chicken Curry

By Published On: October 18th, 2019

This Thai Panang Curry is a dish dreams are made from. The ultimate creamy, fragrant and utterly intoxicating South East Asian Curry you’ll ever taste. It’s little wonder this dish is so loved, and the good news is you can make the entire thing from SCRATCH with this easy-to-follow- recipe.

Thai Panang Curry Chicken

Panang Chicken Curry is just one of the delicious supercharged South East Asian Curries I make on the regular. So full of flavour but without toasting your tastebuds with chilli heat. I always make my Thai Panang Curry milder than say a green or red curry, because it can't always he about hot hot spice - sometimes we need to appreciate the sweeter, more fragrant side of Thailand. It's one of my 10 Best Chicken Curry Recipes - discover why...

When it comes to Panang curry, one of the most intensely rich and fragrant curries Thailand has to offer, it's all about the sauce for me. It's traditionally thicker and more reduced than other curries so the sauce clings to the meat.

Separation of a nation

One sign of an Authentic Panang Thai curry is the separation of oil and sauce. A thick slick of sauce floats to the top and takes on the colour of the main ingredients. It's what I look for if I'm cooking - I know it's going to be delicious the moment the fat separates. Try not to be put off by the oil, it's all flavour at the end of the day and you would have eaten it anyway had it not separated! If you are squeamish, just reduce it for less time and take it off the heat before the science happens.

I personally love this curry with chicken, but it also works really well with beef. I use a stewing style beef and add a bit more water than I do for chicken to enable the meat to cook for longer (about 1 1/2 hours in total) so that it's lovely and tender.

In this recipe I use chicken, meaning the cooking time is shorter and you'll have it on a plate in 50 minutes all-in!

It's not a taxing curry to make, you do need a blender or pestle & mortar but other than that - it's a doddle! Hope you enjoy!

More delicious Thai curry recipes

If you're a Thai curry super-fan like I am, you just have to make some of these recipes. And if you're looking to branch out. Learn all about the curries of South East Asia here!

Thai Panang Curry Chicken

Panang Chicken Curry

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Recipe by Lee
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Servings (adjustable) 4
Calories (per serving) | 637


For the paste

  • 5 dried red chillies
  • 1 lemon grass stalk (white only - chopped)
  • 1.5 cm piece of galangal (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh turmeric (peeled & chopped) or 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 shallots (peeled and chopped)
  • 3 coriander roots and stems (chopped)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (finely sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Other ingredients


  • Soak the dried chillies in freshly boiled water for about 5 minutes to soften.
  • Using a stick blender or pestle & mortar, grind everything together until you have a smooth paste. If you're using a pestle & mortar grind the whole ingredients in the order they appear and then stir in the other ingredients. Set the paste aside. If you're using a blender, add a little water to get the paste smooth.
  • In a wok, heat the coconut oil over a moderate heat until hot. Add the spice paste and fry for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, fill up the can 3/4 full with water and add that then add the fish sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce the heat to medium/low and simmer gently for 40 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, turn up the heat and let the sauce reduce until thick and just separated. This may take longer or shorter - just use your judgement! Sprinkle over the coriander and serve alongside plenty of Jasmine rice.


Calories: 637kcal (32%) | Carbohydrates: 14g (5%) | Protein: 33g (66%) | Fat: 51g (78%) | Saturated Fat: 27g (169%) | Cholesterol: 186mg (62%) | Sodium: 1193mg (52%) | Potassium: 709mg (20%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 3g (3%) | Vitamin A: 304IU (6%) | Vitamin C: 4mg (5%) | Calcium: 53mg (5%) | Iron: 6mg (33%)
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Thai Panang Curry Chicken

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