Jan 9, 2020

Beef Panang Curry

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Pandang curry is characterized by balanced sweet and savory flavors with nutty undertones and a bright citrusy finish.

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I fell in love with this traditional Southern Thai curry at “Night + Market Sahm” in Venice, California where they serve the thick, gravy-like curry panang with flakey, crispy fresh roti and sticky rice.

Pandang curry is characterized by balanced sweet and savory flavors with nutty undertones and a bright citrusy finish. In traditional versions of panang curry, the beef is cooked separately as to not sully the flavors of the spice paste, but I like the slight beef flavor, not to mention the ease of cooking the beef in the sauce.

Many also use a thin cut of beef, but I prefer to use cubes of beef that slowly break down and become fork-tender in the curry. My goal is to create an easy, one-pot curry with a deep flavor profile that can be easily made for a weeknight dinner and enjoyed after a little over an hour of hands-off cooking.

markut lime leaves

I tried two separate versions with both homemade curry and store-bought and in this recipe the winner was the store-bought – it was a bit spicier and felt like the flavors were more cohesive.

Beef Panang Curry southern thai curry recipe recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Traditional panang curry paste isn’t tough to make, however it can be tricky to track down the typical ingredients – a combination of red pepper, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, lime leaves and shrimp paste. Look for a store-bought Thai red curry paste with these ingredients on the container for the best flavor profile. I like using Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste which can be found at Target or here.

Makrut lime leaves are frequently used in Southeast Asian cooking to add bright, citrus flavor and can be found at most Asian markets. They freeze well so I like to buy a few packages and keep them around to use as needed. If you cannot locate makrut lime leaves then a combination of half lime zest and half lemon zest works as a substitute.

Beef Panang Curry-24.jpg

Beef Panang Curry

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • pounds chuck steak, cut into 1” cubes
  • ,Kosher salt as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground roasted coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 6 Kaffir lime leaves julienned, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
  • Jasmine rice, for serving
  • Thai basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Instructions:

  • Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and heat through.
  • Add the beef and sear until all sides are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Return the pot to heat and add the coriander, cumin, red curry paste and sugar, stirring constantly to fry the paste until it deepens in color and becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk to the pot with the beef and 1 cup of water. Cover and simmer the mixture over medium-low heat until the beef is fork-tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes, adding additional water ¼ cup at a time if the sauce becomes too thick and dry. Stir in the fish sauce, peanut butter and half the julienned lime leaves.
  • Garnish with the remaining lime leaves and peanuts then serve the beef panang curry with jasmine rice, Thai basil and lime wedges.

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