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Beef Panang Curry

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Beef Panang is a hearty Thai Curry that’s thick and creamy. Panang is made with minimal ingredients and an easy weeknight meal that’s ready in 30 minutes.

Overhead view of beef curry on plate with rice and a small bowl.

Panang is slightly different from traditional Thai Red Curry and instead has a thicker consistency like a gravy.

I’m using store bought curry paste and a tender cut of steak to make this Beef Panang quickly for an easy meal.

Ingredients for Panang

Most of these ingredients can be found at your local Asian Market or online. The makrut lime leaves may be challenging to find fresh. I planted a makrut lime tree in my backyard.

If you can not find the fresh leaves then use dried ones and add them in whole.

Ingredients: Steak, coconut milk, curry paste, lime leaves, red bell pepper.
  • Steak
  • Panang Curry Paste
  • Makrut Lime Leaves
  • Coconut Milk
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Mini Red Bell Pepper

How to Prepare the Steak

Using a tender cut of steak will help cut down on the cooking time. I’m using a petite sirloin steak since they were on sale.

The steak needs to be sliced thin for panang. Keep the steak in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to make it easier for slicing.

Two image collage, one showing steak whole and the other showing it sliced.

*Important Tip- Make sure to slice the steak against the grain. This makes the more tender and easier to chew.

Once all the steak is slice, add some oil and salt. Give it a quick massage to season the beef.

How to Make Panang

In a non-stick skillet add a quarter cup of coconut milk over medium low heat. Add the steak and cook until no longer pink. Drain the liquid from the steak and set aside.

Add oil or coconut oil to the skillet over medium low heat along with the curry paste. Break up the paste with a wooden spatula and allow it to fry in the oil for a minute.

Four image collage on how to make panang beef curry.

Slowly pour in the remaining coconut milk. Keep stirring until the curry paste is fully dissolved. Add the markrut lime leaves and taste the panang for seasoning.

I added coconut sugar to balance the saltiness. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. If you are using less curry paste, you may need more seasoning. Always taste it and add additional fish sauce or sugar if needed.  

Add the cooked steak back into the pan and simmer for 2 minutes so the meat absorbs the curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I adjust the spiciness of the panang curry?

I used 2 tablespoons of the mae ploy panang curry paste and I would say it’s a medium spice level. If you want the curry to be mild use 1 tablespoon of curry paste. Then add additional fish sauce and/or sugar to bump up the flavor. If you want the panang to be spicier, add some sliced Thai birds eye chili peppers.

How do I avoid curdling the coconut milk?

Shake the can well, then empty the coconut milk into a glass measuring cup. If it is clumpy, microwave it for 30 seconds then stir to break up the clumps. When adding the coconut milk to the curry, keep the heat on medium low and slowly add it in while stirring at the same time.

Can I freeze panang for later?

Yes! Once the panang has cooled, place it into freezer safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight or empty into a sauce pan over low heat.

Beef Curry simmering in a skillet.

How to Serve and Store

Beef Panang Curry is best served with steamed Jasmine Rice. Traditionally there are no vegetables, however you can add some steamed veggies if you like.

I also garnished the panang with more sliced red bell pepper and julienned lime leaves.

Completed Panang on a plate with rice.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Panang makes a great meal prep option for the week.

Feature image of Panang beef with rice on a plate.

Beef Panang Curry Recipe

Renee
Beef Panang is a hearty Thai Curry that's thick and creamy. Panang is made with minimal ingredients and is perfect for an easy weeknight meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Steak Sliced thin against the grain
  • 1 tablespoon Oil (neutral oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • 16 ounces Coconut Milk (Full Fat)
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut Oil (or nuetral oil)
  • 2 tablespoon Panang Curry Paste (use 1 tablespoon for mild spice)
  • 4 Makrut Lime Leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut or White Sugar (taste curry before adding sugar)
  • 2 Red mini bell peppers
  • Jasmine Rice for Serving

Instructions
 

  • Place the steaks in the freezer for 10 minutes to make slicing easier. When slicing the steak, slice thin strips against the grain.
  • Place sliced steak in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Massage with hands for 1 minute to incorporate.
  • If using fresh makrut lime leaves, remove the middle stem. Layer the leaves together and roll tightly to slice fine strips of the leaves. Set aside
    For dried makrut lime leaves, add them in whole later.
  • Measure out the Panang Curry paste, either 1 or 2 tablespoons depending on your spice tolerance. If the curry paste is dry, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to rehydrate. Set aside
  • Slice mini red bell peppers or regular red bell peppers for color and garnish.
  • In a non stick skillet over medium low heat, add ¼ cup of coconut milk. (see notes below) Then add sliced steak and cook until the beef is no longer pink.
  • Drain the beef, set aside, and remove all the liquid from the pan.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet over medium low heat. Add the curry paste and break it up in the oil. After a minute, start slowly adding the coconut milk. Keep stirring to help the curry paste dissolve in the coconut milk and prevent it from curdling.
  • Add in either the thinly sliced makrut lime leaves or whole dried lime leaves. For the fresh ones, save some for garnish at the end.
  • Taste the panang for seasoning. I added 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar. If it needs more salt you can add fish sauce or salt. If it needs more spice add some Thai chilis.
  • Add the drained steak into the skillet along with sliced red bell pepper. Stir to combine and simmer on low heat for 2 minutes for the steak to absorb the sauce.
  • Serve warm with Jasmine rice and garnish with sliced makrut lime leaves.

Video

Notes

Before you start making the Panang, shake the can of coconut milk well and pour it into a 2 cup glass measuring jar. If there are clumps, microwave for 30 seconds or until all the clumps have dissolved.
If you are only using 1 tablespoon of curry paste, you may need more seasoning. Always taste it and add additional fish sauce or sugar if needed.  Do not use the Thai Kitchen brand curry paste, it does not have enough flavor. Mae Ploy, Arroy-D, and Maesri are what I recommend.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 571kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 25gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 35gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 226mgPotassium: 583mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 1637IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 6mg

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Keyword Beef Panang, Beef Panang Curry
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