Thai Panang Curry Beef

Thai Panang Beef | Culinary Compost Recipes

Panang (Phanaeng) curry beef is one of my favorite Thai dishes. A local restaurant makes it very hot at my request; although traditionally, it is not as spicy as red Thai curry. Regarding the preparation, it may seem counter-intuitive to drop the raw meat in the sauce and simmer it, instead of flash-frying it first, but this is the authentic way to prepare it. Either method works well.

This recipe, like many from Thailand, doesn’t require intense heat for cooking, so you can use any commercially-made wok on a kitchen stovetop, with great results. I prefer to use a 14-pound Lodge cast-iron wok on my charcoal grill, but a ceramic glass stovetop works just as well. The wok heats very evenly, and provides a lot of surface area to work with. It is one of my favorite kitchen tools. You can also use a deep, heavy skillet.

The dish is traditionally served without vegetables, but I gotta have some color working with that spicy mojo, so I always add red pepper and a contrasting green vegetable like pea-pods or green beans. Thinly-sliced serrano or Thai chilies also work well. The addition of crushed peanuts to the sauce is very traditional, influenced by Indian cuisine. You may omit them if you choose. An excellent source regarding the history of this dish can be found here. Miranti knows her stuff!

Control the heat by the amount of curry and cayenne you add. The preparation is very quick, so have everything ready and accessible before you start.

Here’s my version – Enjoy!



1 lb. Angus flank or prime tenderloin steak, cut against the grain at a bias in 1/4″ thin strips
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup beef broth
4 tbs. Panang or red curry paste (the red curry is more spicy)
3 tbs. fish sauce, to taste
2-3 tbs. dark brown sugar, to taste
1 red bell or hot red chili, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
A handful of fresh pea-pods or green beans
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Ground cayenne or Thai birds-eye chili pepper, to taste
dash of lime juice, about two tbs.
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
Cooked Thai jasmine rice



Hit both sides of the beef filet with a needle tenderizer. Slice into 1/4″ strips against the grain and trim away the excess fat. Preheat the wok over medium heat. Add one-half of the can of coconut milk and stir until the fat starts to separate out, about three minutes. Add the curry paste. Cook, stirring for an additional three minutes until fragrant. Add the sliced steak. Stir to coat and cook until the exterior of the steak is no longer pink.

Add the rest of the coconut milk, the beef broth, the fish sauce, the brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Stir to incorporate and increase the heat on the wok. Bring to a rolling boil.

Next, add the red pepper, onion and pea-pods or green beans. Cook, stirring occasionally until reduced, about 10 minutes. The sauce should be very thick at this point and reduced by half.

Shut off the heat, stir in the basil and lime juice, the crushed peanuts, and serve immediately over jasmine rice.

Serves 2-4

NOTE: Traditionally, kaffir lime leaves are also called for. They are impossible to find in my area. They impart a very different flavor than basil, so if you can find them, give it a try by adding a few that are finely cut into strips.

When preparing the rice, do not add salt; the curry and fish sauce are loaded with it.

Thai Panang Beef | Culinary Compost Recipes

Thai Panang Beef | Culinary Compost Recipes

Thai Panang Curry Beef Recipe | Culinary Compost


Curry Butter Basting Sauce

A hint of Indian heat that goes great on grilled fish, chicken and kabobs.


1/2 cup melted butter
1 tbs. curry powder
2 tbs. fine chopped scallion
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tsp. minced fresh parsley


Whisk to combine and use immediately. If you place in fridge it will solidify again. May be stored if necessary for several days in fridge. Just heat again before using.

Quick Curry Chicken and Rice

This is a great recipe for busy folks who don’t have a lot of time during the work week to prepare a dinner. You’ll earn the Silver Star if you throw the chicken on the grill. Both versions are superb.


1 tbs. XV olive oil
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup lemon juice
3 cloves mashed garlic
2-1/4 cups chicken stock
1 tbs. fresh minced parsley or cilantro
Hot curry powder
Black pepper
1 cup Basmati rice
3 scallions, sliced with greens
Juice from one lime wedge


Marinate the chicken breasts in lemon juice, garlic and curry powder, using a sealed plastic food storage bag for at least three hours.

In a 2-1/2 quart stock pot or Dutch oven, bring chicken stock to a boil, add the rice and simmer for twenty minutes.

While the rice is simmering, brown the chicken breasts in a skillet with 1 tbs. olive oil. Let sit for five minutes and slice in 1/2″ strips and add to the dutch oven with the scallion and parsley until just warmed through.

Top with lime juice and serve.

Green Curry Thai Chicken with Rice

Thai Green Curry Chicken with Rice recipe

Thai food is some of the hottest cuisine you will ever experience. There is a small restaurant in Green Bay called Nukeo’s which serves some of the best Thai food around. They also know how to make it HOT, and when I say hot, I mean a blistering, equatorial, heart-stopping blackout hellacious burn. Fairweather foodies will need to turn elsewhere for a meal. This recipe is a quick, authentic rendition of my favorite item at Nukeo’s.

Traditionally made with green curry paste and garam masala.


2 tbs. peanut oil
2 split chicken breasts
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 can coconut milk
2 tbs. green curry paste (available at most Asian markets)
1 tbs. Balti seasoning
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and thin sliced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thin sliced
1 clove mashed garlic
1 crushed dried red pepper (hot Thai, pequin or cayenne)
1 small bunch washed and chopped sweet basil leaves (about five)
1/4 cup washed cilantro leaves
1 tbs. soy sauce – optional, to taste  (I prefer Kikkoman)
Juice from 1/4 fresh lime

2 cups cooked white rice


Using two deep, heavy skillets (preferrable cast-iron), or a wok, flash-fry the chicken breasts on medium-high in two tbs. peanut oil, turning once until no longer pink.  Drain off fat and reserve on cutting board for five minutes. Slice into 1/8″ strips, transfer to one of the skillets and reduce heat to medium.

Add the chicken stock, soy sauce, curry paste, balti seasoning. Stir well and add the coconut milk, pineapple juice, green peppers, dry chili and garlic. Bring to a rolling boil and add the basil, lime and cilantro.  Simmer for ten minutes until reduced. Careful with the soy sauce; the curry paste and Balti seasoning have a lot of salt.

Serve spooned on hot cooked white rice.

Serves 4.

Thai Green Curry Chicken, wok-seared recipe

Thai Green Curry Chicken with coconut milk, balti seasoning recipe