There we were, my husband Patrick and I, dismounting an elephant into a waist-deep pool of water. As the elephant began to stand up, her giant foot came down on Patrick’s toe. He quickly pulled it away as her crushing weight found the pool’s bottom…
Elephants, tigers, temples and yoga…a lot of exciting things happened while we were in Thailand, including this Thai Panang Curry.
I’ve always loved Thai food, but it wasn’t until I spent two months in Southeast Asia last summer that I truly learned to appreciate it. Those flavors. The Thai people have definitely figured things out in the flavor department, that’s for sure.
I traveled to Asia with my husband, brother and sis-in-law. We were lucky enough to take a Thai cooking class while we were there, which was truly a highlight of our trip for me. We started the class with a tour of the local market, and then proceeded to cook multiple traditional Thai dishes in the blazing Asia heat by the torching stovetops. My shiny face is not shining with water, people. 😉
Let’s talk a bit about this recipe. Thai food is traditionally spicy, so use those chilies sparingly if you’re not a fan of the burning mouth. Also, don’t be scared away by the ingredients. All you have to do is head on over to your local Asian market to pick up the specialized ingredients like Panang curry paste, kaffir lime leaves and sweet Thai basil. And let me tell you, it’s worth it. The taste of the Panang curry is amazing, and the trip to the Asian market is an adventure in itself! (You’ll have more luck if you try a Southeast Asian market). I’d recommend calling around to nearby Asian markets to make sure they sell Panang curry paste, because that particular paste can be a little tricky to find. But again, SO worth the hunt! (*If you can’t find Panang curry paste, you can order it here. Or if you’re an overachiever, comment below and I will post the recipe of how to make it yourself. But let me warn you, it takes some work and uses a lot of ingredients.)
This curry is seriously YUM. Just thinking about it makes me want to head over to the Asian market and wander the aisles aimlessly, reminiscing of that time when Pat’s foot almost got crushed by an elephant…
Just a head’s up, this week is Thai food week, so stay tuned for the next recipe! (Think sweet and coconutty)!
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 [14-oz.] can coconut cream or coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp. Panang curry paste
- 1 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup string beans
- 1 cup carrots
- 1 cup baby corn
- Diced red chilies or hot sauce to taste
- 1 tsp. fish sauce
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, broken in half (can substitute 1 Tbsp. grated lime zest if necessary but won’t be as flavorful)
- 2 Tbsp. sweet Thai basil leaves, chopped (can substitute Italian sweet basil)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
- Cook the rice according to the package and set aside.
- In a wok or large skillet, add the oil and coconut milk. Heat on medium-high and add the Panang curry paste. Stir continuously for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken and stir until it's cooked through and no longer pink.
- Add the fish sauce, sugar and chilies or hot sauce. Once mixed add the beans, carrots, baby corn and kaffir lime leaves.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Top with basil and serve warm over cooked white rice.
*To make this vegan, substitute the chicken for tofu.
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