Cook/ Easy Weeknight

Beef Panang Curry (Beef and Peanut Red Curry)

February 29, 2020

Last Updated on February 29, 2020 by Slow The Cook Down

This Thai beef panang curry is a delicious one pot meal that’s perfect for a easy weeknight dinner. This Thai red beef curry is made with peanuts, coconut milk and red curry paste and is ready within 30 minutes. Easy to make, this beef and peanut curry is great for meal prep, batch cooking and freezer meals.

Two bowls of panang curry served from a dutch oven

When it comes to weeknight meals, I’m all about the batch cooking. Make a big pot of something on the Monday and then freeze some and reheat the rest during the week. My fridge and freezer are full with easy to grab dishes that just need reheating to serve. If you too are all about the batch cook, this is the perfect recipe. If you aren’t, make this anyways because it’s freaking delicious!

The flavors in this beef panang are to die for. It’s so rich and flavorsome but it takes less than 30 minutes to make! I seriously can’t wait for you guys to try this!

For more one pot meals that are great for batch cooking, be sure to check out my White Bean Chili with Shredded Chicken and Green Lentil Daal.

How To Make Beef Panang Curry

  • Brown the beef strips in a pot on a high heat. Remove from the pot and place to one side (photo 1).
  • Add the veggies and aromatics to the pot and sauté until the onions are translucent (photo 2).
  • Add in the liquids, curry paste and peanut butter, stir to combine and bring to the boil (photo 3).
  • Return the beef to the pan and stir in the cornstarch. Simmer for 5 minutes to allow it to thicken (photo 4).

Four process shots to show how to make the curry

What is a panang curry?

Panang (also spelt phanaeng and phanang) is a type of red Thai curry. It’s thick, salty and sweet and usually served with rice. It is often cooked with beef, but you will also find it made with chicken, shrimp or tofu. 

What does it taste like?

For new readers to this blog, I’m a big fan of Thai food, it’s probably my favorite cuisine. This beef panang curry is creamy with a peanut flavor throughout and it’s mild in spice. This red beef curry has all of those wonderful flavors that I love about Thai food:

  • Garlic and ginger: Use fresh garlic and ginger to really flavor this curry from the get go.
  • Chilies: I use Thai red chilies in this dish to add some spice. I used two but you can add more or less depending on how spicy you like things. 
  • Lemongrass: Lemongrass has a mild flavor that adds to the dish rather than overpower it. It’s very fragrant and is kind of a mix of lemon and mint.
  • Lime: Lime juice and zest is used in this recipe to add acid and freshness.
  • Coconut milk: No Thai curry is completed without coconut milk! It gives the curry a wonderful creamy texture and and a subtle sweetness that balances out the heat and acid. Use full fat coconut milk for the creamiest and most flavorful curry. Be sure to check out these other favorite dishes using coconut milk.
  • Thai red curry paste: So usually I make everything from scratch, but I took a short cut with this recipe to cut down on ingredients and time to make this an easy weeknight meal. I love the Thai Kitchen brand of paste.
  • Fish sauce: Fish sauce adds a umami flavor to the curry as well as a saltiness. If you don’t have fish sauce, you can use soy sauce instead with a little extra lime.
  • Peanut butter: The peanut butter is what sets this curry apart from others. I prefer to use a crunchy peanut butter to add texture to the dish.

The curry in a white bowl topped with fresh chili, coriander and peanuts.

How long does this beef and peanut curry last?

This beef panang curry recipe makes enough for eight servings, so it’s ideal to make a big batch and store it. Once the curry has cooled to room temperature, transfer it into airtight containers. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 to 5 days and you can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen panang curry in the fridge overnight and gently reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave to serve.

What beef is best for this Thai red curry?

To make this curry super quick to make, I used stir fry steak strips that are tender and cook quickly. You can usually find these strips in your local store or butcher. If you can’t grab these, you can simply cut a sirloin steak into strips and use that.

Tips

  • Make the chili in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. I used my Crock Pot dutch oven which distributes heat really well so you don’t end up with hot spots that can burn the ingredients on the bottom of the pot.
  • Make this curry your own by mixing up the protein. Swap the beef for chicken or tofu or add shrimp towards the end of cooking.
  • This curry is flavorful but mild in spice. If you want to make it spicier add in one or two more chilies – take care not to go overboard though!
  • The recipe is easily halved if you don’t want to make a big batch.
  • Top with peanuts, sliced red chili and fresh coriander.
  • Serve with rice, cauliflower rice or noodles and naan or poppadoms on the side.

Beef panang curry in a white bowl topped with rice

 

More Thai Inspired Recipes

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A bowl of panang curry next to a dutch oven

Beef Panang Curry (Beef and Peanut Red Curry)

This Thai beef panang curry is a delicious one pot meal that's perfect for a easy weeknight dinner. This red curry is made with peanuts, coconut and red curry paste and is ready within 30 minutes.
4 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Malaysian, Thai
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 644kcal

Ingredients

  • 21 ounces stir fry beef strips or sliced sirloin (600g)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 Thai red chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 1 stalk lemongrass tough outside removed and cut in half lengthways
  • zest of one lime
  • 2 cans of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Toppings

  • peanuts
  • sliced Thai red chili
  • fresh coriander

Instructions

  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pan over a high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  • Once hot add the beef and cook until browned. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside. Turn the pot down to a medium high heat.
  • Add the onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, chilies, lemongrass and lime zest to the pot. Cook while stirring occasionally until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, stock, curry paste, peanut butter, lime juice and fish sauce to the pot and stir to combine. Turn the heat to high and let it come to a boil.
  • Turn the pot to a simmer and add in the cooked beef. Mix the cornstarch and water together and stir this in. Remove the lemongrass.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened and serve.

Notes

  • Make the chili in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. I used my Crock Pot dutch oven which distributes heat really well so you don’t end up with hot spots that can burn the ingredients on the bottom of the pot.
  • Make this curry your own by mixing up the protein. Swap the beef for chicken or tofu or add shrimp towards the end of cooking.
  • This curry is flavorful but mild in spice. If you want to make it spicier add in one or two more chilies - take care not to go overboard though!
  • The recipe is easily halved if you don't want to make a big batch.
  • Top with peanuts, sliced red chili and fresh coriander.
  • Serve with rice, cauliflower rice or noodles and naan or poppadoms on the side.
  • Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings and is an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 1029mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1039IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 6mg
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Matt
    September 20, 2020 at 1:47 am

    3 stars
    This was ok. There was too much peanut butter and not enough curry. If you make this I would Suggest adding peanut butter at the end Starting with a quarter of the amount in the recipe and tasting/adding until you reach your desired flavor.

  • Reply
    Tamara
    March 16, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    5 stars
    I love all things Thai, and this beef panang looks fantastic! Ever since narrowing my niche to Latin, I don’t cook it as much… I’ve pinned the recipe for future reference. I hope to make it soon!

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