Beef panang curry recipe

Thai recipes Sep 28, 2022
  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins to prepare and 25 mins to cook
  • 545 calories/serving


For the Panang paste

  • One shallot, chopped.
  • Four garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • One red chili halved and deseeded
  • Two sticks of lemongrass, trimmed and roughly chopped.
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • One whole star anise
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Two green cardamom pods, crushed to release inner black seeds only
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • Four dry kaffir lime leaves
  • One lime, juice only

For the curry

  • 100g unsalted peanuts, shelled
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • Four dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce, to taste
  • 500g sirloin steak, trimmed of noticeable fat and finely sliced
  • One lime, juice only.
  • Handful basil leaves (preferably Thai basil, but the standard is acceptable)
  • One red chili, finely sliced
  • steamed rice to serve


  1. To make the Panang paste, pound all the ingredients together in a large pestle and mortar for at least 5 mins to form a paste.
  2. Alternatively, use the small bowl of a food processor and pulse-chop until relatively smooth paste forms, stopping regularly to scrape down the bowl.
  3. To make the curry, put the peanuts in a dry frying pan and toast over low heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan often until golden and fragrant.
  4. Let them cool, then roughly chop or crush them in a pestle and mortar.
  5. Put the oil in a wok or large, deep-sided frying pan and set on low-medium heat.
  6. Add the Panang paste and cook, often stirring, for 5 mins until fragrant and sizzling.
  7. Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and increase the heat.
  8. Bubble down for 2-3 mins until slightly thickened. Stir in the sugar and 2 tbsp fish sauce and continue to simmer for 5 mins to reduce the sauce.
  9. Add the steak and cook for 2-3 mins more until it no longer looks pink and raw.
  10. Add the lime juice, taste the curry and add a further tbsp of fish sauce if it needs more salt.
  11. Remove from the heat and scatter with the peanuts, basil leaves, and sliced chili. Serve hot with steamed rice.


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