I have a goal this year of eating out less and cooking at home more, making way for more healthy whole foods into my diet. I have become a huge fan of Thai food over the past few years, that I would usually order for carry out, and have come to love and crave the flavors of the different curries. Making my own curry at home turned out to be easier than I expected, and now I know exactly what is going into my meal. I can use the ingredients I love and add in the veggies that I prefer. Panang curry is the dish I used to order most often, so I have replicated it here in a homemade version.
The first step to making the curry is to fry the curry paste for a couple of minutes to release its aromatics. (I usually buy the curry paste in the store, but it can also be made from scratch.) Though a lot of coconut milk is added to the dish, we let it simmer for awhile in order to let it cook down and thicken. The chicken is simmered in the creamy coconut milk as well, which gives it a sweet, juicy flavor. Towards the end of the cooking process make sure to taste the curry to see if you would like to add more spice, fish sauce to balance the spice out, or even a dash of salt.
While the curry is simmering on the stove I usually whip up some quick and easy cauliflower rice. I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but I serve a lot of dishes with this rice secretly alongside it. It takes on other flavors so well, and at the same time adds a little extra bulk to round out the meal. I also don’t miss other carbs such as white rice and pasta since I am able to make the cauliflower rice so easily.
Typically I use chicken in this dish for its taste and texture. If you would like a vegetarian version of curry, I suggest the Thai Red Curry with Squash. As a side to the Panang, I usually add broccoli because it soaks up the flavors just like the chicken. A bit of red bell pepper provides crunch to the dish alongside the broccoli as well, to balance the creamy curry.
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 14.5-oz. can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp Panang curry paste
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 5 leaves Thai basil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 4 cups cooked cauliflower rice
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and sauté for 2 minutes until aromatic. Add half of the coconut milk and stir, cooking for another 3 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk, onion, and Thai basil. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, bell pepper, broccoli, and fish sauce. Simmer for 6-8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, stirring often. Serve warm over cauliflower rice.
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