Light Panang Curry

This dish is to Thai for…

Thai Panang Curry is the kind of dish people order when out but never really thing to make at home. Rich in flavor with coconut milk, Kaffir lime and Thai basil, it’s the kind of thing most people wouldn’t attempt on their own. But with this recipe, it’s really easy and really, really delicious. It’s rich and spicy with a distinctly unique flavor; and by using light coconut milk, it’s not high in calories but packs in tons of veggies and protein.

You can find most of the ingredients at any grocery store with an International aisle. If you’re lucky enough to live near an Asian or International Market, finding everything will be a breeze!

At a restaurant, you’re likely eating curry made with full coconut milk, which is much creamier than the lite. However, the difference in fat and calories is astounding – per serving, lite has 416 calories and 26 grams of fat, where as the full version is 784 calories and 57 grams of fat!


Panang curry 1

  • 2 tbsp oil (I use avocado)
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger (fresh is best, or frozen)
  • 1 oz Panang Curry Paste (more or less depending on how spicy you like it – I use about 1.5 oz and its mildly spicy)
  • 2 cans lite coconut milk (MUST BE CANNED; it is very different from the kind you drink!)
  • 1 tsp palm sugar (can use brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 medium lime, juiced (Kaffir lime is best, but a regular lime will do!)
  • 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion (white is best, yellow is fine)
  • 6 Thai basil leaves (for recipe – then top finished meal with more)
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced red pepper
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • Meat of choice, or tofu. I use 1 lb chicken breast
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice


Panang curry 2

  1. Cut meat into bite-size pieces. Warm 1 tbsp oil in pan or Wok. Cook meat, set aside.
  2. Heat other tbsp oil in wok over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and let cook until light golden brown
  4. Stir in curry paste
  5. Whisk in coconut milk, grated palm sugar (or brown sugar), soy sauce and lime juice.
  6. Add mushrooms, onion, red pepper, snap peas, tofu if using instead of meat, and basil leaves. Cook until soft.
  7. During last ~5 minutes of cooking, add broccoli – do not add sooner or it gets soggy.
  8. Serve over jasmine rice, with more thai basil leaves as garnish.

Nutrition Information
Makes 6 servings

Per serving (with chicken):  416 calories, 26g fat, 299g sodium, 21g carbs,  4.6g sugar, 19.3g protein


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