I have never been a huge fan of curry until my sister, Wennicha, made it for me two years ago. She made it for my bridal shower. The event was Thailand-themed, inspired by the Thai lakorns or dramas I grew up watching and (at the time) my hopes and dreams of stepping foot onto the soils of Thailand one day. This is one of the go-to meals I turn to when we have friends or family over. I love the richness and thickness of this dish. Be sure to serve with jasmine rice because curry and rice go together like PB&J.
A few months back, my friend Mailee, my husband Sam, and I went to Thailand and took a Thai cooking class called Zabb-E-Lee Thai Cooking School in Chiang Mai. Our guide and cooking instructor, Snooker, was so full of enthusiasm and personality. He also had a strong knowledge of Thai ingredients, which I really appreciated and enjoyed learning about. One of the ingredients he talked about was coconut cream, which is an essential ingredient in Thai cuisine. He talked about the difference between coconut cream and coconut milk, which I thought would be worth sharing with you guys here since it is one of the key ingredients in this recipe. The difference between the two is the amount of water present. Coconut cream contains less water than coconut milk and has a higher fat content, making it richer and thicker. Coconut milk is much more diluted. This recipe will be amazing no matter which one you use. I personally prefer the coconut cream because I like my panang curry thick and rich.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, I recommend adding less salt and/or no fish sauce, substituting olive oil for vegetable oil, and substituting coconut cream for either coconut milk, coconut water or simply just water. To my vegetarian and vegan friends, simply substitute the chicken for tofu.
Before I let you guys go, I really want to share one of the highlights from my Thailand trip, which of course, was our amazing guide and cooking instructor, Snooker! Definitely request him. He’s so awesome! Here’s a short clip of him demonstrating how to roll a spring roll and this is why you need to have him as your cooking instructor. 🙂
Watch in 1080p HD.
- 1 lb of chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1 can of coconut cream (19 fl oz)
- 1 can of panang curry paste (4 oz)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 a shallot, minced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 8-10 thai basil leaves
- 5-6 pieces of kaffir lime leaves, sliced in half with stems removed
- 1 tablespoon of palm sugar, grated
- 1/2 tablespoon of salt
- 1-2 teaspoons of fish sauce, optional
- 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- Season the chicken with salt and set aside.
- On high heat, pour the vegetable oil into the pan.
- Add the garlic and shallots and stir until garlic begins to turn golden brown.
- Quickly add the panang curry paste and karrif lime leaves. Stir continuously for 30 seconds then add 1/4 cup of coconut cream. Stir until the coconut cream and panang curry paste mixes thoroughly.
- Add in the chicken and the remaining of the coconut cream. Stir again and mix well.
- After about 4-5 minutes, add in the red, yellow, and green bell peppers. At this point, you can also add in the Thai basil leaves, fish sauce, and palm sugar.
- Cook for 3 more minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Recipe Updated: August 15th, 2017