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Panang Curry with Chicken, Asparagus, and Mushrooms


Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 110

Fragrant, peanut-laced Panang curry paste and coconut milk become the foundation for this quick curry.

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  • 1 (13.5- to 14-oz.) can coconut milk, more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup Panang curry paste
  • 1 cup lower-salt chicken broth, or homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. light brown sugar or light brown palm sugar; more as needed
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce; more as needed
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs or legs, cut into 1/4-thick bite-size strips
  • 6 whole fresh or thawed frozen wild lime leaves (or substitute 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest)
  • 1-1/2 cups bite-size asparagus pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups oyster mushrooms, pulled apart into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • Fresh red chiles, cut into 1/8-inch strips or sliced into rings, for garnish

Shake the can of coconut milk or stir it well (this creates a consistent thickness, since the fat often solidifies at the top of the can).

In a 3- to 4-quart saucepan or wok over medium heat, simmer 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half, 3 to 5 minutes. It will get very thick and shiny and may or may not separate; either is fine.

Add the curry paste, whisk well, and cook, continuing to whisk, for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth, sugar, fish sauce, and remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and lime leaves, and continue to simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary. After 2 minutes, add the asparagus and oyster mushrooms and continue to simmer until everything is tender and cooked through, about 3 more minutes.

Remove the curry from the heat. Season to taste with more sugar and fish sauce, and stir in the cilantro. Transfer to a serving bowl (or serve right out of the pot). Remove the lime leaves or tell your guests to eat around them. Garnish with the red chiles and a drizzle of coconut milk.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 430, Fat (kcal): 26, Fat Calories (g): 230, Saturated Fat (g): 20, Protein (g): 30, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 19, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 920, Cholesterol (g): 80, Fiber (g): 4,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I admit I was queasy that 5 min of simmer would not be enough to thoroughly cook the chicken (even at 1 inch pieces) so I browned it ahead. Otherwise I made the dish as per the recipe and it was very tasty. I might try to thicken the sauce next time but will definitely make again.

Fabulous dish. I have made several times and this version is perfect as written.

This was good! My husband loved! I'm used to my panang curry to be very rich and thick so next time I would leave out or use less chicken broth.

Very good. I took the extra time to find the correct curry paste and use the actual lime leaves. I think this made a big difference. This curry was very good - I wish I made more!

My first attempt to make curry of any sort for my fiance who LOVES panang. He was blown away. I couldn't find Kaffir lime leaves (just used lime zest) also couldn't find Panang curry paste but red curry paste worked fine. I also added thai basil and bamboo shoots which were great. Would be a great dish to make for a group. Great recipe, easy, will definitely make again.

This recipe was perfect and all my guests licked their plates clean. I served on top of sweet glutenous rice then topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions and chopped peanuts. Served with a lime wedge.

Did a variation of this last night as shown in the magazine and substitued low fat coconut milk. This turned out really well. I think next time I would serve over a little bit of white rice to preserve some of the sauce.

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