Panang Curry Paste (Prik Gaeng Panang)
Panang is one of the popular currys in Thai cuisine. It is typically found in central and southern regions of Thailand. The basic ingredients for Prik Gaeng Panang are chiles, lemongrass and galangal. The special ingredient in this curry paste are roasted peanuts and nutmeg, which gives it a distinctive nutty flavor, an warm spice aroma, and a rich full-bodied texture.
History of Panang
The word “Panang” was derived from the ancient Khmer language. Panang from Khmer language refers to sitting on the floor with legs crossed. This is exactly how people used to cross the legs of the chicken when grilling it and put it vertically on the grill.
This paste is traditionally made with shrimp paste. And at least this is the only “non-vegan” ingredient in this paste. We tried to create a vegan paste without any loss of flavor in comparison to the original paste. So let’s start right now!
7 dried red chilis, stemmed and seeded
2 stalks lemongrass, the white part
5 cm piece fresh galangal, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp lime zest, finely grated
2 coriander roots sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbs peanuts, roasted
½ piece nutmeg
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp white peppercorns
Place chilis in a small bowl and add hot water. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Now transfer rehydrated chilis to a mortar and pestle for 3 to 5 minutes by hand.
Note: It is important you add the following ingredients one after another to make sure you will get a smooth pasties the end.
Next add lemongrass, galangal, lime zest, coriander roots, garlic, shallot, sea salt, peanuts, nutmeg, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and white peppercorns until you have a smooth paste. This can take up to 20-25 minutes.
Use right away (Panang Curry with smoked Tofu) or transfer curry paste to a clean jar to prevent it from drying out and refrigerate. It can be used for at least 1 month if you leave it in the fridge.
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