15 Minute Beef Panang Curry

Fancy a smashing curry to warm the chilliest of cockles? This is the most warming, comforting Thai curry I have ever tasted, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. Beef Panang curry is fragrant, delicious and you must try it!

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This beef Panang curry has the huge advantage of being ready in almost no time at all – using thin strips of good quality beef means that the curry doesn’t need slow cooking; in fact, this one is almost as fast as a stir fry!

The curry is essentially a mixture of all of my favourite spices, mixed together and mellowed with coconut milk. There is a little heat, but it is gentle rather than burning.

This would be best served with a veggie side dish – some spinach, simply wilted, would be perfect. It’s also important to make sure you have plenty of rice (Thai jasmine rice is best) to soak up the lovely, creamy sauce. Mmmm!

Beef Panang Curry – The Ingredients

This curry does have a lot of ingredients, but they are mostly store cupboard ingredients so once you’ve bought them you can use them again and again (for cooking this recipe multiple times – once you’ve tried it you’ll understand!)

  • Shallots – give a mild sweetness.
  • Garlic – to give that savoury punch.
  • Red chilli – this recipe calls for one red chilli for a mild curry. You can up the chillies if you’re a spice lover!
  • Galangal – if you can’t find fresh, a jar of the paste will work. Use one teaspoon.
  • Soy sauce – for seasoning.
  • Fish sauce – absolutely vital for this recipe! It brings a depth of flavour like you wouldn’t imagine.
  • Tomato puree – try to get one which is just made from tomatoes, no added ingredients.
  • Kaffir lime leavesdried are fine.
  • Paprika – use ordinary, not smoked.
  • Ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cloves – this is your spice mix. Try to use all of them, the flavours balance beautifully.
  • Groundnut oil – adds that delicious nutty flavour. You could use vegetable oil if you can’t get hold of it.
  • Steak – get good quality steak and slice it really thinly.
  • Coconut milk – for that creamy, sweet end note. Use full fat rather than reduced fat for a better flavour and texture.
  • Lime – fresh lime brings a beautiful citrus cut through for all of those rich flavours.
  • Basil leaves – that floral basil flavour is so incredible with all of the other flavours!
  • Thai jasmine rice – to serve. You can use any white rice, though. To make it super quick, use the microwavable rice you can get from the supermarket.

Cooking the Curry

Here are my tips for making this curry a success:

  • Gather all of your ingredients and get everything prepared before you start cooking. It’s a fast recipe so you’ll need everything ready! I prep everything, even down to opening the tin of coconut milk, before I get started.
  • Make sure your steak is cut thinly. If it isn’t thin enough, you’ll have to cook it for longer and it could go tough. You want each slice to be just a few millimetres wide.
  • Make double curry paste! You can store the paste in the fridge for a week. Try it with prawns. – yum!

(You can get cast iron oven safe individual dishes like mine here)

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Beef Panang Curry

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
The most incredible fragrant curry, ready in just 15 minutes.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2 people


  • 2 shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 thumb sized piece of galangal
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsps tomato puree
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground nut oil
  • 450 g steak sliced thinly
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • A few basil leaves
  • Thai jasmine rice cooked, to serve


  • To make your curry paste, finely chop the shallots, garlic, chilli and galangal. Place into a bowl, and add the soy sauce, fish sauce, tomato puree, lime leaves, paprika, cumin, coriander, tumeric, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well to combine.
  • Heat the groundnut oil in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add the steak and brown for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry paste and mix together. Heat for another 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Ladle into bowls and squeeze over lime juice and tear over a few leaves of basil. Believe it or not, it’s ready!
Keyword 15 minutes, beef, curry

25 responses to “15 Minute Beef Panang Curry”

  1. Beautiful pic! Never made this before, but it’ll go in my recipe scrapbook now!

  2. Wow, looks genuine Indian style curry. I’m craving one right now!! Thank you for a nice post.

  3. Flavors that I love, this looks wonderful1

  4. Hi there, this is a lovely looking curry – and a favourite in food courts and thai takeaways and a personal favourite of mine too! But you forgot the one essential ingredient to make it a Penang curry – the peanuts!
    Over here in Sydney with South-East Asia so close, we all eat a lot of Thai/Malaysian/Indonesian food and really know our stuff. So the cry goes up – what happened to the peanuts? And really that’s what makes Penang curries so popular – who doesn’t like roasted peanuts? (or peanut butter….) πŸ™‚

    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment! I agree, I love peanuts but my hubby is not a big fan so I limit buying them – which means unfortunately I didn’t have any in for this recipe! It was still very tasty though.

      1. Oh that’s a shame, have you tried it with cashew nuts instead? Could be good.

  5. I am not such a big fan of Indian flavors (it’s crazy, I know) but this looks so appetizing and then … you got me at “this takes 15 minutes to cook”. I will have to try!

  6. You made it look easy. I will try it for dinner tonight. THANKS.

  7. Awesome recipe, Thanks. Love your blog!

  8. Done with slight tweaks. Was very nice but was dark brown. I didn’t use coconut milk. Instead used small coconut cream and little milk also ginger instead of galangal and tiny extra palm sugar

    1. Sounds great, glad you liked it!

  9. Reblogged this on Pocketful of Posies and commented:
    NOMNOM!! I have absolutely nothing intelligent to say …. I WANT this NOW!

  10. I’m definitely going to make this, looks delicious! As I live in Italy now, if I want a curry I have to make my own, which I enjoy doing. So this will be my next Curry! Thanks for sharing!

  11. That was probably the BEST curry I’ve ever made! We’re all going for seconds πŸ™‚

  12. Made enough for two nights….it’s all gone already! On thirds now πŸ™‚

  13. If it’s called Penang, does that mean it comes from Penang in Malaysia rather than Thailand? Looks yummy! πŸ™‚ Also, thanks for following my blog.

  14. Being British, I’m a sucker for a great and this looks GREAT!!

  15. Oh, gosh, this looks good. I am passing this recipe on to the relevant parties immediately. Definitely hoping to try it out soon. Thanks!

  16. 5 stars
    What a flavorful and delicious curry to try. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  17. 5 stars
    Served this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Turned out easy, hearty and packed with flavor; definitely, a new favorite recipe!

  18. 5 stars
    Fabulous, warm, aromatic flavors in this beef Panang curry. I could go for this any night of the week.

  19. 5 stars
    This is definitely a Bowl of comforting food. Looks flavorful. Has a blast of all spices. Perfect for any meal time. yum

  20. 5 stars
    I made this curry for dinner last night and it was incredible! Super flavorful!

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.