The Phanaeng (or Panang, Penang) Curry is originating from central Thailand and the recipe goes back hundreds of years. The word Phanaeng comes from the Khmer language meaning cross, mostly used for a cross-legged seating position. Traditionally the chicken was placed in a cross legged position upright on the grill. The chicken was bathed in the curry paste with grounded peanuts and then brushed with the same mixture over the whole cooking process. Later the process was simplified by cutting up the chicken in large pieces and, instead of being prepared on the grill, it went to the pot where it was cooked in the sauce. In this cooking lesson you will learn how to cook the Phanaeng Curry Chicken or, if you are vegetarian, Phanaeng Curry can be prepared as well as a vegetarian dish with Tofu.
At home you can use the now widely available ready made pastes. However, more tasty is of course to make your Phanaeng Curry Paste from scratch.
Ingredients for one portion. As you can see there is quite a bit more curry paste than a tea spoon. One tea spoon is for a European palate with very little tolerance for spicy food. Just start with a tea spoon and add more if you like it more spicy. You can always add more paste until the very end of the recipe. Just keep in mind that you can't reverse the process :-). As for the vegetables the amounts can vary as well according to taste.
Fry the curry paste with the oil in a wok
Add coconut milk until all the paste is covered
Bring to boil
Add baby corn and carrots and a bit of water. Add oyster sauce, sugar and salt. Bring to boil again.
Add chicken and stir it in.
Add sliced lime leaves and pineapple and bring to boil and add more coconut milk and fish sauce
The Morning Glory used for this dish is Ipomoea aquatica, also known as Water Morning Glory or Water Spinach. It is very popular in SE Asian countries as a side or main dish. In most states of the US it is prohibited to cultivate, since it is regarded as a pest but in Texas it is allowed to be grown for personal consumption due to its undeniable culinary potential. This is nothing to worry about, since the consumption is not illegal. Water Morning Glory is now available all over the world at your favorite Asia shop.
A few years ago, when Sairee on Koh Tao still was a swamp in parts, there was a restaurant which was able to harvest their daily supply of the vegetable in a little swamp pond I could see from my office. That stuff really grows like a weed 😉
However, it is a truly popular dish here in Thailand, and, since it is missing on most menus of Thai restaurants abroad, it is a must to taste if you are in the country, and an easy done recipe to learn in your Thai cooking course with Joy.