Thai Shrimp Panang Curry

Thai Shrimp Panang Curry Recipe: Packed with Flavor but Simple to Make 

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today! I love Thai food, and have been obsessed with Panang Curry for as long as I can remember. The thing is, it’s hard to find a good recipe online that is simple enough for someone who doesn’t know much about cooking, but tastes great. That was the challenge when I set out on my quest to make this dish from scratch – how do you make something taste like takeout without having all of the ingredients? 

How to make this meal 

Thai Shrimp Panang Curry is a wonderful balance of flavors. The taste of the curry paste in this dish balances perfectly with the coconut milk, giving it an amazing flavor while not being too spicy for those who like less spice. You can adjust as needed to suit your palate and tolerance for spiciness!  

Thai Shrimp Panang Curry


  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced 
  • 4-5 Tbsp of Red Curry Paste 
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar 
  • 2 Tbsp of fish sauce 
  • 3 Tbsp of soy sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp of coconut oil 
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • juice of 1 lime 
  • 2 Tbsp of fresh grated ginger 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves 
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms 
  • 2 red peppers, sliced 
  • 8 0z can of water chestnuts 
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets 
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced 
  • 2 15 oz cans light coconut milk 
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • salt to taste 
  • 3-4 cups cooked jasmine rice. Plain white rice works just fine. 

Step by step Cooking Instructions 

Thai Shrimp Panang Curry

  1. Add oil to a pot over medium heat.  
  2. Saute onion, carrots and garlic until softened.  
  3. Stir in curry paste with sugar and cook for about 30 seconds or so.  
  4. Slowly add coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce and ginger into the mix while stirring all ingredients well together. Bring it to low simmering boil before adding mushrooms (chopped), zucchini (sliced) broccoli florets (cut up smaller than original size), red peppers sliced thin, bay leaves, basil leaves chopped finely + lime juice squeezed out of one whole lime then stir again making sure vegetables are coated nicely by the mix. Reduce heat slightly if need be but don’t let this dish come near to a boil. 
  5. Add shrimp, cover pot with lid and let it simmer for about 12 minutes or until the shrimps are cooked.  
  6. Take off heat when done to cool down before adding cilantro chopped finely + lime wedges squeezed on top of dish as garnish – serve hot!  

* Serve soup over steamed rice noodles (available at major grocery stores) in shallow bowls or Zucchini Bread. Enjoy! 

Tips and tricks to making the perfect Thai Shrimp Panang Curry: 

  • Buy the fresh shrimp from your local fish market. If you can’t find it, ask them for some frozen ones instead (can be thawed in a bowl of cold water too). Clean these shrimps by wiping with damp paper towel before cooking – never use soap or detergent on this dish!  
  • Whenever possible buy small red peppers that are firm to hold their shape well when slicing into thin pieces but if not available larger variety will do just as good! I like using long serrated knife to cut out any seeds left inside middle layer then slice thinly. Slice basil leaves finely + squeeze lime juice over top so they mix together at bottom of pot while simmering. This creates a flavorful broth that goes well with rice! 
  • When selecting lemongrass, try to find one that has a bulbous end and is heavy for its size. Chop off the leafy top of the plant, peel away any tough outer layers then slice into thin strips at an angle.
  • The secret ingredient in this dish: dried shrimp (or use canned if you don’t like smell). It gives a salty taste without using too much salt which also helps keep your blood pressure down as it’s high in potassium + magnesium. Toss these babies in some hot oil first so they start crisping up before adding other ingredients (you can do this right after chopping them) or toss fried ones over pot once all mixed together with the curry paste. 
  • You’ll also need ginger, garlic and shallot for this dish. Peel the skin off of a piece on ginger then finely chop with your knife. Peel some clove from a garlic bulb and do the same as well as chopping up an onion (also known) before adding to pan along with lemongrass/chili mixture + coconut milk in order to make sure it stays smooth without any chunky bits at all! 
  • Add shrimp into pot next followed by red pepper flakes or chili powder if you like spice. Cook until everything is heated through – about five minutes more tops – stirring occasionally so nothing burns and enjoy slurping them noodles right out that bowl over rice or with naan breads! 


Thai Shrimp Panang Curry

I hope this recipe has given you a great starting point to make your own Thai Shrimp Panang Curry. If not, don’t fret! There are plenty of other recipes out there that will teach you how to make this dish from scratch. The key is finding what works best for YOU and YOUR family in the kitchen- so may the cooking commence! 


Jennifer Glover