Penang Curry

Penaeng kai

This is an authentic Thai recipe from Muoi Khuntilanont's Kitchen. The recipe was written up by Muoi's husband, Ian Philpott.


Penaeng is a dry curry, probably originally "imported" from Malaysia. It can be prepared with any meat, and many fishes.

  • 1 cup of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons penaeng curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • Sugar to taste
  • 2 lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 10-15 holy basil leaves, finely shredded


Place a wok over medium high heat, and warm the coconut milk, but don't let it boil. Add the curry paste, and stir it until the oil begins to separate out and form a thin film to bring out the maximum flavour. Add the remaining ingredients except the lime and basil leaves, and simmer until the sauce is absorbed and thickened. Then add the leaves and stir fry briefly before serving. Garnish with julienned red chills, with steamed white rice, and the usual table condiments.

Note if you particularly like your curries hot, then replace the fish sauce in the cooking with nam pla prik (chills marinated in fish sauce), that has had at least a week to mature.