Panang Paste

Panang Paste

Details

This fresh Panang paste can be added to stir-fries, curries, soups and many other dishes.
  • Serves: 8
  • Active Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 38,202
  • Success: 100%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing Ingredients for Panang Paste

• 4 tbsp unsalted raw peanuts (optional)
• 10 dried, long, red chilies
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 1/4 tsp mace (or 1/4 piece of nutmeg, coarsely pounded)
• 1 1/2 tbsp galangal
• 2 tbsp lemongrass
• 2 tbsp garlic
• 3 tbsp shallots
• 1 tbsp coriander root
• 1 tsp kaffir lime zest
• 1/4 tsp shrimp paste (omit for plant-based)

Method

To start the paste, boil the peanuts until very soft. This should take about 45 minutes at a gentle boil.

Remove the seeds from the chilies, leaving a few seeds in if you like more heat. Soak the chilies in a pot of hot water for about 15 minutes.

Add a bit of water to the peanuts, if needed, as the water will boil down quite a bit. In the meantime, toast the cumin, coriander and mace/nutmeg, and set aside to cool.

When the chilies are soft, drain and squeeze out the excess water. Finely chop and set aside. Once the peanuts are soft, drain and set aside to cool completely.

Remove the outer skin and finely chop the galangal. Mince the bottom, white part of the lemongrass. Next, finely chop the garlic, shallot and the root of the coriander.

Step 2: Making the Panang Paste

• 1 large pinch kosher salt

Method

To make the paste, in a mortar and pestle, grind the cumin, coriander and mace/nutmeg until you have a fine powder. Next, grind the chilies along with a good pinch of salt. Scrape down the sides of the pestle from time to time, and pound the chilies until very fine. Add the galangal. Pound each ingredient in fully, before adding the next, adding the lemongrass, garlic, coriander root, shallots, lime zest and shrimp paste (again, omit if plant-based). Finally, grind in the peanuts.

Chef's Notes

Mace is the thin, red lace-like cover on the outside of the nutmeg. It has a very similar flavor to nutmeg; it’s just a bit more delicate. If you can’t find mace, you could substitute with a bit of nutmeg.

Take care when handling chilies, as you can burn your skin from the seeds and ribs of the chilies. Wear gloves or thoroughly wash your hands with hot soapy water after chopping.

The paste will keep for quite a few days in the refrigerator or for several months in the freezer.

24 Comments

  • Royal K
    Royal K
    It would be very halpful to clarify what one does with it after it is made!
  • Dave R
    Dave R
    Panaeng Paste is one of the most important ingredients in Panaeng Curry with Pork, the recipe for which is available at Rouxbe.com's Latest Recipes page. Happy Thai cooking!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Used the food processor to make a big batch of this. I made 6 x's the recipe and it worked out fine. It was not quite as smooth perhaps but no one would ever be able to tell. I still used the mortar and pestle to grind the spices and I chopped everything up a bit, as the food processor can't do it all. I now have about 10 panaeng paste packages in my freezer. I used some the other night to make dinner for friends. It took me 10 minutes to whip up some delicious pork panaeng. http://www.rouxbe.com/recipes/202/preview They were impressed...that's for sure.
  • Vanessa B
    Vanessa B
    What if I can't find kaffir lime? can I use something else? and shrimp paste, I have not found that either or am I looking at the wrong thing? where would I find it? Thanks so much. I really want to try this.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    There is really no true substitute for the flavor of kaffir lime, but you could try using some lime zest instead. You best bet though, for both the kaffir lime and the shrimp paste, is to phone your local Thai restaurant and ask them where they buy these them (perhaps they may even sell you some). This is what I did and they suggested a great little Asian/Thai store that I now shop at regularly. Whereabouts do you live? You could also order both of these ingredients online. Don't give up the hunt as this is really worth it. I often make a big batch (sometimes using my food processor) and freeze it in portion-size batches. Hope this helps! Let me know how it works out for you.
  • Jonathan P
    Jonathan P
    Any modification for Shrimp Paste if dealing with a shellfish allergy?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    There is really no substitution for shrimp paste. The amount is small, so if you have a shellfish allergy, simply leave it out. Cheers!
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    Dawn, you mentioned (in April 2008) that you had just put 10 packages (6x the recipe) in the freezer. The video indicated the paste will keep in the freezer for up to a month, but surely you didn't use up all of yours in that time. Do you recall how long you had it stored?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The panang paste will actually keep for several months. In fact, I have some that I have had in the freezer for over 6 months now and it's still pretty good. It does have a tiny bit of freezer burn but that's just because I did not use the vacuum sealer on it. Hope that helps. Cheers!
  • Gloria M
    Gloria M
    Great news. It makes making a bigger batch worthwhile.
  • Naouar E
    Naouar E
    I can't seem to find the long dried chilies, only the small ones which are way too hot for me. Can I also use long fresh chilies?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Typically dried red chilies are used to make Panang paste.We have not tried making this paste with fresh long red chilies—but you could always give it a try and let us know how it goes. For the dried chilies, have you tried phoning your local Asian markets? Or your local Thai restaurant? The dried chilies can also be ordered online. Cheers!
  • Naouar E
    Naouar E
    Thanks for your quick reply Dawn! I have been to several markets and none of them sell the long ones, only the small dried ones. I am going to try to make this with deseeded fresh chilies and deseeded small red chilies and get back to you to let you guys know how it turns out. I love how rouxbe teaches me to not be completely dependant on a recipe and trying dIfferent approaches to learn even more! PS: I am so happy that you finally have a date for the new courses! Choosing to become à lifetime member is one of the best choices I have ever made! Keep up the GREAT work!
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    Naouar: No kitchen is complete without a rich supply of dried chillies :) You can get them many places online. I don't know where you live, but there's many websites in the US. I'm in Europe and get my supplies in part from a newly opened online store in Norway and in part from various UK based shops. Even Amazon carries Thai dried chillies http://www.amazon.com/Thai-whole-dried-chile-3-5/dp/B000EWMJ8U. You really should try them, they are fairly hot (but not bird's eye/piquin hot) and have a rich aroma that is hard to recreate with fresh chillies. Does anyone know the botanical name of these "thai dried chillies"? Most packages I've seen only call them "Thai chillies". I suspect that they really are "Phrik chi faa", can someone confirm? If so, is that the same as the long version of facing heaven chillies? So many delicious chillies packed in so much inadequate packaging :| When will you ship a chilli lesson? :)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hi Christian- There is a debate about this- mostly because chilli pepper nomenclature is notoriously hard to wrangle. Thai chilies are sometimes cited as Capsicum frutescens, whereas many claim they are botanically most similar to most chilies we eat (poblano, serrano, jalapeno, New Mexican). These are all Capsicum annum. Of course, there are many varieties of Thai chilies (bird's eye is a very common name) but in Thailand these are called phrik khi nu or phrik chi faa, among other names. Calling it "bird's eye" is confusing in itself, as this term refers to a host of similar cultivars. I hope this helps! Enjoy.
  • Michael D
    Michael D
    This is not a vegetarian recipe. It contains shrimp paste. Seafood is not a vegetable! :-)
  • Alexandre S
    Alexandre S
    In the video it´s mentioned coriander root but what's shown is the stem. Why?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    You are totally right Micahael, that was just an oversight and the recipe has been updated. Thanks for pointing that out. Cheers!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Coriander root is ideally what you want for the recipe; however, it can be hard to find. Therefore we used the stems of the coriander. Here is a great article (with beautiful photos) about growing your own coriander root. Cheers!
  • Christian J
    Christian J
    Wow, thanks for that link, Dawn! I've considered growing coriander before but gave it up when I released you have to continuously sow new plants to have a steady supply of leaves. Didn't occur to me to harvest the roots. I get the roots from the store occasionally, but not always. Having a steady supply in the freezer would be gold.
  • Alexandre S
    Alexandre S
    Thank you!
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    I'd like to cut down my store bought paste which is somewhat spicy and add to it some of the missing ingredients that are in this recipe. The one I currently have doesn't include, peanuts, tamarind, and some other spices so am curious if anyone has done this or can recommend a way? I assume it would be as easy as just adding the missing ingredients and storing as per usual, but thought I would ask prior to diving into my adventure!
  • Tom D
    Tom D
    Dawn: Where are you getting your Thai ingredients from in Vancouver? I live on the North Shore and find Osaka/TNT doesn't always have the necessary ingredients. I ended up buying Chinese pickled radishes for my pad Thai dish, which after reading the footnotes, were infact the wrong ingredient. Thanks b4hand.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I buy all of my ingredients to make my pastes at "Asia Market". It's on Hastings Street, between Main and Gore. The people are very friendly and they generally have all of the ingredients and they are FRESH! As for adding ingredients to your store bough paste, and "where to start" I am going to wish you good luck with that one, as it's too hard for me to tell you what to add and/or not add, since I don't really know how your store bought paste tastes. As an idea, why don't you make the fresh paste and then instead of adding the store bought paste to it, just use them 3:1 in a recipe. Hope that helps. Let us know how it turns out and how you like the market! It's a bit of an adventure in that neighborhood, but the store is great. Cheers!

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