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Thai Top Panang Beef Recipes

Updated on December 18, 2014
The skytrain in Thailand.
The skytrain in Thailand.

Panang Beef

I have Thai friends and I love all their recipes!

Panang beef, or Panang Neu-ah, originated in Thailand. It is based on beef and curry sauce. The traditional dish contains beef cut in thin strips, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, pha-naeng curry paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce. One additional option is to add sweet basil leaves, ground roasted peanuts, or other vegetables as desired, to individual taste.

This dish is served traditionally with rice. However, leftover beef panang can be served as a sandwich on toasted bread of several kinds. The new artisan breads are great for this.

Panang Beef Recipe #1

For Two Servings


  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons bottled fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon red curry paste
  • 1 Cup coconut milk
  • 1 lb beef, sliced into thin strips


  • First, pour one half cup (4 ounces) of the coconut milk into a heavy pan can heat through over medium heat.
  • Add the red curry paste and break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, mixing the curry paste with the coconut milk.
  • Continue to stir the mixture to prevent the bottom of it from sticking and burning in the pan. When thoroughly mixed, lower the heat to simmer and simmer the mixture until a red oil appears.
  • At this point, add the beef strips and stir in order to coat the beef with the curry paste mixture.
  • Next, add the sugar, fish sauce, and the reaming half-cup of coconut milk.
  • Allow this mixture to simmer until the beef is tender and the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce. This process should take about thirty minutes to an hour.
  • Finally, add water if the beef is not tender enough to you liking, and let the liquid reduce again. Serve the Beef Panang over rice and sprinkle with sliced kaffir lime leaves. Serve hot.

Traditional floating market in Thailand.
Traditional floating market in Thailand.
Panang Beef
Panang Beef

Panang Beef Recipe #2

For Two Servings:


  • Panang Sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 lb. Sirloin beef, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup coconut juice
  • 2 Leech lime leaves, torn or sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Thai sweet basil leaves


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add Panang sauce.
  • Stir for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and then add 1/2 cup of coconut juice. Be sure to continue stirring, and stir for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the beef, 1/2 cup of coconut juice, Leech lime leaves, sugar, and fish sauce.
  • Reduce the heat to simmer and continue simmering until the beef is cooked through (15 minutes).
  • Turn off the heat and add Thai sweet basil, stirring gently. Serve with rice.

Panang Sauce


  • 10 Cloves garlic
  • 5 Small shallots
  • 5 Dry Thai chili peppers
  • 1 Teaspoon galangal
  • 1 Teaspoon lemongrass
  • 1 Teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 Cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon shrimp paste


1. In a food processor or food chopper, grind all of the ingredients together to form a paste. If you have no food processor, the traditional method is the use of a mortar and pestle.

Flowers at the open air market.
Flowers at the open air market.

Panang Beef Recipe #3

For Two Servings:


  • 1 pound beef, sliced
  • ΒΌ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 8 red chilis, dried
  • 1 clove ginger, fresh
  • 3 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped lemon grass
  • 1 teaspoon chopped coriander root
  • 1 teaspoon chopped kaffir lime rind
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
  • 4 1/3 cups coconut milk
  • 1 2/3 cups coconut cream
  • 1 cup peanuts roasted, crushed
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • red chili flakes fresh, shredded


  • Cut beef into thin slices, season with salt and pepper.
  • Soak chilis to soften, then place chilis with ginger, shallots, and garlic into a mortar with lemon grass, coriander root, lime peel, peppercorns, and shrimp paste, and pound until smooth (or use a food processor).
  • Pour coconut milk in wok and bring to a boil.
  • Add beef and cook until tender, remove and set aside. Discard milk.
  • Pour coconut cream in wok and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until oil separates.
  • Then add spice paste and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add beef, peanuts, 8 basil leaves, fish sauce and sugar. Stir through and cook slowly 2 more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to a serving dish, garnish with basil, lime leaves and chilis; and serve over rice.


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