Vegetarian Panang Curry

Since I’m Indian, I stereotypically loved Indian kadhi (curry) when growing up. After trying Thai food for the first time, Thai curries also became a favorite. However, most Thai restaurants use fish sauce as a base for all curries and don’t have a good substitute on hand.

So, I was inspired to learn to make panang so I could make sure and find an equivalent substitute and still enjoy the dish. This experiment was a huge success and I absolutely love the rich flavors in this dish.


  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp. Aroy-D or Mae Anong Panang Curry Paste
  • 2 cans coconut milk (13.5 oz. each)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup roasted and unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped white/yellow onion
  • 4 Thai basil leaves
  • 4 oz. cubed extra firm tofu
  • 5 broccoli florets
  • 1 cup red belpepper
  • 10 snap peas


  1. In a seasoned wok, heat oil on medium heat.
  2. Once hot, add ginger and garlic and let cook until light brown.
  3. Stir in curry paste.
  4. Whisk in coconut milk, grated palm sugar, soy sauce, and lime juice and turn heat up to medium-high. Add the lime juice little by little until it’s just how you like it. I used the entire 1 1/2 tbsp. of lime juice.
  5. Add veggies, tofu, and basil leaves and cook until tofu is cooked completely (you can test this by cutting the tofu in half and trying a bite.
  6. Top with crushed cashews and garnish with Thai basil leaves.