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Vegan Panang Recipe

Panang or Phanaeng Curry is a Thai curry with subtle peanut and lime flavours. Most Thai curries are made using fish sauce or shrimp paste, or if they are vegan they have soy sauce in which is not gluten free so I end up poorly, so when eating out I tend to avoid Thai curries, even though I love Thai food.

Because I love Thai food so much I have taught myself a great deal about making vegan and gluten free Thai curry paste and every now and then I enjoy making this, adapting it to suit the dish. I have just used up all my Kaffir Lime Leaves so I am going to have to buy some more… in the meantime I will use lime juice, but it is never the same.

When you make it yourself, you can adjust the quantities to get the flavours just right for you which is a bonus and you can also save time by making a huge batch of curry paste and storing in the fridge. If you prefer to have a ready made vegan Panang curry paste, there is a good one here which is vegan, gluten free and it comes in a six pack.

I enjoy this dish on it’s own, but I always make some noodles with it as the boys love their noodles. The noodles I used with this dish are the King Soba Black Rice Noodles. They are full of nutrients, easy to prepare and taste delicious.

Vegan Panang

This is a quick easy Malaysian curry with peanut and lime flavours.
Keyword: gluten free curry, gluten free panang, malaysian, panang, thai, vegan food, vegan panang


  • 4 dried red chillies soaked for 15 minutes then chopped
  • 2 fresh lemongrass stalks thinly sliced (if you have no lemongrass you can use 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • 3 tbsp roasted peanuts (can substitute peanut butter)
  • 2 inch piece galangal or root ginger peeled and diced
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 tbsp red chilli paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • handful coriander stalks chopped
  • 1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil (we use olive oil)
  • 2 medium onions sliced thickly
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper sliced thickly
  • 2 tins coconut milk
  • handful baby potatoes (optional)
  • 700 grams mixed green vegetables of choice (we used pak choi, tenderstem broccoli and asparagus) (the weight is an approximation)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 300 grams crispy tofu (press the tofu, chop, coat in cornflour and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side)
  • coriander to garnish


  • Make the paste by blending all the ingredients for the paste in a spice grinder or powerful blender – if it is too thick, you can add a little sesame oil or a little water.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan.
  • Add the onion, pepper and garlic and the paste and fry over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and if using potatoes add these now too and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables an lime juice and continue simmering for a further 5 minutes until greens are just cooked.
  • Add the crispy tofu and garnish with coriander and serve.


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