WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Panang curry is a sweeter, fuller-bodied version of Thai red curry that’s often enriched with chopped peanuts and seasoned with sugar, fish sauce, makrut lime leaves, and a touch of fiery chile. Unlike more familiar brothy curries, panang curry sauce has a thick, velvety consistency (from coconut milk) that clings to the shrimp. To start, we sizzled curry paste in vegetable oil (we prefer our homemade Thai Panang Curry Paste, though you can substitute a store-bought version). Blooming the paste in the oil ensured that the fresh aromatics and spices reached their full flavor potential despite the dish’s short cooking time. For a spicier curry, use the larger amount of curry paste.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2–4 tablespoons Thai Panang Curry Paste (recipe follows)
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
6 ounces sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into
¼- inch-wide strips
1½ pounds large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, and tails removed
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
⅓ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1 Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, until paste is fragrant and darkens in color to brick red, 5 to 8 minutes. Whisk in coconut milk and fish sauce, bring to simmer, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes.
2 Add snap peas and bell pepper and simmer for 3 minutes. Add shrimp, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in mint and basil. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.