The 4 Best Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste

Have you ever been intrigued by the unique taste of Panang curry paste and wondered how to use it in your cooking?

Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste

This widely popular paste boasts a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that can elevate the taste of many dishes.

In fact, you might find the complexity of Panang curry paste even more appealing compared to other curry pastes.

However, if you’re unable to find this paste in your local grocery store, don’t worry – there are several simple substitutes that can replicate its flavors.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 substitutes for Panang curry paste, so you can still enjoy delicious Panang curries regardless of the ingredients available to you.

What Is Panang Curry Paste?

Panang curry paste is a popular Thai curry paste that is used to make a delicious and flavorful Panang curry. The paste is made by grinding together a variety of ingredients, including dried chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal, cumin and coriander seeds, and shrimp paste.

To create the paste, these ingredients are ground into a fine powder and then mixed with water to form a paste. The paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a jar or container.

When ready to use, simply add the Panang curry paste to a pot or wok with coconut milk, chicken or beef, and vegetables. Cook until the meat is fully cooked and the vegetables are tender. Serve over rice for a delicious meal.

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Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

If you cannot find Panang curry paste for a recipe, Thai yellow curry paste can be used as a substitute in equal amounts. However, keep in mind that the flavor of the dish may be slightly different.

Thai yellow curry paste is made with fresh turmeric, lemongrass, cumin, coriander, and galangal. It is commonly used to prepare Thai curries, such as Kaeng Kari, Kaeng som pla, and Kaeng phet pet yang. It is also added to marinades, stir-fries, and soups. The paste can be mixed with coconut milk to create a simple curry sauce.

Although similar to Panang curry paste in terms of using fresh ingredients and having a strong flavor, Thai yellow curry paste has a more pronounced turmeric taste and is less sweet.

Thai yellow curry paste is widely available in Asian markets and online, but can also be made at home using a blender or food processor.

Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai red curry paste is a popular and flavorful ingredient made from a blend of spices, chilies, and herbs. This paste provides a spicy kick that enhances the taste of many Thai dishes.

Aside from adding heat, the paste also provides a sweet, earthy flavor. It has a bright orange-red color and a smooth, thick texture when combined.

If you want to use Thai red curry paste instead of Panang curry paste in a recipe, it is a simple substitution since these pastes have similar tastes and textures.

Green Curry Paste

Green Curry Paste

Green curry paste is a popular ingredient in Asian-style dishes that provides a burst of flavor from a blend of herbs and spices. Its distinct aroma and strong taste make it a go-to for many cooks.

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The flavor of green curry paste is a blend of intense herbal bitterness and delicate citrus notes, creating a unique taste experience. When cooked, the paste produces a thick consistency with chunks of vegetables mixed in.

To substitute green curry paste for Panang curry paste, simply add coconut milk to sweeten and enhance the texture of the dish.

Using green curry paste in your recipes is an excellent way to elevate the flavors and impress your guests.

Laksa paste

Laksa paste

Laksa paste is a thick and spicy paste used in Malaysian cuisine. It is made using a variety of ingredients, including chili peppers, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, and spices.

This flavorful paste is primarily used to prepare the popular Malaysian noodle soup, laksa. It can also be used as a substitute for Panang curry paste, with a 1:1 ratio.

To adjust the level of spice and flavor to your preference, you may need to use more or less laksa paste in certain recipes. It is recommended to start with less, especially if you are sensitive to spice, and add more as needed.

Laksa paste is known for its intense flavor profile, mainly due to its high content of chili peppers and shrimp paste. Although it is similar to Panang curry paste in terms of texture and spiciness, laksa paste has a more distinct flavor profile.

If you can’t find laksa paste in your local grocery store, you can purchase it online or make your own using a combination of dried chilies, garlic, turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and shrimp paste.

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Laksa paste is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, including nasi lemak, Mee Goreng, and curries. However, it may not be the best substitute for Thai yellow curries due to its distinctive flavor.

To make laksa paste at home, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth. The paste can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.


To conclude, if you need an alternative to Panang curry paste in your recipes, there are various options available to you. You have the option to try other Thai curry pastes such as green, yellow, or massaman paste, or even laksa paste.

Each of these pastes offers distinct flavors and textures to your dishes, providing you with a wide variety of choices to suit your tastes. Experimenting with different curry pastes can be a fun and exciting way to add new flavors and spices to your meals, and you may find a new favorite in the process.

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