This Thai peanut curry includes chicken, sweet potatoes, and bell peppers enveloped in a fragrant and savoury peanut sauce. Serve a comforting bowl of this curry with some jasmine rice and a garnish of fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts, and black sesame seeds for a restaurant-worthy home-cooked meal. Turn it into a vegan Thai peanut curry with just a few simple swaps.
PB2 Crunchy Peanut Powder
This post is brought to you by PB2 which produces PB2 Crunchy Powdered Peanut Butter, an ingredient that helps form the sauce of this Thai Peanut Curry recipe.
PB2 has created a line of powdered peanut butter and related products. What makes other peanut butter brands creamy is the naturally occurring fats from the peanuts, and sometimes, added oils. PB2 presses the oil out of crushed peanuts to make a powder form. The result is peanut butter that is lower in fat (and calories) while being high protein, plant-based, and gluten-free.
You may already know from my previous recipes how much I love PB2 for its versatility in the kitchen as cooking and baking ingredient. It incorporates easily into smoothies. You can use it as a nut flour like in this cookie recipe or mix it with a little water to create a traditional peanut butter consistency.
PB2's new crunchy peanut butter includes just peanuts, sugar, and salt. But it has more texture than its smooth blend, thanks to the addition of roasted peanut pieces, which is fantastic in this Thai curry recipe. The powder consistency incorporates quickly and gives the curry a delicious peanut flavor as well as some nutty crunch.
About this Thai Peanut Curry
This Thai peanut curry is a blend of chicken and vegetables in a creamy and spicy peanut coconut sauce with a delicious Thai red curry paste. The inspiration behind this dish is Thai Panang Curry. It usually includes thin beef slices in a thicker peanut curry sauce. Traditionally, Panang curry paste - which includes peanuts - is used. I am using the more widely available red curry paste in combination with Crunchy PB2 as a stand-in. The coconut milk adds some creaminess and sweetness to the Thai curry.
PB2's crunchy peanut butter powder is perfect here because curry paste is made with mortar and pestle resulting in a mixture that usually still has some texture. The peanut bits in PB2 crunchy peanut powder are great to simulate this hand-ground peanut butter texture.
The fish sauce in this curry recipe adds saltiness as well as some amazing umami flavour; whereas coconut milk and coconut sugar add the sweetness. I am changing out the traditional protein to use chicken and include some vegetables like sweet potatoes and red bell pepper.
How to Make Thai Peanut Curry
To start making this peanut curry, I recommend that you use a large pan or even a large pot, like a Dutch oven. Heat the oil in the pan until hot. I like olive oil or coconut oil, which are both healthy and flavourful oils. Coconut oil works particularly well in Thai dishes where you use coconut milk anyway.
1. Once the oil is heated, you can add sliced shallots and garlic to cook until fragrant, which should only take a couple of minutes. Alternatively, if you don't have shallots, you may use a small onion. Next, you add the red curry paste to also cook until very fragrant. The curry paste will help form the flavour base of the dish.
Red curry paste is full of flavourful ingredients like chilies, lemongrass, shrimp paste (vegan curry paste excludes this), galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and cilantro. A lot of grocery stores sell this paste readily in the import or Asian food section.
2. The next step is to add a can of coconut milk along with 1 cup of chicken broth before stirring to lift the flavourful caramelization from the base of the pan. At this point, you whisk in a ½ cup of PB2 crunchy peanut powder which will blend with the hot liquid.
3. Afterward, add the sweet potatoes and cover to give them a headstart in cooking. They should only require 5 to 10 minutes before they start to soften. Afterward, you can add the chicken, bell pepper, and fish sauce, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes have completely softened.
Finishing and Serving the Curry
4. To finish the curry, I like to add 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar along with a little fresh lime juice and if needed, fish sauce to balance the flavours. If you don't have coconut sugar, you could add brown sugar in a pinch. I also recommend that you serve the curry with fresh lime wedges at the table so that everyone can add an extra squeeze of lime juice over the top if they like.
For serving, this curry is perfect with some steamed rice or quinoa as a higher protein alternative. A sprinkling of chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts and sesame seeds is the perfect finishing touch before serving it to your family and friends.
Substitutes or Additions
The bonus of this Thai peanut curry recipe is that it is incredibly versatile. If you find that you don't have certain vegetables on hand, you can easily substitute them with other veggies by adjusting cooking times. Here are some potential options:
- Baby corn
If desired, you could even add a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves at the end to bulk up your curry and add some colour. Also, if you don't have sweet potatoes, you can use regular potatoes or some cubed butternut squash would add similar colour contrast, sweetness, and texture to the curry.
It is also possible to make this dish completely vegan and vegetarian if you like. Instead of including the chicken, feel free to replace it with drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, which is another high protein ingredient. They are delicious and perfect for saucy dishes like this. Tofu cubes work as well. Then replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
Other Curry Recipes You'll Love:
Thai Peanut Curry Recipe
- 1 tablespoon oil olive or coconut oil
- 2-3 shallots sliced (or 1 small chopped onion)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 4 tablespoons red curry paste (2 tablespoons for less spicy curry) *
- 1 can coconut milk (15 oz)
- 1 cup chicken broth *
- ½ cup PB2 Crunchy Powdered Peanut Butter or about ¼ cup (crunchy) peanut butter
- 1 medium sweet potato cubed (about 2 cups)
- 1 lb chicken breast bite-sized pieces *
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce more to taste *
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 lime or to taste
- cilantro, chopped peanuts, black sesame for topping
- Heat a large pan or pot. Add the oil and sauté the shallots and garlic until fragrant (1-2 minutes), then push to the sides of the pot.
- Add the red curry paste and cook it for a couple of minutes while stirring to get it fragrant throughout.
- Stir in coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir and scrape up any stuck on bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Whisk in the PB2 Crunchy Peanut Powder. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and close with a lid. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sweet potato starts to soften.
- Then stir in the chicken pieces, diced bell pepper, and fish sauce. Continue simmering until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato pieces softened throughout (about 10 more minutes). Remove the lid and taste the curry. Add a teaspoon of (coconut) sugar for more sweetness. Lime juice for acidity, or more fish sauce for saltiness and umami.
- Serve this Peanut Curry with steamed rice or quinoa. Serve with chopped cilantro, crushed peanuts, and/or sesame seeds.
- curry paste without shrimp paste
- vegetable broth (instead of chicken broth)
- replace chicken with 1 can of drained chickpeas (or tofu)
- soy sauce instead of fish sauce,
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Thai Panang Curry traditionally includes peanuts. This Thai Peanut Curry recipe draws inspiration from Panang Curry, using red curry paste and Crunchy PB2 for a rich, textured peanut sauce.
Thai peanut sauce typically includes ingredients like peanuts, coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, and sugar. In this recipe, Crunchy PB2 adds texture and flavor to the sauce.
Peanut curry, like this Thai Peanut Curry, features a flavorful combination of ingredients, including peanut powder, coconut milk, red curry paste, chicken, vegetables, and seasonings like fish sauce and coconut sugar.
Popular Thai curries include Red Curry, Green Curry, Yellow Curry, and Massaman Curry. Each has its unique blend of spices, herbs, and proteins, creating a variety of delicious and aromatic dishes.