Eating My Way Through

Panang Curry January 2, 2012

Filed under: Dinner — Nikki Wegner @ 12:14 am
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Happy New Years all! Once again I have been a failure at posting regularly…broken record I know. But hopefully 2012 will bring lots of opportunities to cook for friends and family and give me lots of fodder for the blog.

When I go out/order in Thai food, I usually order Panang Curry, not the healthiest of choices with its loads of creamy coconut milk, but I came up with a lighter version to satisfy my craving! By using light coconut milk and loading up on veggies and tofu you get all the great flavor and taste in a healthier package!

This recipe has a lot of sauteing, simmering and moving pieces, so make sure you pay close attention!

Panang Curry!

Panang Curry!

Panang Curry (own recipe)

1 Tbsp Canola Oil

16 oz Package Tofu, Firm, Diced

1 tsp Olive Oil

2 Shallots, diced

2 Garlic cloves, diced

2 Tbsp Peanut Butter

1 Tbsp lemon grass, diced

1 tsp ginger, fresh and grated

1 tsp coriander

1 Tbsp Thai Chili Paste

1 13.5oz can Lite Coconut Milk

½ can of water

½ Tbsp Fish Sauce

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Red pepper, chopped

1 Squash, chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

¾ Package Rice Noodles (Thai)


Heat canola oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat, add tofu and cook until brown, set aside.

While tofu is sautéing, prepare rice noodles according to package directions.

In a large skillet/wok heat 1 tsp olive oil. Add shallots and garlic, sauté.

Add in peanut butter, lemon grass, ginger and chili pepper, stir well.

Pour in coconut milk and ½ can of water, stir well.

Add in fish sauce and brown sugar, stir well.

Add tofu to sauce and let simmer to absorb flavor on low heat.

In the pan used for the tofu, add in a bit of olive oil, and cook red pepper, squash and zucchini. Add to sauce and let simmer for a few minutes. Serve sauce over rice noodles.

Yields 4-6 Servings


Cooking with Coconut milk April 16, 2010

Filed under: Dinner — Nikki Wegner @ 12:18 pm
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I love Thai food. To the point where ordering from Royal Thai, my roomies and my favorite place in Chinatown, is a regular occurrence. I usually switch off between two traditional dishes, Pad Thai and Pad See Ew, but one night I tried the Tom Kha Gai, a coconut milk based soup.

This got me thinking about cooking with coconut milk, and then I stumbled on a recipe for Thai Coconut rice with Pineapple. I had some shrimp in the freezer so I decided to try the rice, and serve it with some Lime and Garlic Shrimp. Turns out it is a great meal for a warm spring evening. Lots of citrus and sweetness with a bit of a kick.

There was a bit of an oops, I must admit.  I used frozen jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s, which is normally a great time saver, instead of following the directions and using uncooked rice. I recommend the latter, and just follow the directions.  It still turned out yummy, but I learned my lesson. Sometimes shortcuts aren’t always the best call!

To start, I added all the ingredients to the coconut milk, to boil all the flavors together.

Coconut Broth

Swapping in light coconut milk for the regular in any recipe that calls for it is a great way to cut down on calories. You still get the same rich, sweet flavor that you get with the regular stuff, so why not?

While the rice is cooking in the broth, cook the shrimp and chop all the ingredients to add to the rice.

The shrimp is super easy, all you need is a few garlic cloves, some shrimp and the juice of 1 lime.

Simmering Shrimp

The Toppings

Once the rice is cooked, add the toppings to the pot. Don’t stir, just let them sit on top. Cover, and let stand for another 5 minutes so all the flavors seep together.

Almost there...

Stir it all up, and it is ready to eat!

I was surprised how easy this was to make! New ingredients sometimes intimidate me, but coconut milk is one I will now use all the time! If you are not a shrimp lover, I would definitely try adding chicken or tofu instead, I am sure it will still be yummy!

Lime and Garlic Shrimp

1 lb shrimp (can be frozen and then defrosted, or fresh!)

Juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves


Toss the lime juice and garlic in a skillet

Heat juice and garlic until simmering

Reduce heat

Add shrimp

Cook until shrimp turns bright and pink

Yields 4 servings

Thai Coconut and Pineapple Rice (adapted from Weight Watchers)

1 cup light coconut milk

1 cup water

2 tsp ginger root, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

1 cup pineapple, fresh and diced

1/2 cup scallions, chopped

1/4 tbsp mint, fresh and chopped

1/2 medium lime, cut into wedges


In a saucepan, combine the milk, water, ginger and salt

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat

Add in rice, stir, reduce heat

Cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes

Remove from heat

Add pineapple, scallions, mint and Lime and Garlic Shrimp (DO NOT STIR)

Cover, let stand for 5 minutes

Stir everything together, place in bowls, and garnish with lime to squeeze over the rice

Yields 4 generous, 1 cup servings