Main Course

Instant Pot Panang Curry

When I graduated from college, I used to work for a small market data company in NYC. It was one of the best places I had ever worked at. My coworkers and I had become close friends.

One of those friends was Chinese but grew up in Thailand.  Because she was from Thailand, we would go to Thai restaurants in the neighborhood. That of course took a toll on our wallets. Even though she was from Thailand, she didn’t know how to cook.  I took it upon myself to learn to cook Thai food. This was before the internet had exploded, recipes were not easily available online (pretend like you didn’t read that or you will guess how old I am).

We set off to Chinatown and came across a Thai Grocery Store. We asked the store owner how to cook certain dishes. He told us that most Thai dishes are made of pastes and aromatics. He told us that  we needed to buy Maesri brand pastes, frozen Kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, and palm sugar. I purchased all those things and started playing around with recipes. Some dishes of course were disasters. They were too spicy, we couldn’t eat them. With practice, I figured out how to make panang curry. It’s so good, that I win cooking contests whenever I make it and I’m not even Thai. You can use any protein for this curry.

For this particular recipe, I decided to take it one step further and made it in my Instant Pot (if you do not have it, please go out and purchase it. It is the best thing ever. You can purchase it here). The curry had amazing depth of flavor in a short amount of time. These are the ingredients I used and how I made it:

I used shrimp as my protein and a red bell pepper and peas as my vegetables. You can use whatever you have at home.

I use Maesri brand Panang Curry Paste. It looks like this:

You can purchase it from here.

Set your IP to sautè and add a little oil.








Once the oil is hot, 2-3 tbs panang paste. If you like it spicy, add 3-4 tbs. Cook it for about a minute.

Next add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and salt (you can use fish sauce if you would like but my family does not like the taste).

If you don’t have kaffir lime leaves, you can substitute 1 tbs lime zest. I buy the kaffir limes leaves and keep them in my freezer. If you don’t have palm sugar, you can substitute brown sugar but palm sugar tastes better. When buying the palm sugar, buy small pucks because they are easier to measure out and chop up. Do not buy the large blocks.

Give it a quick stir and close the IP. Set it to manual high pressure for 3 minutes with valve closed.

Once the 3 minutes are up, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Once that is done, turn the valve to vent to release any leftover pressure. Put a towel over the valve before you put it on vent otherwise hot steam will go everywhere and you can burn yourself.

Once all the pressure is released, switch back to sautè. Add your vegetables and protein.

Sautè until your protein and vegetables are cooked. For shrimp, this was done in 5 minutes.

Instant Pot Panang Curry

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 25


  • 2-3 tbs Maesri Panang Curry Paste - You can purchase it here
  • 2 cans Coconut Milk
  • 3 small pucks Palm Sugar
  • 2-3 Kaffir Lime Leaves - you can usually find them at the Asian grocery store in the freezer.
  • 1 lb Protein
  • 1 cup of chopped Vegetables
  • 2 tbs Oil
  • Salt to taste



Turn on your Instant Pot to saute. Add oil and wait until it is hot.


Add panang curry paste and cook for about 1 minute.


Add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, and salt. Stir it all up.


Put the cover on your Instant Pot and set to 3 minutes on manual with the vent closed.


Once the pressure is complete. let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes.


Release any pressure after that with a towel over valve.


Open pot up and set back to saute.


Add your vegetables and protein.


Cook until your protein is done cooking.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Stacy Ann Fogarty
    February 8, 2018 at 11:41 am

    what is a puck of sugar?

    • Reply
      The Girl
      February 8, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      The Asian stores sell palm sugar in small discs. They are not granulated.

    Tell me what you really think

    %d bloggers like this: