Butternut Squash and Tofu Panang Curry

19 Jan

Panang7I’m a panang curry fiend! Ever since I tried the dish four years ago, it’s been my go to order at every Thai restaurant. The problem is that not all panang curries are equally delicious. I’ve cried through devilishly spicy panang, pouted through watery panang, and choked down panang served over canned green beans. But every once in a while I order a panang that perfectly combines coconut milk with curry powder for a heavenly sweet, spicy, and creamy dish.

Since I’ve yet to find a good panang within a five hour drive, I’ve resorted to attempting the dish on my own. I recently stumbled across a lighter recipe that was too good not to share.

Here’s my one-dish, winter panang curry.

Butternut Squash and Tofu Panang Curry Recipe

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu (cubed)
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (or acorn or kabocha)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Step 1: Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and let heat. Add tofu and saute until the edges turn brown (about 8 minutes). Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

Panang1Step 2: Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Add peanut butter, curry paste, curry powder, and coriander to the wok and let cook for 15 seconds.

Panang2Step 3: Add coconut milk, soy sauce, and sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Panang3Step 4: Add squash, bell pepper, and shallots. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender (about 15 minutes).

Panang5Step 5: Stir in tofu, lime juice, and rind. Cook 1 minute.

Panang8Step 6: Serve over rice and enjoy!


There you have it, a healthy panang curry that’s sure to please. Test it out and let me know what you think!

12 Responses to “Butternut Squash and Tofu Panang Curry”

  1. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward January 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    This looks amazing. I love the flavors and definitely the squash and tofu!

    • meganrodkey January 20, 2014 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks! And it tastes delicious too!

  2. awoni3 January 20, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    I’m usually not a tofu fan, but that looks wonderful!

  3. chefjulianna January 21, 2014 at 1:00 am #

    Looks and sounds very yummy! I love Panang Curry too. I will have to try it for sure. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • meganrodkey January 21, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      Thanks for commenting! Let me know how it goes.

  4. mila bassettt January 27, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Hi Megan, this looks delicious. I have all the ingredients except for tofu and red curry paste. I am going to stop by a grocery stop tomorrow and try this.

    • meganrodkey January 28, 2014 at 8:30 am #

      That’s so exciting to hear! Let me know how it goes. I hope you find it delicious as I did!

  5. theedgeofveg January 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    This looks delicious! I’m definitely gonna have to give this one a try (:

    • meganrodkey January 28, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

      Happy you think so! thanks for commenting. Let me know how it turns out!

  6. Daring to Dream it February 6, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    That sounds heavenly. I am saving this one. I just wish my mom loved curry! I will try it out next time I head home for a visit and will let you know how it went.
    Question, is there a particular reason you use canola oil? Would you substitute coconut or olive oil?

    • meganrodkey February 10, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      I chose canola oil because it has a higher smoke point. Since woks can take a lot of heat, I wanted an oil that would stand up. Also, it’s a mild flavor and I didn’t want it to interrupt the complex notes of the curry. I’d avoid using olive oil because it burns easier and could add too strong of an olive flavor to the dish. I’m not super familiar with coconut oil but flavor wise that sounds like a great choice.

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