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Chicken Penang


  • 2 cups coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 large fresh red chiles, thinly sliced
  • 20 holy basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons PENANG CURRY PASTE: 5 large dried red chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 2/3 ounce shallots, peeled and finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 ounces garlic, peeled and finely chopped (about 5 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh galangal
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped kaffir lime peel
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro root
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste

Prep Time:

Cook Time:


This dish is of Malaysian origin and is one of the most popular curry dishes.

From The Big Book of Thai Curries by Vatcharin Bhumichitr. Read our review.


  1. Gently heat the coconut cream in a small pan, but do not let it boil. Remove and set aside, reserving 1 tablespoon as a garnish.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or pan, add the curry paste, and stir-fry briefly for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it is lightly cooked.
  4. Stir in the coconut cream, fish sauce, and sugar, stir well for a few minutes, then add the lime leaves, chiles, and basil.
  5. Spoon into a bowl and top with the reserved coconut cream.