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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste

Have you ever been curious about the Panang curry paste or about how to cook and use it?

This popular paste has a nutty and slightly-sweet flavor, making it the perfect addition to many dishes.

You may even prefer the added complexity of Panang curry paste over other curry pastes.

However, if you are unable to find any on your store shelves, there are some easy substitutes that can help replicate the flavors.

Here we provide 5 of the best substitutes for Panang curry paste so that you can create delicious Panang Curries no matter what ingredients are available.

What’s Panang Curry Paste?

A beloved staple in Indian and Thai cuisine, Panang curry paste is a fragrant blend of ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and spices.

With origins dating back thousands of years, this type of paste has been used for centuries to bring flavor to a variety of dishes – from stir-fries with noodles to delicious curries.

Its distinct taste and texture make it popular among amateur cooks and connoisseurs alike.

The paste can be added to coconut milk or broth when creating a flavorful sauce and pairs perfectly with meat or vegetables that have been cooked in it.

To give your meals an exotic touch, try experimenting by adding a spoonful or two of Panang curry paste.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste

If you’re looking for a good substitute for Panang Curry Paste, you’ve come to the right place.

While no single ingredient will completely replace the flavor provided by this popular Thai dish, there are some great alternatives that can give your dish a similar taste and texture.

1 – Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai red curry paste is a fragrant and flavorful ingredient made from different spices, chiles, and herbs.

This bold mix packs a spicy punch that adds depth to many of your favorite Thai dishes.

Not only does the paste add plenty of spice, but it also offers an earthy sweetness.

It is a bright orange-red color and has a thick, smooth texture when blended together.

If you’re looking to substitute Thai red curry paste in a recipe calling for Panang curry paste, you can easily make the swap, as these two pastes are very similar in taste and texture.

2 – Massaman Curry Paste

Massaman curry paste is a traditional Thai ingredient that has become popular in Western cuisine.

A delightfully fragrant mix of lemongrass, shallot, garlic, and spices like cumin and cinnamon, it’s both mild and complex in flavor.

Additionally, Massaman curry paste has a unique texture as the ingredients are left whole instead of ground.

It can be used as an intriguing substitute for Panang curry paste to add diversity to your dishes.

While the ingredients used in both pastes overlap somewhat, substituting Massaman will bring a more subtle flavor profile to the finished dish due to its lack of chilies.

3 – Green Curry Paste

Delivering a punch of flavors from a blend of herbs and spices, green curry paste is a favorite ingredient for many Asian-style dishes.

Its intoxicating scent, combined with its strong aroma, will certainly make any dish pop.

Its flavor profile is characterized by an intense herbal bitterness paired with delicate citrus notes.

When cooked, the paste exhibits a thick consistency with chunks of vegetables mixed in.

To easily substitute it for Panang curry paste, just add some coconut milk to add sweetness and improve its texture.

Whether you’re looking to give your recipe an extra kick or to dazzle your dinner guests, using green curry paste is a surefire way to make any dish stand out.

4 – Yellow Curry Paste

Yellow curry paste is a central ingredient in Thai cuisine that provides a variety of flavors, textures, and colors to a dish.

This particular paste has an intricate blend of spicy, sweet, and salty tones that is both bright and inviting.

The texture of yellow curry paste is a bit thicker than many of its counterparts, such as red or green curry pastes.

Additionally, the primary base includes shallots, garlic, and Thai spices to give it that unique flavor profile.

It’s also incredibly versatile in the kitchen, as it can easily be used as a substitute for Panang curry paste in authentic dishes.

As long as they are stored properly, these pastes have a long shelf-life with plenty of uses.

5 – Laksa Paste

Laksa paste is a traditional Malaysian condiment renowned for its thick and creamy aroma.

It has a spicy yet sweet flavor that adds depth to any dish, from soup to stir-fries.

Its texture is slightly gritty and thick because of the combination of ingredients such as shrimp paste, coconut milk, and sambal sauce.

It can also be used as a substitution for Panang curry paste in Thai dishes, as it provides comparable taste and texture.

The robustness of laksa paste packs a punch to milder flavors such as vegetables or lighter meats, making it an invaluable addition to your kitchen pantry.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for a substitute for Panang curry paste in your dishes, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.

Whether you opt for massaman, green, yellow, or laksa paste, each of these ingredients will provide unique flavors and textures to your meals.

Experimentation is key when it comes to discovering new flavors and dishes, and these pastes are a great way to start exploring the wonderful world of Asian cuisine.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste

Out of Panang curry paste? Don't let that stop you from enjoying your favorite Thai dishes. Try these five flavorful substitutes that will bring the essence of Panang curry to your cooking.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 serving


  • Thai Red Curry Paste
  • Massaman Curry Paste
  • Green Curry Paste
  • Yellow Curry Paste
  • Laksa Paste


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Panang Curry Paste
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