Rather Simple Panaeng Tofu

Adapted from the panaeng beef recipe from Quick & Easy Thai. This also uses an entire can of coconut milk instead of leaving some behind.


  • 1 can (13.5oz or so) coconut milk (I do not use the “lite” stuff; also, look for one that doesn’t have guar gum in it.)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste (try 3 Tbsp if you are brave; 2 Tbsp will still be rather spicy.)
  • 1 pack (12oz to 16oz) of tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes, extra-firm preferred
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce (gluten-free versions exist!)
  • 3 Tbsp palm sugar (can be replaced with plain brown sugar)
  • 3 Tbsp ground peanuts or peanut butter (you can easily make your own peanut butter by putting 16oz of peanuts in a food processor and working it until it turns into butter. The nuts secrete their own oil. Also I found out that cashew butter will work in a pinch.)
  • handful of Thai basil leaves, pulled apart (regular basil can be used)
  • a couple keffir leaves (optional)


  1. Shake the can of coconut milk really, really well. Open and pour into a medium saucepan; combine with the water and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring.

  2. Add the curry paste and gently press it until it is all absorbed into the liquid and things become fragrant.

  3. Put in the tofu cubes and stir, bringing it to a gentle boil again.

  4. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts/peanut butter and stir, turning heat down to a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add the Thai basil leaves and optional keffir leaves and then remove the saucepan from heat.

Best over rice of course.

Serves 3-4.