Pan-seared portobello slabs are simmered in a rich sauce of coconut milk, peanut butter and red curry to create this succulent vegan remake of a Thai classic.
I totally cheated with this one, but that’s okay. Let me explain.
Have you had panang curry before? It’s delicious. Much like red curry, but better. (Yes, that’s possible.) I wanted to create a vegan version for the blog for a while, I’ve never come across a commercial brand of panang curry paste, and I’m guessing that if one is out there, it probably isn’t vegan. And while I am a fan of whipping up DIY curry pastes as fun little projects when I have the time, it’s nice to know I can rely on something easy and store-bought.
I always kind of wondered if I could pull it off with red curry paste, but I thought that would be cheating. Then I happened to see a comment on this recipe dealing with that very question. I took that as an invitation to go ahead and do as I pleased.
What I ended up doing for my cheater’s portobello panang curry is pretty simple. Red curry + full fat coconut milk + peanut butter. And a few other seasonings to boot, but that’s pretty much it, and it was just fine by me. Tasty as heck, in fact, and yes, between all that peanutty and coconutty goodness, pretty darn rich, but so worth it. Since beef panang curry seems to be a big thing, went and included some big fat meaty portobello mushrooms in lieu of the tofu and/or mixed veggies I might normally be inclined to go with in a Thai curry. If you’re more of a tofu and veggies type of person, be my guest. This sauce would taste good on just about anything.
- 1-14 oz. can full fat coconut milk
- 2-4 tbsp. vegan red curry paste (to taste)
- 2 tbsp. creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari (or to taste)
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 large portobello caps, stemmed, cleaned and cut into ½ inch thick strips
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- cooked jasmine rice
- ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 2 scallions, chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- Whisk coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter, maple syrup and soy sauce together in a medium bowl. You can warm the mixture up a bit if needed to fully blend.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place over medium heat. Working in batches if needed, add portobello strips in a single layer and cook until browned on bottoms, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5 minutes more.
- Add coconut milk mixture and bell pepper. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers and mushrooms are tender, 10 minutes.
- Divide rice onto plates and top with mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with scallions, basil and peanuts. Serve.