Panaeng Curry with Pork and Kabocha Squash
Recipe type: Main Dish, Entree, Curry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder, sliced against the grain into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 small (1½ pounds) kabocha or buttercup squash, deseeded and cut into 1-inch cubes, skin and all
  • 2 ounces phanaeng (also panaeng or panang) curry paste (I use Maesri, but any brand imported from Thailand will do.)
  • A handful of fresh Thai or regular basil leaves
  • 5-6 fresh makrut lime leaves, cut into very thing strips
  • Fish sauce
  • Palm sugar
  1. In a saucepan, set over medium-high heat, heat up the coconut “head” (the thick part that rises to the top of the can) along with the curry paste, stirring constantly.
  2. When the mixture starts bubbling up around the edges and the coconut cream starts to separate, stop stirring and let it boil gently.
  3. Turn the heat up a little and add the pork.
  4. Stir to make sure the pork is all coated with the curry sauce.
  5. Add half of the coconut “tail” (the remaining thin, watery part) and bring the whole thing to a boil.
  6. Turn the heat down and let the curry simmer gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes for rib meat or 5 minutes if you use pork loin, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the squash and bring the curry back to a boil; turn down the heat and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes or until the squash is soft but not mushy.
  8. Season with fish sauce and sugar to taste (I either don't add any sugar or only a minuscule amount, as I think the squash adds enough sweetness to the dish).
  9. Stir in the basil leaves and makrut lime leaves; take the pot off the heat immediately. Serve warm with steamed Jasmine rice.
Recipe by SheSimmers at