Panang Curry Vs. Red Curry

Have you ever considered a Panang curry vs. red curry comparison? We compiled the data to clear up any confusion when comparing these two popular curries. Panang curry and red curry might have the same color but vary in many different ways.

What Is Panang Curry?

Panang curry is a Thai curry that originated in Penang, an island on the west coast of Malaysia. It incorporates a long list of ingredients and, therefore, delivers a complex flavor profile. But one of the stand-out flavors comes from the peanuts included in the dish. 

This famous curry is made from a paste of lime leaves, peanuts, chilies, cumin, and lemongrass stalks. It’s slightly sweet and rich due to the addition of coconut cream but also carries some serious heat. You’ll find ready-made Panang curry paste at an Asian food market and even some general grocers.

What Is Red Curry?

Red curry is another popular Thai curry dish that has its origin in central Thailand. The curry is made using dry ingredients, which are crushed with a mortar and pestle. This ensures that your curry paste remains moist and that the ingredients blend perfectly.

The red color of this curry comes from red chilies, the primary base ingredient for the paste. Traditionally these red chilies were crushed and added to the paste. However, today most pre-made pastes add red chili powder, which offers a deeper color and flavor profile to your curry. 

Panang Curry Vs. Red Curry: What’s the Difference?

While both Panang and red curry have a similar color, they are quite different regarding their ingredients and flavor profile. 


Panang curry and red curry are integral to Thai cuisine, boasting rich and bold flavors. And their ingredients are what sets their flavor profile apart from each other. Peanuts and coconut cream are included in Panang curry. However, red curry comprises red chilies and coconut milk as its base.


Both curries are different in flavor profile, despite having the same red color. Panang curry is slightly sweeter, richer, and earthier in taste and has a kick of spice to it. On the other hand, red curry is one of the most versatile curries in Thai cuisine and is moderately spiced. It also doesn’t deliver as much sweetness as Panang curry.


Panang curry differs from red curry not only in its flavor but also in its texture. Panang curry is slightly thicker and less soupy when compared to red curry. The peanuts added to the Panang curry give it a slight crunch. In contrast, red curry typically comprises tender meat and vegetables. 


While both Panang curry and red curry are Thai delicacies, they differ in their level of spiciness and flavor. Panang curry is better if you want a subtle, nutty flavor. Red curry would serve you better for a bold and spicy flavor. Either way, our Panang vs. red curry comparison will ensure you choose the option that aligns best with your taste.