I urge you to find a curry that will place your olefactory & taste senses in the realm of heaven.
And if we were to exchange notes and you've had a bite of this traditional, authentic Panang Curry, I guarantee it would be on the top of your list too.
Panang curry hails from the city of Penang in Northwestern Malaysia on the Straits of Melacca.
No, it is not in Korea.
This may sound funny to you but I recall my astonishment as I heard the teenager who asked me that very question as she helped me find shrimp paste for Malaysian curries in the grocery aisle. The mother in me also nudged her to revise her world geography when she got home.
Fortunately, she wasn't snotty about it and took my admonishment in good humor. The geographical location of the city of Penang has everything to do with what makes this curry by far the very best thing you'll ever put into your mouth.
It has to do with the fact that Penang is quite close to the border of Thailand and it fuses ingredients characteristic to Malaysian cuisine like cumin, coriander, shrimp paste (or shrimp belacan) and raw red skin peanuts with those fresh ingredients classic in Thai cuisine - lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal & garlic. And then of course comes the coconut milk that just makes it better.
The marriage is one made in culinary heaven. The lime leaves are nothing short of magic and falls in the do-not-omit category in this recipe.
This curry is traditionally made with beef but for those of you who don't eat beef, use lamb instead but either way, get off your hineys and make this because trust me when I say, you'll love this first and thank me later.