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Panaeng Neua (Thai Beef Balls in Peanut Sauce)

This recipe is from The Original Thai Coobook by Jennifer Brennan.

  • 1 pound medium lean ground beef I just used carne molida de res
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil  I used coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (Krung Gaeng Ped)  I bought it at Pacsadeli but I have a recipe if you need one
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk coconut milk made from the first press NOT coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter or ground peanuts I used ground peanuts 
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar I used one pack of granulated Stevia
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce I bought it at Pacsadeli 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh mint or sweet basil leaves chopped I used fresh mint, I recommend it. Unless you have Thai basil.

 Shape the beef into small firm balls about 1″ in diameter. Press and roll the balls in the flour, dusting off the excess. Heat the oil in a wok until a haze forms and fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add all the meatballs and continue frying until brown, stirring and tilting the wok to cook the balls uniformly. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.In the remainder of the oil in the wok, fry the Red Curry Paste for about 2 minutes,stirring well to prevent sticking. Add the “thick” coconut milk and stir in the peanut butter. Continue cooking and stirring until you have a smooth, uniform consistency. Season with sugar and fish sauce. Return the meat balls to the sauce and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes or until the meatballs are reheated throughout. Remove to a serving dish. garnish with mint or basil sprinkled on top.

makes 4 to 6 servings

    About Theresa Diaz Gray

    Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


    1. Nancy, I left out a whole part in the middle! Either I didn’t type it or it got erased. I am sitting directly under the ceiling fan and unless I lock the keyboard the force of the air sometimes does things to my computer.
      I will fix it ASAP.

    2. Theresa – do you add the peanuts/peanut butter and coconut milk at the same time as the fish sauce and sugar? I saw them on the ingredient list but not in the directions. Gracias!! Nancy

    3. Terry, I agree that Fish sauce stinks, though not as much as shrimp paste. Every time I make something with it I cross my fingers, but somehow it just makes stuff salty and gives it flavor.

    4. Sounds nasty Teresa. Asians don’t eat that much beef anyway, and fish sauce can’t be much of an embellishment.

      Just messing with ya though. How thoughtful of you to feed the old boy stuff he likes…for a whole month.

      Missed not being able to post to your blog.


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