Panang Vegetable Curry with Tofu


Preparation info

  • Makes:


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      10 min

Appears in

Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals: Fast, Fresh & Affordable

Instant Pot Asian Pressure Cooker Meals

By Patricia Tanumihardja

Published 2020

  • About

Panang is a rich, thick curry that usually has slivers of meat with perhaps some bell pepper strips. My version is different in two ways—I’ve made it vegetarian and I’m using a semi-homemade curry paste. I simply doctor store-bought red curry paste with distinctive ingredients— peanuts, cumin and lime leaves. This makes the curry truly yummy!


  • 1 can (13½-ounce/400-ml) coconut milk (unshaken)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 Asian lime leaves, torn in half and crushed, plus 2 leaves sliced thinly for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fish or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, or 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup cabbage chopped into 2-inch (5-cm) squares (90 g)
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms like cremini, oyster or shiitake (90 g)
  • 1 package (14-ounce/420-g) extra-firm tofu, patted dry with paper towels and sliced into small cubes
  • 1 cup green beans segments (150 g)
  • 1 cup bell pepper cut into thin strips (90 g)


    1. Do not shake the coconut milk can. Scoop out the thick cream on top into a small bowl, leaving the thin coconut milk at the bottom of the can.
    2. Select SAUTÉ and set to MEDIUM/NORMAL. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) coconut cream. When the pot is hot, add the curry paste, peanut butter, coriander and cumin and stir and cook until the paste turns a few shades darker and the oil starts to separate, 3 to 4 minutes. Press CANCEL.
    3. Stir in ½ cup (120 ml) thin coconut milk, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any cooked-on bits and avoid the BURN warning.
    4. Add the crushed lime leaves, fish sauce, sugar, cabbage and mushrooms and mix everything together. Nestle the tofu pieces in the sauce, taking care not to break them apart. Bathe with the sauce.
    5. Lock the lid. Select PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL and set to LOW for 2 minutes. Make sure the steam release valve is sealed. Once pressurized (10 to 15 minutes), the cook cycle will start. When the timer beeps, manually release the pressure. When the float valve drops, press CANCEL and open the lid.
    6. Select SAUTÉ and set to MEDIUM/NORMAL. Add the remaining coconut cream and coconut milk, green beans and bell pepper. Stir gently to mix, and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Press CANCEL.
    7. Garnish with the shredded lime leaves and serve with steamed rice.