Thailand’s phanaeng curry voted No.1 best stew in the world

Image via ThaiRath

Global cuisine website TasteAtlas awarded Thailand‘s phanaeng curry the top spot in their updated list of 100 “best-rated stews in the world,” followed by Japanese kare (No.2) and Sichuan Hot Pot (No.3).

Massaman curry also gained a spot in the top 10, voted No.8 best-rated stew in the world.

Many Thai dishes made the list, including collective “Thai Curry” (No.14), “Green Curry” (No.17), “Yellow Curry” (No.33), “Red Curry” (No.35) and “Khanom Jin Nam Ya” (No.90).

According to TasteAtlas…

“Phanaeng curry is a variety of Thai curry that is characterized by its thick texture and a salty-sweet peanut flavour. It consists of meat that is stewed with dried chilis, kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, cilantro, cumin, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, and peanuts.

“The meat used in phanaeng curry is usually beef, chicken, or duck, and the dish traditionally does not include any vegetables. The name of the dish is derived from the word panang, meaning cross, which refers to the ancient way of preparing chicken with its legs crossed and set in an upright position.

The origins of Thai phanaeng curry are shrouded in mystery. Due to its name, the dish is often associated with the Malaysian state of Penang, but there is little evidence to suggest the dish originated there.

“However, the earliest known recipe is found in Maawm Sohm Jeen’s book Tam Raa Gap Khao (ตำรากับข้าว), dating back to 1890.”

Perhaps TasteAtlas sang phanaeng curry’s praises in an attempt to make up for widely offending Thai people last month by rating one of the nation’s favourite dishes, Kaeng Som (“orange curry”), as the No.12 “worst dish in the world.”

TasteAtlas described Kaeng Som as…

“A sour, water-based Thai curry that is typically prepared with fish or shrimps and a thick paste that usually incorporates shallots, chillies and shrimps.”

The only thing separating Kaeng Som from other Thai curries is the lack of coconut milk, making the dish much spicier than other Thai classics. It remains a favourite among Thais and foreigners alike.

In 2022, TasteAtlas riled up netizens with their “Best Cuisines in the World” list. Somehow, Thai food (No.30) was beaten by cuisine from the United Kingdom (No.29) and the United States (No.8).

Thailand News

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.