My Favorite Spice 'n Easy: Lemongrass Panang Curry


with Mary Johnston
December 23, 2018
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My Favorite Spice 'n Easy: Lemongrass Panang Curry

Mary and her son, Savory Spice
co-founder Mike Johnston

Hi, I’m Mary, Mike’s mom. I consider myself a gal who loves to cook and play in the kitchen. I come from a family of men who loved to cook as well, starting with my grandfather and my father who both always had aromas wafting from their kitchens that filled me with great anticipation of what they might be creating that day.

Mike definitely inherited the cooking gene, so when he and Janet invited me and my husband Charlie to join them in Colorado and work at Savory Spice, I knew I had a lot to learn. I admit that my biggest fear about working with spices was curries. It was an area I knew nothing about.

My experience with curries up to that point was Yellow Curry Powder, which to me, growing up, was an exotic spice that was saved for special meals when company was coming over. That dish was called curried chicken, big stuff in my youth! At the time, I didn’t realize that curry was a seasoning that many cultures had their own versions of and that it came in different flavors and heat levels. I laugh now when I recall those memories, and have come to realize that “curry” is so much more. I think I was just intimidated due to my lack of understanding.

By definition, curry can mean a dish of vegetables, with or without meat, cooked in a sauce and served over rice. As I’ve experimented with some of the endless varieties and flavors, I’ve realized that I tend to enjoy milder ones, and that one of my favorites is a Thai version called Panang Curry.

I was ecstatic when I learned that Mike was working on creating a version of Panang for our new Spice ‘n Easy line. After many weeks of testing, he invited Charlie and me for supper to try it out and we were blown away.

Serve up the Panang Curry with rice,
cilantro, mint, lime wedges, and chopped nuts.

What he prepared for us that night was a version served on rice, loaded with vegetables, and topped with sliced and grilled New York strip steak. The dish was finished with chopped cilantro, mint, nuts, and a squeeze of lime. I found the flavors in this curry to be so tantalizing. It’s mild heat-wise (just the way I like it) with hints of lemongrass that paired perfectly with the creamy coconut and the nutty flavors of the sauce. To me, this curry is a pot-licker, which was confirmed when there were no leftovers!

When I like something, look out, I'm sharing with everyone. And my son knows that, so he made me my own personal supply. I took it with me on a recent visit to see my grandkids in Georgia and it was a hit. I sent some to my sister in Maine and she asked..."can Mike make me a 5-gallon bucket of this stuff?" I often try out new dishes on my coloring party ladies and they get all excited to see what new dish comes from our great Savory Spice Test Kitchen. Needless to say, the Panang was a big hit there too.

I’ve really enjoyed my many years working with my son at Savory and am quite proud of the company Janet and he have built. And to boot, I now consider myself a bit of a curry expert. With that in mind, I highly recommend you get yourself a few packages of our new Spice ‘n Easy Lemongrass Panang Curry. Believe me, it’s so easy to make and your family will love you for it!



Do you have a favorite Spice 'n Easy or is there something you'd love to see us make into a simple meal solution? Let us know in the comments below! 

Comments on this Article

(guest), on September 09, 2018

Loved your article. Definitely makes me want to try the Panang curry!
Do you have some recipes to go with it?

(guest), on September 09, 2018

sounds "yummy" but then do you ever do anything not yummy?????

(guest), on September 09, 2018

I enjoyed the article and I'll be purchasing the Lemongrass Penang curry spice. I'm still attempting to master a traditional pot roast with a tasty gravy. Perhaps you have a spice mix for both the pot roast and gravy? I'm in Boulder so it's convenient to pick it up at your shop.

Thank you,

Lisa Miller

(guest), on September 09, 2018

Panang Curry is my absolute favorite too. I love the sweet spicy deep flavors without being too spicy. I can’t wait to try this. If I can make Panang at home I will be so happy!! Thank you!!!

JulieAnn (registered user) on September 09, 2018

I loved the article and the personal touch of having Mike's mom Mary be a guest writer! This carries on the tradition of family and local businesses - nicely done!

(guest), on September 09, 2018

Mary, Great story! You deserve homemade meals from your sons as you were the best cook I knew back in my youth! I remember walking into the apartment on Pershing smelling your fathers wonderful meals. I also have my homemade cook book I started from your meals while at your house! I am also intimidated by Curry meals and can’t wait to try this curry blend. 6 of us ladies are making a trip to Northside Shop and my list is ready. I’m so blessed that my boys are Kolaras this why I used their name. I’m still so proud!! This is a wonderful passion to share, spices and cooking! God Bless you ALL!

(guest), on September 09, 2018

Mary, what a wonderful sharing of anew learning experience?? Due to my many allergies known and unknown! I have never experienced any curry. I think what Janet & Mike have created is not only wonderful for the Johnston family but ALL the families they (you)have with your fine products. A dear friend in Ca. Who knew your dI l, Lisa (my niece) often speaks she & her daughters’ visits to their local SavorySpice shop?? I’m already on the mailing list. Is going to look for spices to replace salt because not allowed on my heart diet! Great article, stay well??

Jewels (registered user) on September 09, 2018

Thank you, I am excited to try this! Did I miss the recipe? I searched but was unable to find a related recipe & am very new at trying out thai recipes.

mikejohnston (registered user) on September 09, 2018

Isn't my mom the best!! For those of you wondering about the recipe, all of our Spice 'n Easy products are recipe specific. Meaning, the spice inside the package is the exact amount you need to make the recipe that is included on the back side of the packaging along with a photo of the finished dish.

mikejohnston (registered user) on September 09, 2018

Lisa Miller- Try our Sunday Pot Roast Spice 'n Easy...it is awesome! Here's the link to it: https://www.savoryspiceshop.com/crock-pot-roast

(guest), on September 09, 2018

That sounds delicious. I can't wait to try it. Thomas loves curry.

(guest), on September 10, 2018

Oh My Happy & Contented Buddha Belly! I made this with shrimp ;-P

(guest), on September 11, 2018

Loved the article and the endorsement by Ike's mom. All that's missing is the recipe. My mouth is ready!

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