Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe by Chef Andrea Nguyen

The main ingredients in Vietnamese chicken curry are chicken, lemongrass, and sweet potatoes. In this dish, they combine to create pure magic when cooked in coconut milk and served with chopped cilantro on top.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe by Chef Andrea Nguyen

Vietnamese chicken curry, or cà ri gà in Vietnamese language, is made with a fragrant paste made of plenty of lemongrass and ginger and curry powder. Cayenne and black pepper add spiciness. You can more easily fine-tune things to your preferences by adding extra spices and aromatics.

Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 40 min Total Time 55 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4



  1. Make curry paste

    Lemongrass should be processed in a food processor for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. To finely chop the ginger, add it and pulse. To chop the onion, add it and pulse once more.

    When you have a fragrant yellow paste, add the curry powder, black pepper, and cayenne (if using), and blend for about 30 seconds.

  2. Prepare coconut milk

    Don't shake the coconut milk can when preparing it. Open the can and scoop out 1/3 cup of the coconut milk's thick cream. Set both aside after stirring the lighter milk that is left.

  3. Start cooking curry

    Melt the coconut oil in a 3- to 4-quart pot over medium-high heat to start preparing the curry. Add the lemongrass paste and cook, stirring regularly, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until aromatic and no longer raw or pungent-smelling. If necessary, reduce the heat to prevent burning.

    Stirring often, add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for one minute to mix the flavors. Cover the chicken with a little water and coconut milk. Bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

  4. Add sweet potatoes

    Uncover the saucepan, add the sweet potatoes, and bring the curry back to a simmer after doing so. Cook them uncovered for an additional 10 to 12 minutes till the potatoes are tender. Remember to stir it occasionally

  5. Complete the curry

    Complete the curry by turning off the heat, incorporating the coconut cream into the sauce, and allowing it to sit, uncovered, on the waning heat of the stove for 10 minutes. If the flavors are too intense, add a little water after tasting and seasoning with salt (one additional teaspoon may be needed if using unsalted curry powder).

    Serve right away with cilantro as a garnish


  • Use boneless chicken thighs: While traditional Vietnamese curries call for bone-in chicken, I chose to use boneless, skinless thighs for this dish to cut down on cooking time. You can omit the skin and use bone-in thighs, but simmering time will increase. (To check for doneness, stab the tip of a knife into the largest thigh; look for fluids running clear.)
  • Add coconut milk last: The addition of thick, creamy coconut cream at the end of the curry revives the flavors. To get it, simply open a can of coconut milk, let it sit for a few days (or chill it for a few hours), and then scoop off the creamier portion. The remaining milk is the lighter, thinner type.
  • Keep an eye on your sweet potatoes: Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes can also be used, although white sweet potatoes are recommended for this recipe. (At the supermarket, break off a small portion of the end to check the flesh color if you're unsure about the sort of sweet potato.) If you use orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, keep a tight eye on the saucepan because they cook more quickly than white-fleshed ones and can easily become mushy.
    Regular potatoes can also be used as an alternative for a more flavorful curry; just make sure to pick a kind that can be boiled or roasted, such red, white, or Yukon gold.
Keywords: vietnamese chicken curry ca ri ga

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