Friday, May 28, 2010

Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)

Almost every country in Asia has it's own version of chicken curry (or curries) and Vietnam is no exception. Vietnamese curry is relatively mild (and unknown) compared to it's Indian, Thai or Malaysian counterparts but extremely fragrant and full of flavours no less. I first cooked this curry a decade ago using a recipe from 'Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table' and fell in love with it right away. Now I am able to cook this dish with my eyes shut, well....... almost. I recently tried goat curry served with baguette at a Vietnamese eating place and I think that too might be appearing on our table soon. 
P.S Try using a selection of different sweet potatoes in the dish to add even more colour and texture to this beautiful dish.

serves 4 to 6 as part of a Vietnamese meal
you'll need;
1 x 1.25 kg free range chicken*
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 onion, cut into wedges
5 tbs of Vietnamese curry powder
3 tbs of roasted chili flakes
3 shallots, chopped 
4 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 lemongrass, cut into 3" lengths and bruised with a hard object
2" piece of ginger, sliced thickly
3 kaffir lime leaves or bay leaves
1.5 cups of chicken stock
800 ml of coconut milk
3 tbs of sugar
4 tbs of fish sauce
salt to taste
spring onion, coriander leaves and Thai basil to serve
* Use chicken thighs if you are not comfortable chopping up a whole chicken.

Mix chicken pieces with 3 tbs of the curry powder and a pinch of salt. Leave it for 20 minutes.

Have all the ingredients ready.

Saute chopped garlic, shallot, curry powder and chili flakes for 30 seconds then add in the chicken pieces. Continue to stir and cook for a few minutes on high heat.

Add lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, sugar, seasonings and stock. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.

Next in go the coconut milk and bring it back to a simmer for 15 minutes.

Add sweet potato and onion wedges and simmer uncovered til sweet potato pieces are tender. Check for seasonings.

Serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice or some French baguette.

Remember to check my equally delicious Vietnamese goat curry.

This has been submitted to Delicious Vietnam,  an event co-hosted by Anh of A Food Lover's Journey and Hong and Kim of Ravenous Couple. Hong and Kim are hosting the June event.


  1. This looks amazing. I love the idea of using sweet potatos with the curry. I have never tried a Vietnamese curry- we often cook a similar version of an Indian curry.
    Great photos- As always-

  2. Spicy! I need this art of cooking on a sunny day like today in Tokyo :)

  3. that looks so starving..i need my late night snack right NOW!!

  4. sweet potatoes are also a favorite of ours in this curry dish...this looks fantastic!

  5. Harriet from CarltonMay 28, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    I have never tried Vietnamese curry before so I am very curious. Your dish looks fabulous as always! Have a great weekend!

  6. Well I have never heard of Vietnamese curry but it sure looks marvelous! Thank you for yet another wonderful recipe!

  7. Thank you for joining this event!

    PS: The sweet potatoes in curry WORK, right? My Singaporean parents in law are very skeptical about sweet potatoes in curry, they think it's weird. I say it WORKS and is delicious~! :D

  8. Lady Ren,
    It works really well in this curry, I hope you will try it soon!

    the lacquer spoon ,
    Ok this is simple to do but would you rather not doing something outdoor? :)

    mr. pineapple man ,
    This is perfect as a late night meal!

    Ravenous Couple,
    Thank you very much! Someone was actually eating all the sweet potatoes ;)

    Thank you! Get the ingredients and cook it this weekend!

    Thank you! I hope you will try this delicious dish too!

    Anh ,
    Thank you! I am glad Kim and Hong told me about the event.

    I think the sweet potatoes are fantastic, we actually have more chicken left at the end. I think Singaporeans are used to having potatoes in their curries.

  9. It is always a joy visiting your blog. Another dish that is new to me, I will see Vietnamese quite differently after your Vietnamese week. Thank you.

  10. This sounds so delicious...I love any curry with coconut milk.

  11. I love the idea of having this delicious looking curry with baguette. Where can I get Vietnamese curry powder?

  12. mouth watery recipe ...wonderful post dear.

  13. You have done a very good job with the curry. I hope one day my daughter will be able to cook Vietnamese dishes too.

  14. Sweet potatoes!! I have never had them with curry..really have to look out for some sweet potatoes here.

  15. I love curries but have not tried Vietnamese curry before! Looks so creamy and delicious!

  16. i can always learn something from here. Didn't realize there is such thing as Vietnamese curry, certainly one dish I need to try .Looks very delicious indeed!

  17. CW,
    Thank you very much! It is a much more exciting cuisine than what are on offer in the restaurants here.

    Thank you! Remember to get some Vietnamese curry powder next!

    Tricia ,
    It is very nice. We do that in Malaysia with white bread :) You can get it from any Asian grocer.

    Thank you very much!

    Oh thank you! You must make sure she learn all the family recipes!

    Thank you very much! Do try it!

    pigpigscorner ,
    Thank you! Try it and you'll be a convert :)

    KL girl in MELB ,
    They do serve this at most Vietnamese restaurants, you must have gone straight to the spring rolls lol
    Thank you!

  18. Thats a droolworthy and stunning chicken curry..

  19. That looks nice. It literally made me hungry. It kinda looks like a Filo dish Kare-Kare (just from the pic of the finished product) It's a totally different dish though.

  20. Awww another yummy dish from you!

  21. Sweet potatoes, lemongrass - this mellow curry welcomes.

  22. salam tummy..makcik biasa je bubuh sweet potatoes in curry..sedap tau..thanks for sharing..tiap2 kali terjah rumah tummy mesti berbau harum dgn masakan yg enak..beruntung keluarga mempunyai tummy..

  23. Wow this looks amazing. Good to know it is quite mild too!

  24. Vietnamese curry, sounds interesting!


  25. The chicken curry in coconut milk looks awesome. Just what I need to recover from being sick almost a whole week. Happy weekend!

  26. You make the most beautiful food! A dish has to look really nice before I'll touch it and I've never seen anything here that I wouldn't love to eat. Your curry is no exception. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  27. Have never tried Vietnamese curry before. Yours look great, would be yummy with baguette.

  28. Un pollo al curry delicioso.

  29. Mmm...this reminds me there is a store at the food court selling authentic Vietnamese food. Really good!

  30. my mom suka bubuh keledek dalam kari sangat sedap sebab keledek rasanya manis.hmm kene cuba ni sebab dah lama tak masak kari yang begini...

  31. oh wow love your curries thanks for the kind wishes on my hol

  32. Oh man! This looks good. Love curry and your dish just really pops!

  33. Next time I will use sweet potatoes too!

  34. Priya ,
    Thank you very much!

    Thank you now I have to seach for a good kari kari recipe!

    little panda ,
    Thank you!

    Thank you very much!

    A very welcoming curry indeed :)

    Terima kasih makcik...sweet potato di kari memang enak sekali ;)

    Thank you very much!

    And very delicious!

    Cool Lassi(e),
    Oh I hope you are getting better! :)

    Mary ,
    Thank you very much..Yu have just put a big smile on my face!

    Thank you! It taste almost like Chinese Malaysian curry served with white bread :)

    Amanda ,
    Gracious! :)

    Oh there are so many new things in the food court that were not there when I was living in Singapore.

    Memang benar makcik. Keledek tu manis sekali, jadi kari pun jadi kurang pedas. MAkcik dah sembuh ke?

    Thank you very much!

    Velva ,
    Thank you very much! :)

    penny aka jeroxie,
    Do try it is awsome! :)

  35. It looks very inviting and comforting! You always have great recipes and I so enjoy your blog!

  36. This looks delicious! I like the huge chunks of lemongrass and whole kaffir lime leaves you used to make this curry dish.

  37. Brandon just made this for dinner, it was very tasty!

  38. beautiful! I made vietnamese curry tonight too!

  39. Thank you for posting this! My dad used to make it this way...sweet potatoes and all. Now I can recreate it in his memory. Thank you.

  40. Do vietnamese cook curry using fresh milk instead of coconut milk?

  41. I tried this and it was soooo good. thanks.

  42. This was one of the best Vietnamese curries I have ever eaten at home. WOW!!

  43. What are the red things shown on the plate with ingredients, and then atop the final dish? I can't seem to figure out what it is in the ingredient list. Thanks!

  44. This recipe is as similar as which i eat in an Indian
    in Calgary, my experience is awesome, Thanks for giving such a wonderful knowledge
    about it, now i am going to cook at home with the help of your blog. Thank you..

  45. Wow this recipie is amazing and no one would never miss to add pepper masala to the preparation

    Raw Honey Online, Black Pepper Online, Buy cardamom online


Please leave a note. I love to know what you think!

press me

3 hungry tummies

My photo
melbourne, victoria, Australia