Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Cà Ri Gà)

Vietnamese chicken curry (cà ri gà) is a hot bowl of comfort packed with FLAVOR. Although there is some wait time involved with the marinade to season the chicken, and frying the potato and carrot so they hold their shape, this curry recipe is hard to mess up.

This is, yet another recipe, that I have been lucky enough to grow up eating as a child. I’d love dipping the curry with freshly toasted baguette, and sometimes finishing off the last bits by adding rice instead too.

A bowl of Vietnamese chicken curry, with onion and potatoes

Whether its lemongrass and chile heavy Thai, aromatic and thick Indian, or the homogenous gravy-like Japanese curry, you can be sure that curry is going to punch you in the mouth with flavor, and have an aroma that envelops the whole room.

This post comes after a long hiatus–about 14 months after getting my first “real” (non-self-employed) job, so Hungry Huy has been a bit neglected, but I’M BACK.

I started to cook at home a lot less, which meant eating out more. It’s quite a bit more expensive to eat out and usually not as healthy (fun though!), but I’ve decided to reel it in a bit and start cooking more often.

Big ol' pot of Vietnamese chicken curry

Cuts of chicken to use

You can use any cut of chicken you like for this Vietnamese curry recipe, however getting one with bones gives the chicken some size or bulk so it isn’t bullied around by the potatoes and carrots. Use wings, thighs, drumsticks, or even whole or half chickens. Just use a cleaver to split large pieces into about 3″ ones so they are uniform and finish cooking at the same time.

Using a cut of chicken here with skin will taste better and add fat so you can brown these in the pan without using any additional oil.

The curry powder

For this recipe, I use the D&D Gold Product “madras curry powder” found in Vietnamese grocery stores. This is what my mom uses in her curry. It’s the one with the three bells logo, although there are some competitors that look very similar with that logo too.

If you can’t find this specific brand, you can go with other Vietnamese alternatives, or even other Indian brands if you truly can’t source this. In fact the label on the recommended brand says in Vietnamese “Indian curry”. If you’re trying to find something similar you can try to match the ingredients for a similar flavor profile.

Remember, ingredients appear in the order of weight in the package, so the order is important if you’re trying to find an equivalent curry powder. D&D Gold Product has these ingredients: Curry, Tumeric, Chili, Coriander, Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay Leaves, Allspice and Salt.

Carrots and potatoes

fried carrots and potatoes for Vietnamese curry

We’ll be deep frying the potatoes and the carrots, so that they form a skin on the outside and don’t disintegrate into the curry during cooking over stirring the pot. Deep frying them also par-cooks it so they don’t need to stew as long in the broth.

Lemongrass

chicken and lemongrass closeup

Lemongrass is super tough and woody, and it’s fairly cheap to buy in bunches. Just cut these down to keep in the freezer bags. They store quite well.

The vibrant yellow color from this curry is enhanced with coconut milk! Don’t add this until the end though, to keep the color from getting all murky. If you can’t hang with, or are allergic to coconut, some people like to sub in half & half or milk for this. It obviously tastes a little bit different, but for the Vietnamese flare, stick with coconut.

Vietnamese curry with a mini loaf of bread

How to serve Vietnamese curry

This curry goes well with a fresh loaf of bread. Those french style baguettes you find at Vietnamese bakeries are perfect for this–kind of airy but still crusty. If you don’t happen to be around any Vietnamese baguette shops, any crusty baguette will do.

I love eating this with rice too (also see: how to cook rice in a rice cooker), although if I rarely find Vietnamese restaurants serving it that way. It’s more of a Japanese or Thai practice in that sense.

Vietnamese curry with chicken, baguette on the side

Do Vietnamese eat curry?

While curry originated from South Asia, curry has made its way to a lot of Southeast Asian cuisine. In Vietnamese culture, curry is made with variants of coconut milk, chicken and served with a baguette that marks the historical influence of French cuisine in Vietnam.

Is Vietnamese curry spicy?

You can adjust the spiciness level of Vietnamese curry by adding more or less of the curry powder.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry Pinterest Image

Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Cà Ri Gà)

Easy Vietnamese comfort food with marinated chicken, carrots, potatoes, and a ton of flavor from curry powder and lemongrass. Perfect to make large batches of and served with fresh, toasty baguette or rice!
4.86 from 21 votes
Print Pin
Author: Hungry Huy
Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 4
Calories / serving: 498kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (907.2 g) chicken any cut, chopped into large 2-3" pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb (680.4 g) potatoes
  • 1/2 lb (226.8 g) carrots
  • 1 medium-sized onion finely chopped
  • 4 gloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass cut into 5" pieces then split lengthwise, smashed to expose more leaves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • oil for frying
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 cups water

Marinade

Optional flavor accents

  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 1/4 tsp sambal / vinegary chile paste

Instructions

  • Cut chicken into large 2-3" chunks if using large pieces.
  • Add salt, onion powder & curry powder to chicken. Marinate for 2-4 hours.
  • Cut onions, potatoes and carrots into 2" chunks.
  • Deep fry potatoes and carrots until lightly browned so they hold their shape.
  • After marinating, brown chicken on all sides in small batches in a pot, skin side down first. Add oil if you're using skinless.
  • Remove chicken, drain fat and clean off any burned residue in the pot.
  • Add some oil to the pot on low heat and sweat onion until soft, then add garlic until lightly brown.
  • Return chicken to the pot with lemongrass, bay leaves, and sugar.
  • Add 50% water and 50% chicken broth to the pot until all ingredients are fully submerged.
  • Put the flame on high until boiling, reduce to medium-high heat to maintain a low boil.
  • After 5 minutes of low boil, taste the broth and adjust with salt, sugar, and curry powder to taste if needed.
  • Add potatoes and carrots, and more water and chicken broth to cover (50/50 ratio).
  • Return the flame to high heat until it hits a boil, then reduce to a low simmer until the chicken is fully cooked, and the potatoes and carrots reach desired doneness.
  • Add coconut milk, stir and raise the heat to high until it hits a boil, then turn off the heat.
  • Serve with bread, accent with a squeeze of lemon and sambal for heat.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Serving: 0g | Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 1733mg | Potassium: 1425mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 9654IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: chicken curry, Vietnamese curry
I'd love to see what you cook up!Mention @HungryHuy or tag #hungryhuy to notify me

Like this recipe? Subscribe to my newsletter!

57 thoughts on “Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Cà Ri Gà)

  1. Janice says:

    Yay, you’re back!!!!! It’s great to know that you have not disappeared from your blog altogether and I have hopes of some fun new recipes from you!
    Have fun cooking again, Guten Appetit, as we say here in Germany, and please keep your fans in mind!

    1. Huy says:

      Yup, I’m back. More recipes to come, for sure, so I hope to see you around!

      1. Tina says:

        Yeah. Thank you. Love your chicken recipe, it looks good in pictures I will follow yours today

  2. Kira says:

    5 stars
    Wondering why I haven’t found your website earlier.. Thank you for the great work and keep it up! (fyi, I’m digging up all the recipes now)

    1. Huy says:

      I’m wondering the same as well… :). Glad you’re enjoying it!

  3. Lan | morestomach says:

    i wondered where you had gone off to.
    my fave viet restaurant in the city only serves this with rice, i had completely forgotten that this can be served with bread. either way, it’s one of my fave home-y viet dishes, one that i don’t make often enough.

    1. Huy says:

      Yup, I’m back though! Which city is that?

      Yeah this goes great with rice–baguette is more rare of a treat around here :).

  4. Jade says:

    Made this today! It was delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipes, please continue doing what you do 🙂 FIVE STARS since the button below didn’t work

    1. Huy says:

      Jade, awesome and thanks so much for sharing! To many more bubbling cauldrons of curry!

  5. Samantha says:

    5 stars
    thanks so much for your recipes!! So far I’ve made egg rolls, Vietnamese grilled pork, and am currently making the carmelized chicken. The pictures make me drool!

    1. Huy says:

      Right on Samantha, lots more recipes here for you to try and lots more on the way. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Sean says:

    5 stars
    Just cooked this for my wife, absolutely gorggggeous – I am going to check out some of your other recipes. 5 Stars all the way 🙂

    1. Huy says:

      Glad you liked it and thanks for sharing Sean! 🙂

  7. Van Le says:

    4 stars
    VN baguette is 100% Yay! No fish sauce… really?

  8. Dena says:

    5 stars
    Hi,

    What brand curry powder do you use?

    Thanks,
    Dena

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      I use D&D Gold Product brand from the Vietnamese market!

  9. Liam Russell says:

    5 stars
    I don’t like Vietnamese Curry too be like soup. How much Chicken broth and coconut water should I use?

  10. Jen says:

    I cook something similar at home and have stocked up on a ridiculous amount of Vietnamese curry powder on this trip and the last !!

  11. Connie says:

    5 stars
    Hi, this recipe looks exactly like what I get from my local restaurant. Can you please speak a bit about the type of curry powder you use, as I find Vietnamese curry tastes quite different from Indian curry. Thanks!

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Connie! It’s the D&D brand, which has three golden bells as the logo. Interestingly enough, the description in Vietnamese says it’s Indian curry powder.

  12. Amy says:

    Hi, I wanted to make this dish and was wondering if you can tell me the brand/ type of curry powder you use for this dish. There are so many kinds and I have tried several and have not yet found one I liked as much as the restaurant dishes. Thanks.

  13. Jesse Stevens says:

    3 stars
    Vietnamese curry with no fish sauce?

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Jesse! Yep some like to add fish sauce, but there’s none in this recipe because it leaves a sour taste in the potatoes.

  14. Papa Yankee says:

    5 stars
    Hi Huy,
    Item 3 of the instructions. Should it be potatoes instead of onion? My husband does not like coconut milk. I’ll try half and half.

  15. Paula says:

    5 stars
    How could I do a vegetarian version of this?

  16. Layla says:

    5 stars
    Hi, Thanks for posting this favorite dish. Btw, what do you mean by “After marinating, brown chicken on all sides in small batches in a pot, skin side down first.” Do you mean brown as in frying the chicken? Thanks!

    1. Huy says:

      Hey Layla, yup! Brown as in just the chicken and some oil in a pot over high heat.

  17. Dar says:

    My German family loves this!!! Now it’s part of our family recipe! Thanks for sharing your recipe!!!

  18. Kashif Ansari says:

    Wow! What a cool recipe. All the better for a tasty chicken treat with the spicy tangy flavor to go with it. Cooking is such a delight and gastronomy is just a gigantic form of astronomy.

  19. Cher says:

    5 stars
    This is a family favourite, our go-to recipe! Try cooking it in the crockpot all day, and add a package of ‘Asian Home Gourmet’ Vietnamese chicken curry paste. The best.

  20. Candice says:

    Hi, Your post mentions deep frying the potatoes and carrots, but Step 3 of the recipe says to deep fry the onions and carrots. Which is correct?

    1. Huy says:

      Thanks for pointing that out Candice! I updated the recipe: fry the potatoes and carrots so they hold their shape better.

  21. Trinh says:

    Your website makes me so nostalgic of my mom’s own home Vietnamese cooking! Thanks for the recipe – will definitely try this!

  22. Justin says:

    5 stars
    I had never attempted to make curry before, but this recipe made it sound doable — and it was! The curry turned out delicious and the chicken moist and packed with flavor. I love the bright notes of lemongrass with the earthy root vegetables. Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. Rachel says:

    Can you use boxed chicken broth?

    1. Huy says:

      Yes, of course!

  24. Tina G says:

    5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight- my husband is a picky eater, so after cooking everything, I removed the bay leaves, lemongrass and chicken from the broth. I deboned the chicken and tossed it back in. Then added in the coconut milk. The taste of this was AMAZING!!! It had so much flavor! I have never cooked with lemongrass before; it adds so much to the flavor of the broth. I look forward to trying more of your recipes. Thank you for posting the most delicious meal!!

    1. Huy says:

      Ya know some days, I wish someone would ‘clean up’ food for me like that too haha. Thanks so much for sharing and I’m glad you liked the recipe Tina!

  25. judy schuman says:

    This looks wonderful. Put me on your list for more recipes!

    1. Huy says:

      I have a form for a mailing list you can sign up for on the sidebar of the site! Thanks Judy.

  26. sally says:

    I have made this and it is delicious. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Huy says:

      Glad you liked it Sally, thank you for sharing!

  27. Ro says:

    Absolutely incredible and tasted exactly like the restaurants version I love! This was super easy to make and absolutely delicious! The Vietnamese curry is my favorite of them all!

    1. Huy Vu says:

      So cool–glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe Ro! 🙂 Maybe I’m biased, but eat Viet curry more than any others too

  28. Julie Lam says:

    My asian store doesn’t have lemongrass. Can I use anything else?

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      There’s not realllly a replacement for this, you could just omit it Julie.

  29. Viet says:

    chicken curry also goes down well with noodle :), but not with steamed rice + lemon salt as a dipping sauce for the meat (lightly dip). if one doesn’t have coconut milk, he could use regular milk instead. or if one likes sweet potatoe, then replace potatoe with sweet potatoe.
    the trick is cut them into small enough chunks, so they can be cooked well. I think chicken meat would marinade well with fish sauce.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Thanks for the tips Viet!

  30. Caitlin Duong says:

    Do you have the recipe before this was updated by chance?

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Hey Caitlin, I haven’t changed the recipe for this, only updated some body copy recently 🙂

      1. Caitlin says:

        The original one never said anything about deep frying the potatoes or marinating the chicken😕

  31. Molly says:

    5 stars
    Welcome back! We were craving ca ri, so this recipe came in the nick of time.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Thanks Molly! Glad you liked it 🙂

  32. Diem says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I toasted some curry in oil and poured it on top at the end. Delicious. Thanks, I plan on trying more of your recipes.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Oh great tip, thanks Diem!

  33. Dan Callahan says:

    5 stars
    I really want to do this recipe exactly but I cannot find the 3 Bells D&D brand. I followed your link to Amazon and bought a 3 bottle pack for $45 yet they sent me a different brand. Reading through the comments it appears that the company was bought and the new company’s Curry powder is much spicier. Thought you might like to know.

    1. Hungry Huy says:

      Yikes that’s not cheap, and being sent a different brand is not cool… Thanks for letting us know Dan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating