Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Cà Ri Gà)

A bowl of Vietnamese chicken curry, with onion and potatoes

I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve last shared a recipe here, but I haven’t stopped eating–here’s Instagram proof!. About 14 months ago I got my first non-self-employed job, so Hungry Huy has been a bit neglected.

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

This week, I wanted to share with you a recipe for Vietnamese chicken curry, or cà ri gà. Although there is some waiting involved with the marinade and extra care taken with the root vegetables, this curry recipe is fairly easy to make. This is, yet another recipe, that I have been lucky enough to grow up eating as a child.

The word “curry” makes me think FLAVOR. Whether its Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Japanese (<— this one’s insane–it’s almost like gravy), I can be sure that curry is going to taste pretty intense, and have a great aroma.

fried carrots and potatoes for Vietnamese curry

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.

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.

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

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 enjoy eating this with rice too, but I don’t think you’ll find any restaurants serving it that way!

Vietnamese curry with chicken, baguette on the side

2/8/2015 update: I wasn’t happy with the photos for this recipe so updated them. Same recipe though!

Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Cà Ri Gà)

4.79 from 14 votes
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Author: Hungry Huy
Prep: 2 hrs
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 3 hrs


  • 2 lb chicken any cut, chopped into large 2-3" pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb potatoes
  • 1/2 lb 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


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp curry powder

Optional flavor accents

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


  • 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.


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

  1. 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!

  2. 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)

  3. 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. 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. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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 🙂

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

  8. 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. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

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

  16. 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!

  17. 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. 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!

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