A recipe for Cà Ri Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)! This rich, comforting meal pairs chicken, potatoes, and carrots with a mild curry flavor.
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This Cà Ri Gà (Vietnamese Curry) is such a wonderfully comforting dish! Marinated chicken, potatoes, carrots, and onions are served in a thin, fragrant broth perfect for dipping with baguette slices.
The broth is packed with curry powder, chicken stock, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, and finally coconut milk to finish and add to the rich taste. The flavors are still amazing the second day as leftovers.
I paired the Cà Ri Gà with a freshly baked Vietnamese-style baguette. You can find them at Vietnamese bakeries or even make your own! I used a recipe for Vietnamese Baguettes from Served from Scratch. If you do not have the bread available, you can serve the curry with your favorite slices of bread or rice.
A Few Tips
Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours and up to overnight before cooking. Bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking. I used boneless chicken thighs. Use any cut desired- bone-in or boneless, but keep in mind that chicken breasts can toughen more easily with longer simmering times.
I fried the potatoes and carrots briefly before adding to the rest of the ingredients. This step is optional, but will help keep the vegetables from falling apart as they simmer. If you do not fry the vegetables first, they will require longer simmering at the end to cook until tender.
Add the curry powder to the oil and cook just until fragrant before pouring in the liquid. Take care not to burn the spices. I used two tablespoons of the curry powder. Adjust more or less based on personal taste.
I used Vietnamese Madras Curry Powder (Cà Ri Nị Ấn Độ) as the base for this Cà Ri Gà. For those in the Los Angeles area, I was able to find a variety of brands at Westminster Superstore in Westminster, California. I haven’t personally tried it yet, but Ginger and Scotch has a recipe for Homemade Vietnamese Curry Powder.
Fish sauce is a condiment created by slowly fermenting fish (generally anchovies) in a salt water mixture, then pressing to produce a thin liquid. It has quite the strong smell, but provides a savory flavor. Brands from different countries will vary a bit in taste and quality. It can be found in some larger grocery stores and markets with Southeast Asian ingredients.
Lemongrass is a tall perennial herb native to Southeast Asia. It has a light citrus flavor. I have been able to find it in the vegetable section of larger grocery stores and Southeast Asian markets. Cut away the fibrous parts of the stalk, the top third if not already trimmed, and the woody root before using. I usually freeze extra lemongrass in about 2 inch pieces for future use.
Kaffir lime leaves are dark green hourglass-shaped leaves that look like two leaves attached together (double leaves) and add a fresh, citrus flavor. They can be found in markets with South/Southeast Asian ingredients either fresh or frozen (I always freeze the extras when buying fresh). If the leaves are unavailable, simply omit.
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Cà Ri Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Curry) Recipe
Adapted from An: To Eat
Cà Ri Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
- 2 pounds (1 kilogram) boneless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch (5 centimeter) pieces
- 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cà Ri Gà:
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) vegetable oil plus more for optionally deep-frying
- 2 Yukon potatoes cut into 2 inch (5 centimeter) pieces
- 3 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch (5 centimeter) pieces
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 inches (5 centimeter) fresh ginger thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons Vietnamese Madras curry powder
- 3 cups (700 milliliters) chicken stock divided
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) water divided
- 2 stalks lemongrass cut in half and bruised with the side of a knife
- 2 Kaffir lime leaves
- 1 can (13.5 ounces, 400 milliliters) unsweetened coconut milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fish sauce to taste
- Lime slices
To prepare the chicken:
- Place the chicken in a large bowl. Add the fish sauce, sugar, and salt. Toss to thoroughly coat, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Bring the chicken to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking.
To prepare the Cà Ri Gà:
- In a large wok, pour in enough vegetable oil to reach 3 inches (7.5 centimeters) high and place over medium heat.
- Once thoroughly heated, gently add the potatoes and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden on the edges, but not completely tender.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes and carrots from the wok and set aside in a large bowl.
- Discard all but 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the oil.
- Pan-fry the marinated chicken in batches in the hot wok, adding more oil as needed. Cook on each side until golden, but not completely cooked through. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining chicken.
- Pour in a little more oil if needed and when hot, add the sliced onion. Cook until softened and starting to turn golden.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Mix in the curry powde and fry just until fragrant.
- While stirring, pour in 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) of the chicken stock and 1 cup (237 milliliters) of the water. Add the browned chicken, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, and a pinch of salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the remaining 1 1/2 cups (355 milliliters) of the chicken stock and 1 cup (237 milliliters) of the water. Add the fried potatoes and carrots and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. If the vegetables were not fried first, the cooking time will be longer.
- Stir in the coconut milk. Once the liquid starts to bubble, remove from heat. Adjust to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and fish sauce. Discard the lemongrass and lime leaves.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges and slices of Vietnamese baguettes.