Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Ca Ri Ga)

The very first time I made curry, I dried out all the water. What was left were clumps of brunt chicken and potatoes at the bottom of the pot. I scraped the pot, plopped the disaster onto a plate and had it for dinner. There was no way I was going to waste the many hours spent in the kitchen. Thank goodness I got better over time.

There’s no satisfaction if there is no fail, and I failed pretty badly.

 Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe (Ca Ri Ga)



  • 2 lbs of bone-in chicken thighs; cut into small pieces (I like to include the skin but you can remove the skin if preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon MSG (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 large shallot; minced
  1. Thoroughly rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Add the above ingredients together in a large bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Add the chicken and toss until evenly coated with the mixture.


  • 1 lb of potatoes; cut into small sizes if necessary
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of minced lemon grass
  • 4 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 large shallot; minced
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 large white onion; thinly sliced
  • 19 oz can of coconut milk
  • 19 oz water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 small red bell pepper; julienned
  • 10-15 lemon leaves; julienned


  1. Generously coat a small skillet with vegetable oil and heat on medium high.
  2. Add the potatoes
  3. Sear the potatoes until all sides are a light golden brown. The potatoes don’t have to be cooked all the way through.
  4. Set the potatoes aside.
  5. In a medium size pot, generously coat the bottom of the pot with vegetable oil and heat on medium high.
  6. Add lemon grass, garlic, shallot, curry powder and 1/3 of the white onion.
  7. Saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. You want to sweat out the ingredients; not fry them. If the pot is too hot and burning too quickly, lower the heat. If the pot is too dry, add more vegetable oil.
  8. Add the marinated chicken and toss the chicken in the mixture until evenly coated.
  9. Very important: Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 30 minutes. The covered pot will collect the water for the curry.
  10. After 30  minutes, remove the lid and add the coconut milk and water. Measure the water by using the empty can of coconut milk.
  11. Add salt and sugar.
  12. Cover the pot but leave a small opening. If you forget the small opening, the coconut milk will boil over. Cook for 30 minutes.
  13. After 30 minutes, add the potatoes and again cover the pot, leaving a small opening. Cook for another 30 minutes.
  14. After 30 minutes, add the red bell pepper and the rest of the white onion.
  15. Cook for another 5 minutes without lid.
  16. When ready to serve, top it with a few sprinkles of julienned lemon leaves.
 Chicken Curry, modeled by 2-year-old Allyson Le

Chicken Curry, modeled by 2-year-old Allyson Le