Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to take you on a culinary journey to the land of the rising sun – Vietnam. Today, I am excited to share with all of you my recipe for the ultimate comfort food: Vietnamese chicken curry.
This dish is the epitome of Vietnamese cooking, bringing together a harmonious combination of spices, sweetness, and tanginess that will blow your taste buds away. The aroma alone is enough to make your mouth water, as it fills your kitchen with the rich scent of lemongrass and coconut milk.
Is it Vietnamese curry? Curry soup? Chicken curry? Yes, it is all of those things and more. This dish is known by many names: cà ri gà, ri ga, ca ri ga, Vietnamese chicken curry or simply ga vietnamese. Its origins date back to the French colonial period in Vietnam when French soldiers brought curry powder into the country, which fused with traditional Vietnamese spices like lemongrass and transformed into what we now know as Vietnamese chicken curry.
You may have tried other curries before like Thai or Indian curries, but let me tell you – this is not like any other curry you’ve tasted. Its unique blend of spices and aromatics makes it stand out from the rest. The bold flavors combined with tender chicken and hearty vegetables makes for a warming and satisfying meal that’s perfect for any occasion or season.
So, let’s get started on this adventure together! Follow my lead as I guide you through every step of this authentic Vietnamese chicken curry recipe that has been passed down through generations in my family. Get ready to explore traditional Vietnamese cuisine with your taste buds!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Do you crave for dishes that are comforting, satisfying and bursting with flavor? Look no further because this Vietnamese Chicken Curry recipe is here to tick all your culinary boxes.
What makes this dish stand out is its unique blend of aromatic spices and ingredients that infuse into tender chicken pieces, delighting your taste buds with each bite. The lemongrass, garlic cloves, mild curry powder, and bay leaves contribute their own unique flavors to elevate the dish to new heights.
The use of coconut milk as a base for the curry soup adds a creamy texture and richness. When combined with the sweetness from carrots and sweet potatoes, it creates a harmonious balance of flavors that will warm your soul with each spoonful. The combination of vegetables also makes this dish a healthy option which can be enjoyed without guilt.
Not only is this recipe flavorful and nutritious, but it is also incredibly easy to make. With a few simple steps, you can create a delicious meal that will impress your friends and family. So why not add some authenticity to your kitchen by creating this traditional Vietnamese dish? Trust me; you’ll love every bit of it!
Let’s start with the star of our dish, chicken. You can use either 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken thighs chopped in cubes, or you can opt for a whole chicken and cut it up into small pieces. You will also need some light olive oil or vegetable oil to cook the chicken in.
Our curry would not be complete without the perfect blend of spices. You will need mild curry powder, which is readily available at most supermarkets. To bring out the flavors even more, we’ll add fresh ingredients such as garlic cloves and sliced lemongrass.
Next up are the vegetables. We’ll need some good quality carrots that are thinly sliced, and some sweet potatoes peeled and cubed. These earthy flavors will complement the richness of the curry.
For a fragrant base to our curry, we’ll also be using whole bay leaves. The curry gets its creamy texture from a can of coconut milk, so make sure to pick that up as well during your grocery run.
The spice mixtures enhance the flavors perfectly when combined with a tablespoon of caster sugar and a few drops of savory yet sweet Vietnamese flavor in the form of fish sauce
If you’re looking for variations to your dish or would like to get creative with some ingredient substitutions, head over to our next section on (5) Substitutions and Variations.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have all our ingredients on hand, let’s dive right into making this flavorful Vietnamese chicken curry.
Step 1: Preparing Chicken and Vegetables
Firstly, prepare the chicken by cutting it into bite-sized pieces. You may use either chicken thighs or a whole chicken.
Next, peel and chop the sweet potatoes and slice the carrots into thin pieces.
Step 2: Sauteing the Aromatics
To get those aromatic flavors going, we need to saute the lemongrass, garlic cloves, and mild curry powder in a pan with some light olive oil or vegetable oil over medium heat for around 2-3 minutes. Be sure not to burn them!
Step 3: Adding Chicken and Vegetables
Now, in the same pan, add in the chicken pieces, stirring them until they turn golden brown all over. Once cooked, remove them from the pan.
In the same pan, add additional light olive oil or vegetable oil if needed and then mix the sliced carrots and chopped sweet potatoes together with some caster sugar until it softens which should take around 5-10 minutes.
Step 4: Making Curry Soup
Next up is adding back in our chicken as well as pouring in enough water to create enough broth for our curry (usually around 3 cups). Bring it to a boil, then reduce to heat to low-medium stirring occasionally.
After about ten minutes of simmering, add in a can of coconut milk along with two bay leaves to give that traditional Vietnamese flavor profile. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until your vegetables are tender.
Step 5: Adding Final Touches
Last but not least season with a pinch of ground black pepper, one tablespoon of fish sauce, and more caster sugar to taste.
Step 6: Serving
Serve your scorching hot Vietnamese chicken curry with a side dish of freshly cooked rice, and garnish with thinly sliced green onions, fresh basil leaves or sliced chili peppers for those who can take the heat!
That’s all there is to it! Enjoy your Vietnamese Coconut Chicken Curry!
Substitutions and Variations
In the world of cooking, there’s a never-ending list of possible ingredient substitutions and variations that can be applied to almost any recipe. The Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe is no exception to this rule, and there are many ways you can vary it to suit your tastes or accommodate your pantry supplies.
If you’re all out of lemongrass or struggle to find it in your grocery store, you can substitute it for a tablespoon of grated ginger. This earthy and zesty spice will bring a different but equally delightful flavor note to your curry.
Concerned about the strong flavor of fish sauce? You can use soy sauce as a more mellow alternative. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, simply omit the fish sauce from the recipe altogether.
Do you love spicy food? You can add some chili flakes or fresh hot peppers to your Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe. Or, if you prefer something milder, reduce the amount of curry powder by half.
Vegetarians and vegans can use firm tofu instead of chicken in this recipe. Ensure that you press out excess water from the tofu so that it absorbs more flavor. Alternatively, you can add different vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower instead of the meat.
Finally, for a heartier meal, try serving your Vietnamese Chicken Curry with rice noodles or jasmine rice on the side. Or accompany it with fresh spring rolls or papaya salad for an authentic Southeast Asian feast.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to variations and substitutions in this recipe. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make this Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe unique to your culinary preferences.
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing this Vietnamese Chicken Curry recipe, the possibilities are endless! This creamy and aromatic curry can be enjoyed with a variety of side dishes or simply on its own.
For a classic way of serving, enjoy your chicken curry with steamed jasmine rice. The simple and subtle flavor of the rice makes it the perfect accompaniment to the bold flavors of the curry.
If you want to add some more vegetables to your meal, stir-fried vegetables like bok choy or broccoli will make for a great combo. Their natural crunchiness will complement well with the creamy texture of the curry. You can also serve it with some crispy vegetable spring rolls as an appetizer.
For those who prefer a low-carb option, cauliflower rice is a great alternative to regular rice. Its nutty taste provides a nice contrast to the spicy flavor of the curry.
Pairing-wise, Vietnamese iced coffee or tea is an excellent match for this chicken curry. Alternatively, A fresh drink such as lime juice mixed with sugar and soda water will balance out the spiciness of the dish in case you like something sour.
Whatever way you choose to enjoy your Vietnamese Chicken Curry, be sure to savor every bite of it! Besides, Our traditional Vietnamese way is sharing food while talking with friends or family members around the table, so invite some loved ones over and enjoy your homemade authentic dish together.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Once you have prepared your hearty and fragrant Vietnamese Chicken Curry, you may want to save some for later or store the leftovers for a quick and easy meal in the future. Lucky for you, this dish can be made ahead of time or stored with ease.
To make-ahead, simply store the chicken curry in an airtight container after it has cooled down. When ready to serve, just reheat it on low heat while stirring occasionally until it is evenly heated through. You may need to add a bit of liquid if the curry has thickened up during storage.
If you’ve got extra chicken curry left over, it can be easily stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat it, transfer a portion into a microwave-safe container and reheat on medium power for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through until hot all over. Remember to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t dry out or burn.
Another option is to freeze your Vietnamese Chicken Curry. This is great if you like to make larger batches and want to have some stashed away for future meals. Allow the curry to cool then transfer into an airtight container or freezer bag. Keep in the freezer for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and heat as usual when ready to eat.
A helpful tip to note is that once coconut milk has been heated it can gradually separate so try not to reheat your curry too often. If storing your chicken curry for longer periods of time, freeze it without the coconut milk and add it later when reheating.
As with all curries, flavors will continue to develop as they sit so leftovers can actually taste even better than freshly made curries! Enjoy your delicious Vietnamese Chicken Curry anytime with these simple storing tips.
Tips for Perfect Results
As a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have some tips to help you achieve the perfect results with this Vietnamese Chicken Curry recipe.
1. Use fresh ingredients – The flavor and aroma of this dish rely heavily on the freshness of the ingredients used. Make sure to use fresh lemongrass, garlic cloves, carrots, sweet potatoes, and chicken.
2. Toast your curry powder – Before adding your curry powder to the dish, toast it in a dry pan for a minute or two. This will help bring out the flavors and aromas of the spices.
3. Let it simmer – Be patient and allow the chicken curry to simmer for at least 30 minutes. This will allow all of the flavors to meld together and create a rich and flavorful broth.
4. Adjust seasoning – Taste the curry before serving and adjust seasoning as necessary. If it’s too salty or spicy, add a hint of sugar or coconut milk to balance it out.
5. Cut chicken into equal pieces – Cut your chicken into similar size pieces so that they cook evenly. This will ensure that you have tender, moist chicken in every bite.
6. Experiment with substitutions – Try different types of vegetables or swap out the chicken for beef or tofu to make your own unique version of Vietnamese curry.
By following these tips, you can create an authentic and delicious Vietnamese Chicken Curry dish that will impress your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied.
As you have gone through the recipe in detail, you might have some questions or concerns about certain ingredients or steps. To clear away all doubts, we have compiled a set of frequently asked questions and provided answers to them. So let’s dive into these and sort out any worries that you may have.
What is Vietnamese curry made of?
This recipe is for a flavorful Vietnamese chicken curry soup that contains madras curry powder, lemongrass, and coconut milk. Adding coconut water helps to balance the richness of the aromatic broth, resulting in a lighter and hearty soup. Enjoy the soup with either rice noodles or a baguette (banh mi).
Is Vietnamese curry the same as Thai curry?
When it comes to Vietnamese chicken curry, there’s a notable difference in texture compared to Japanese or Thai curry. The flavor profile leans towards Japanese curry, but it also offers a subtle sweetness from the addition of coconut milk, much like Thai curry. And let’s not forget the true joy of sopping up the savory broth with a piece of warm, crusty bread!
Is Vietnamese curry different from Indian curry?
When it comes to Vietnamese chicken curry, the marinade plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall flavor of the dish. By preparing the meat in this way, the chicken becomes infused with a rich and flavorful taste. As a result, the dish is transformed into a delicious and savory meal that’s sure to delight the senses.
Does Vietnamese cooking use coconut milk?
Coconut plays an essential role in Vietnamese cuisine, offering a versatile range of uses for various dishes. Coconut water, grated coconut, and coconut milk are commonly utilized in different ways, such as braising, toppings, curries, and sweet puddings.
In conclusion, the Vietnamese Chicken Curry is a dish that never fails to deliver an amazing and authentic taste in every bite. With its perfect blend of spices, vegetables, and chicken, this dish is not only healthy but also packed with flavor. Whether you are an experienced cook or just starting out, this dish is a must-try.
By following the recipe outlined in this article, you will be able to create an authentic Vietnamese chicken curry that would impress even the toughest of critics. From the use of lemongrass and coconut milk to the moderate use of mild curry powder, everything in this recipe has been perfectly balanced to give you an out-of-the-world taste.
Whether you are looking for a satisfying weeknight meal or are hosting a dinner party for family and friends, a bowl full of Vietnamese Chicken Curry can warm the hearts, stomachs, and souls of those who enjoy it. Therefore, I encourage you to try out this recipe today and experience what true Vietnamese cooking can offer.
Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 1200 g skinless chicken pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 2 cups sweet potatoes
- 2 carrots
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Finely chop lemongrass, cut sweet potato into chunks, cut carrot into thick rounds, crush bay leaf.
- Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan and brown chicken on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce heat, add curry powder, crushed garlic and lemongrass.
- Cook for 1 minute. Return chicken to pan and coat with spices. Add sweet potato and carrot.
- Stir and add coconut milk, chicken stock and bay leaf. Season with caster sugar, pepper and fish sauce.
- Simmer gently, for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Serve with your favourite rice.
- Tip. Garnish with Vietnamese mint.