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Vietnamese chicken curry (ca ri ga): A must-taste delicacy on your trip

31/01/2024 5.318

Vietnamese chicken curry, known as “cà ri gà” in Vietnamese, will tantalize your taste buds with its harmonious blend of spices and tender chicken. This article will unveil the secrets behind this dish, inviting you to savor the flavors of Vietnam.

Vietnamese chicken curry

Vietnam is renowned not only for its history and culture but also for its culinary delights. Among the diverse array of Vietnamese foods, one dish that has captured the hearts of many local families is Vietnamese chicken curry. Read on to see what makes this dish so enticing, where you can enjoy it in Vietnam, and even how to make it yourself at home.

1. Ingredients for Vietnamese chicken curry (ca ri ga)

If you are wondering how to make detectable Vietnamese chicken curry, here are the common ingredients for this dish: 

  • Chicken: Typically, bone-in chicken pieces, such as drumsticks and thighs, are used in Vietnamese chicken curry. 
  • Curry powder or oil: A crucial component of the dish, curry powder or curry oil adds a fragrant taste. Vietnamese curry often includes a blend of spices such as turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, and cloves. 
  • Potatoes and carrots: These vegetables are commonly included in Vietnamese chicken curry, adding texture and absorbing the delightful flavors of the curry sauce. 
  • Coconut milk: It will form the base of the curry, giving the dish rich flavors. 
  • Lemongrass: Lemongrass adds a refreshing note to the curry, enhancing its aromatic profile. 
  • Shallots and garlic: These ingredients provide a savory foundation for the curry's flavor. 
  • Fish sauce: As a staple in Vietnamese cuisine, fish sauce adds a unique umami flavor to the curry. 
  • Vegetable oil: Used for sautéing and cooking the ingredients.
  • Other seasonings: According to your personal preference, you can use additional seasonings such as salt, sugar, and chili peppers to enhance the taste.
Vietnamese chicken curry

>>> Check out this Vietnam food list for a fulfilling culinary experience in the S-shaped country!

2. Differences between Vietnamese curry and Thai curry

Vietnamese curry and Thai curry have distinct differences that set them apart. 

Firstly, the flavor profiles of the two curries differ significantly. Vietnamese curry tends to have a milder and more balanced taste, incorporating a blend of aromatic spices without overpowering the palate. In contrast, Thai curry is renowned for its bold and spicy flavors, often featuring a harmonious mix of sweet, sour, and spicy elements.

Secondly, the curry pastes used in each cuisine contribute to their unique characteristics. Vietnamese curry relies on pre-made curry powder or curry oil, while Thai curry utilizes fresh or dried curry pastes made from a combination of ingredients like chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, and shrimp paste. 

Lastly, the creaminess of the curries differs, with Vietnamese curry being creamier and richer due to the generous use of coconut milk, while Thai curry has a thicker and more sauce-like consistency. These differences make both Vietnamese and Thai curries a delightful culinary experience, catering to different flavor preferences.

Vietnamese chicken curry

>>> Explore more than 40 must-try Asian foods for your upcoming travel trip!

3. The most popular Vietnamese chicken curry recipes

Here are the authentic Vietnamese chicken curry recipes commonly used in Vietnam: 

3.1. Vietnamese chicken curry with taro recipe

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 10 taro roots
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • Some cilantro
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (cut into sections)
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (finely chopped)
  • 1 chili (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 200 ml of thick coconut milk
  • 2 liters of thin coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons curry oil
  • Other spices: salt, sugar, seasoning powder, cooking oil


  • Marinate the chicken: Marinate the chicken with 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon seasoning powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well and let it marinate for 15 minutes.
  • Sauté the chicken: Heat a large pan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of curry oil. Once the oil is hot, add the minced shallots, chopped lemongrass, and lemongrass segments to sauté until fragrant.
    Then, add the marinated chicken to the pan and sauté with lemongrass and shallots for about 7–10 minutes, until the chicken is evenly cooked.
  • Cook the chicken curry: After the chicken is cooked, pour 2 liters of diluted coconut milk into the pan. Bring the curry to a boil, then reduce to medium heat.
    Season the chicken curry with 1/2 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of seasoning powder. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes until the chicken is tender.
    Once seasoned, add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, then add taro roots. Cook for another 7 minutes until the carrots and taro roots are slightly tender before adding the onion.
    Before turning off the heat, add 200 ml of concentrated coconut milk, reseason to taste, and then turn off the heat.
  • Serve: Scoop the Vietnamese chicken curry with taro into a bowl and garnish with chopped cilantro on top for a delightful fragrance. And your delicious curry is ready to be served!
Vietnamese chicken curry

3.2. Vietnamese chicken curry with sweet potatoes recipe

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 250 ml of coconut milk
  • 50g coconut cream
  • 10g curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Some cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • Other spices: salt, sugar, seasoning powder, cooking oil


  • Marinate the chicken: Marinate the chicken with 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic, 2 teaspoons ground pepper, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon seasoning powder, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Mix well to let the chicken absorb the flavors, and marinate for about 20 minutes.
  • Sauté the chicken and sweet potatoes: Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a pot. When the oil is hot, add the remaining minced garlic and 10 grams of curry powder and sauté until fragrant. Then, add the marinated chicken to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and continue sautéing with the chicken for 10–15 minutes.
  • Cook the curry: Pour 250 ml of coconut milk into the pot and simmer for about 15–20 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and the sweet potatoes are tender.
    When the chicken and sweet potatoes are cooked, add 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 50 grams of coconut cream. Stir well to combine. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and then turn off the heat.
  • Serve: Ladle the Vietnamese chicken curry with sweet potatoes and coconut cream into a bowl and garnish with some chopped cilantro for an appealing presentation. You now have a bowl of chicken curry with a rich, sweet, and creamy coconut broth.
Vietnamese chicken curry

>>> Don’t miss out on 12 of the most famous Vietnamese foods for an unforgettable culinary adventure!

4. Which food is usually served with Vietnamese chicken curry?

The hot and aromatic Vietnamese chicken curry can be enjoyed in several ways. It can be served with Vietnamese bread, vermicelli noodles, or steamed rice, all of which pair well with its flavors. To complete the delightful taste experience, you can further add a side of chili salt with lime and a mix of fresh herbs, like cilantro and mint leaves. This dish is a hearty meal among the many Vietnamese breakfast foods.  

5. Where to enjoy the best Vietnamese chicken curry?

Vietnamese chicken curry is available at various tourist destinations in Vietnam. For a tasty experience, here are some top recommendations in Ho Chi Minh City:

5.1. Ma Thang Vien chicken curry eatery

  • Address: No. 1357, 3/2 Street, District 11, Ho Chi Minh City

This eatery, run by the Ma family, has a long-standing tradition of serving authentic chicken curry. The Vietnamese chicken coconut curry here is prepared using a secret family recipe, making it enjoyable even for those who are not fans of the strong curry aroma or coconut milk-based flavors. Even the selection of chicken is a skill passed down through generations, ensuring that the chicken used is flavorful and not overly soft like industrial chicken. 

Vietnamese chicken curry

5.2. Sinh Ky chicken curry eatery

  • Address: No. 129 Trieu Quang Phuc Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City

Having been renowned for over 50 years, Sinh Ky eatery is a go-to spot for authentic chicken curry. It is known for its traditional cooking methods, as the curry is cooked over charcoal, allowing the flavors to develop slowly and create a rich taste. Additionally, only free-range chickens with tender and aromatic meat are selected to ensure the highest quality. The crispy baguettes here are also a highlight that beautifully complement the overall flavorful curry.

5.3. Ba Be chicken curry eatery

  • Address: No. 2 Tan Da Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City

Ba Be eatery is a renowned establishment with a three-generation tradition of making chicken curry. What sets the Vietnamese chicken curry with coconut milk here apart is its unique recipe that does not use salt yet still manages to deliver a flavorful curry. Moreover, they carefully select chickens to ensure both natural tenderness and exceptional taste.

Vietnamese chicken curry

>>> Check out the top 35 restaurants in Vietnam for a fulfilling dining experience!

Besides chicken curry, Vietnam, a paradise for food enthusiasts, has many other mouth-watering dishes that await your exploration. You will not want to miss the world-famous pho in Hanoi, the tantalizing squid sausage in Ha Long, the flavorful cao lau in Hoi An, the tempting seafood in Nha Trang, the succulent grilled oysters in Phu Quoc, etc. Each destination in the S-shaped country is filled with unique cuisine and landscapes, making your visit truly worthwhile.

At each spot you intend to visit in Vietnam, it is essential to choose suitable accommodations. Among the many options available, many travelers opt for the hotels and resorts of Vinpearl. Here, you can enjoy luxurious rooms with a range of amenities, such as swimming pools, play areas for kids, bars, gyms, and various dining options, catering to your every need. 

Once you are filled up and recharged, don’t miss VinWonders, an incredible entertainment complex featuring exciting games and captivating shows. It promises to add an extra layer of enjoyment to your trip!

Vietnamese chicken curry

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With its aromatic spices, tender chicken, and harmonious blend of flavors, Vietnamese chicken curry captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you savor it with bread, noodles, or rice, it is a true delight for any foodaholic. So, during your culinary journey through Vietnam, don’t forget to try this amazing dish!

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