Whip up Cà Ri Gà, a Delectable Vietnamese Chicken Curry Dish

Try this recipe for Vietnamese chicken curry courtesy of chef, kombucha producer, and foodie influencer Philippe Trinh.

Cà Ri Gà is a Vietnamese chicken curry that’s super flavorful and oh so comforting. If you don’t eat chicken, you can substitute the chicken for pork, tofu, or fresh fish.

My mom learned this recipe from her mother and has been making this dish for our family since I was born. It’s a very simple dish, perfectly balanced with its savory, spicy, and sweet flavors. The chicken curry is seasoned with coconut milk, lemongrass, fish sauce, and Vietnamese Madras curry powder which gives it that signature Vietnamese curry flavor.

It’s also a beautiful looking dish, with vibrant colors from the orange butternut squash, carrots, and yellow curry powder. It’s incredibly aromatic, and with its nod to French cuisine, this chicken curry is thinner like a soup and pairs perfectly with a warm French baguette. Although it’s much lighter than curries from other countries like Thailand, India, or Japan, it still has a richly flavored broth.

It is traditionally served over rice noodles, a bed of hot jasmine rice, or with a crispy baguette to dip in.  This curry is one of my favorite comfort foods, and it always brings me back to my childhood, especially when served over rice noodles and accompanied with traditional Vietnamese herbs (mint, coriander leaves, and scallion, to name a few).

Word to the wise: I like to use a mix of D&D Gold Product Madras curry powder found in Vietnamese grocery stores with regular curry powder. Since some of the Madras curries can make the dish darker in color, I like to cut it with regular yellow curry powder.

Cà Ri Gà (Chicken Curry)

Cuisine: Vietnamese


Prep time


Cooking time



Cà Ri Gà is a Vietnamese chicken curry that's super flavorful and oh so comforting. If you don’t eat chicken, you can substitute the chicken for pork, tofu, or fresh fish.


  • 1½ lbs. chicken thighs (bone or boneless, skin or skinless)

  • 2½ lbs. chicken drum sticks (bone, skin on)

  • Chicken Seasoning
  • 1½ tsp sea salt

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • ½ Tbsp chicken bouillon powder

  • ½ Tsp white Pepper/black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp Vietnamese Madras curry powder

  • 1 Tsp annatto seed powder or turmeric powder, for color

  • 1½ tbs premium fish sauce

  • Curry
  • 3-4 tbs vegetable oil

  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and loosely chopped

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and loosely chopped

  • 7 garlic cloves, minced

  • 5 stalks fresh lemongrass (white parts only, smashed)

  • 4 lime leaves or kefir leaves

  • 1 tbs tomato paste

  • 3-4 cups water or chicken stock

  • ½ tbsp chicken bouillon Powder

  • 4 carrots cut into 1" chunks

  • 2-3 medium potatoes (russet and/or sweet potatoes cut into about 2-3" chunks)

  • 1 sweet potato or butternut squash, cut into chunks

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1-2 tbs fish sauce, to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Garnish
  • Lime wedges

  • Cilantro, loosely chopped

  • Scallions, thinly sliced

  • Mint

  • Vietnamese herbs, as seasonally available


  • Wash and peel all your vegetables (potatoes, carrots, squash). Peel and mince garlic, peel and slice onions.
  • Marinate chicken in fridge for 2 hours or overnight for best results.
  • In a dutch oven, add oil on medium high heat until oil is hot and glossy.  Then toss onions until just fragrant, then remove and set aside in a bowl.
  • Add more oil and brown the potatoes, squash, and carrots a little in the oil. This will keep the veggies from falling apart in the soup. Then remove and set aside in a bowl.
  • Add a touch more oil, then add shallots and garlic and mix until fragrant. Don't burn the garlic!
  • Push all the aromatics to the side, and combine chicken into pot with the oil and let the chicken brown some in the pan. Then add tomato paste, mix, then some water (or chicken stock) to cover. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan when adding water. Add chicken bouillon and fish sauce, bring to a boil, and immediately reduce down to a medium simmer.  Let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onion).  Reduce heat to low-medium until veggies are mostly cooked. Then add coconut milk ("Don't let coconut oil boil or it will curdle and get lumpy," says mom). Leave a small crack open for the lid so it doesn't boil over. Let lightly simmer for 10-15 more minutes until veggies are cooked and tender. Add water as needed to keep the broth from reducing out and burning.
  • Taste and season with salt, black pepper, and/or fish sauce as needed.  Taste, adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Cook noodles according to package, run under cool water, and strain.
  • Serve hot with vermicelli bun noodles, French baguette, or jasmine rice. Plate some noodles in a bowl, ladle in some curry, then garnish with cilantro, herbs, scallions and a little squeeze of lime.

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