Ca Ri Ga, Vietnamese Curry Chicken

I am so excited about the upcoming Austin Food Blogger Alliance's Colossal Curry Cook-off on April 16th!  The event will help us fund raise a little and we all get to eat all kinds of delicious curry. Win-Win! You can buy tickets here:  Hope to see some of y'all there!

I haven't admittedly always been a fan of curry (must've inherited that from my dad), but hubby is and he's slowly converting me over to a curry lover.  Curry has such an aromatic quality to it.  I'm not going to even get started on how good it makes your house smell! It's all warm and soothing.  Really filling, too!  I especially love how diverse curry is.  I'm sure every family has their own blend of spices and ingredients to make their curry special.

This is my Vietnamese curry, Ca Ri Ga.  What makes it a bit different from Indian curry is the addition of lemongrass.  This recipe is a cross between my mom's recipe and some tweaking by me after looking up other recipes online.  This recipe from Danang Cuisine was a great jumping off point:

Ca Ri Ga, Vietnamese Curry Chicken


  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs and drumsticks, removed from bone and cut into ~2" large chunks
  • 1 tbs. minced shallot, about 1 large shallot
  • 1 tbs. minced garlic, about 3 cloves
  • 1 tbs. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt (or muoi tieu Hue/smoked salt and pepper)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbs. plus 2 tsp. Madras curry powder*
  • 1 russet potato (about 1/2 c.)
  • 1 sweet potato (about 1/2 c.)
  • 2 small taro roots (about 1/2 c.)*
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1-2, depending on desired spice level, small Thai bird chiles, sliced*
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, slightly bruised to release oils*
  • 1 16 oz. can of coconut cream*
  • 1 16 oz. can of Coco Rico, coconut flavored soda*
  • 2 c. chicken stock
*if you have trouble finding any ingredients, check the "ethnic aisle" of your grocery store, an Indian or Asian grocery store, and/or Fiesta!


  1. Marinate chicken pieces with shallot, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, sugar, and curry powder.  Allow to marinate at least 1 hour, overnight is even better
  2. Peel and cube potatoes, sweet potatoes, and taro into 1" pieces.  Place root vegetables in a large bowl of salted water to prevent from browning while the chicken marinates.
  3. Drain and thoroughly dry the root vegetables with paper towel.
  4. In a large wok or pot, bring vegetable oil to medium-high heat.  Fry root vegetables until crispy and light brown on the edges, about 5-10 minutes.  Allow to drain on a paper towel. This step ensures the potatoe/yams don't just fall apart in the curry later.
  5. In a large pot or pan, bring a small amount of oil to medium-high heat.  Saute the chicken and accompanying marinade, as well as chiles and onion until the chicken is brown on all sides, about 5-8 minutes.  
  6. Add coconut milk, Coco Rico, and chicken broth to chicken.  Skim off foam.  Add root vegetables and lemongrass.  Allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken cooked all the way through.  Adjust spices if needed
  7. Serve over rice or with a baguette!


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