Vietnamese Chicken Curry – Ca Ri Ga
Each country has its own version of curry, reflecting their unique culinary traditions. For instance, Indian curry is renowned for its rich aroma and thickness, while the Japanese version of curry is more like a sauce. Each variation of curry is a reflection of the country’s culinary identity, providing a delightful exploration into the diverse world of global flavors.
And the Vietnamese version is no exception, it will blow your mind. Ca Ri Ga, also known as Vietnamese chicken curry, is a comforting and flavorful dish that boasts of tender chicken pieces and potatoes simmered carefully in a rich, creamy yellow coconut curry broth. The deliciously spicy and sweet flavors come from a mix of aromatic spices and herbs, making this dish a warm, satisfying meal that is perfect for sharing with family and friends.
This curry is typically served with a side of crusty bread or steamed rice, allowing you to fully enjoy the depth and complexity of flavors. The Vietnamese curry is truly a testament to the rich culinary tapestry of Vietnam, promising an unforgettable experience for your taste buds.
How to Choose Ingredients
You can choose any type of chicken meat that you prefer. Whether you incline toward white or dark meat, bone-in, or boneless cuts, each brings a unique flavor and texture to the dish. However, using bone-in chicken can add more depth to the curry flavor.
If you’re cooking for children, boneless chicken thighs would be the best option. This cut balances lean and fatty parts, making it especially flavorful and pleasing to the palate.
But if you’re leaning towards a healthier choice, you may opt for chicken breast. Keep in mind that chicken breast tends to be leaner and could turn out drier compared to other parts of the chicken. It’s therefore important to monitor cooking times closely to ensure it remains tender and succulent.
No matter which type of chicken meat you choose, freshness is always key. Using fresh ingredients can significantly enhance the flavors of your Vietnamese Chicken Curry.
The humble potato not only adds meatiness and a slight sweetness, but also makes the curry more substantial. You can choose any type of potatoes you desire. Red or Yukon gold potatoes are great options for this dish as their texture remains firm after being cooked in the broth.
If you want to add some variety, sweet potato is an excellent alternative and will boost the sweetness in your curry. Keep in mind that sweet potatoes also cook faster than regular potatoes, so adjust the cooking times accordingly.
Coconut milk is a key ingredient in this dish and adds a creamy texture to the broth and brings out all the flavors of spices used. It’s important to use full-fat coconut milk to ensure the curry remains rich and creamy.
If health considerations prevent you from using regular coconut milk, opt for lower fat varieties such as light coconut milk or unsweetened canned coconut cream. Just remember to adjust the amount of liquid used according to your preference.
- 1 whole chicken, cut into small cubes
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 can of full-fat coconut cream
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoons minced lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Chili powder (optional)
1. Rinse the chicken thoroughly, cut into bite-sized pieces, then marinate with curry powder, sugar, salt, and pepper. Let it marinate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Prepare the other ingredients. Cleanse the potatoes and sweet potatoes, peel them, and cut them into chunks. Rinse, peel, and finely chop the onions, garlic, and lemongrass.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and sweet potatoes, frying them until they start to brown and become slightly crispy. This will help to maintain their shape during the cooking process and prevent them from becoming too mushy. Remove them from the pot and set aside.
4. In the same pot, add the onions, garlic, and minced lemongrass. Stir-fry until they become aromatic, usually around 1-2 minutes. Following this, add the marinated chicken to the pot, and stir-fry until the pieces are lightly browned and just starting to cook through.
5. Add the coconut milk and chicken broth or water and cook on medium heat for about 20-30 minutes.
6. After that, add the vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and potatoes to the pot. Let everything simmer for about 15 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning and to ensure that all ingredients are cooked evenly.
7. Once the vegetables have softened, add the coconut cream and continue to cook for approximately 5 more minutes.
8. Lastly, adjust the seasoning of the curry. Add ingredients like salt, fish sauce, and chili powder to taste.
9. Once the seasonings have been adjusted to your liking and all the ingredients are cooked perfectly, your Vietnamese Chicken Curry or Cà Ri Ga is ready to serve.
How to Serve
Ladle generous amounts of the curry into bowls, ensuring each serving has a good mix of chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro on top for added freshness, if desired. Serve it hot with a side of crusty bread or steamed rice, perfect for soaking up the rich, aromatic curry broth.
You can also enjoy this Vietnamese Chicken Curry, Cà Ri Ga, with noodles or vermicelli. If you’re planning to serve the curry with noodles, you may want to adjust the thickness of the sauce and its seasoning to align with your taste preference. Remember, when adding noodles to the mix, the dish becomes more filling, so you may also want to adjust the portion sizes accordingly.
Some Small Tips to Keep in Mind
- Marinate the meat for a longer time: To ensure the flavor penetrates the meat thoroughly, consider marinating the chicken overnight. This will give your curry an even richer and deeper flavor.
- Use fresh spices: Whenever possible, use fresh spices. They have a stronger flavor and aroma that can greatly enhance the taste of your curry.
- Add coconut milk later in the cooking process: To retain the aromatic flavor and prevent the coconut milk from separating, it’s best to introduce it towards the end of the cooking process.
- Don’t skip the garnishes: Garnishes not only make your dish look more appealing, but they also add another layer of flavor. Fresh cilantro or a squeeze of lime juice can make a world of difference.
How to Store
For leftovers, allow the Vietnamese Chicken Curry or Cà Ri Ga to fully cool before transferring it into airtight containers. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. When ready to eat, reheat it on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.
If you plan to keep the curry for a longer period, you may also freeze it. It can last in the freezer for up to 7 days. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then warm on the stove.
Note: It’s crucial to let the curry completely cool down before storing it in the refrigerator. If you detect an odd smell, it’s best not to consume the curry further.
Whenever reheating, remember to check the seasoning, as flavors may change slightly during storage and reheating. Adjust the flavor as needed with salt, sugar, or fish sauce, and garnish with fresh herbs for added freshness.
Vietnamese Chicken Curry or Cà Ri Ga is an incredibly flavorful and easy-to-make dish. It can be enjoyed as a main meal or as an appetizer. With its aromatic spices, creamy coconut base, and tender chicken and vegetables, it’s sure to please any palate. So what are you waiting for? Give this simple but tasty dish a try and enjoy the amazing flavors that it has to offer!
Where Does Ca Ri Ga Come From?
Cà Ri Gà, or Vietnamese Chicken Curry, has its roots deeply embedded in Indian cuisine. The rich curry culture of India was embraced by the Vietnamese, leading to the creation of this unique and flavorful dish. The name Cà Ri Gà literally translates to ‘curry chicken’ in Vietnamese. It signifies the incorporation of Indian curry cooking techniques with local Vietnamese ingredients and flavors.
What Is The Difference Between Thai Curry And Vietnamese Curry?
While both Thai and Vietnamese curries incorporate a blend of spices and an aromatic profile, their heat levels often differ. Thai curry generally includes an abundant amount of spicy chili peppers, resulting in a fiery and robust flavor. On the other hand, Vietnamese curry tends to use hot chili peppers more sparingly. This results in a milder heat that allows the other flavors in the dish, like lemongrass, coconut milk, and various herbs, to shine through.
I’m Godfrey Jensen, CEO and head chef at Lapps Meats. We’re a top-quality butcher with over 70 years of experience. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best, freshest products possible. We take our food seriously, and we love serving the community by providing them with quality meat products.