Delicious Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe at Home

Welcome friends, to my kitchen where I will be sharing my favorite Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe with all of you. Now, when one imagines a traditional chicken curry, it is often India that comes to mind, but let me tell you, this Vietnamese spin on the classic dish will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

This recipe has been passed down through generations and brings to life the best flavors of Vietnam. It is creamy, rich and yellow in color thanks to the glorious coconut milk we will be using. Not to mention, it is an easy recipe which can be made quickly even after a long day at work.

But why bother with such a meal? Well, let me ask you – Is there anything more comforting than a warm and delicious bowl of tender chicken and potatoes stewed in a rich and creamy yellow coconut-based soup? The answer is – No.

So pull up your sleeves and get ready to embark on this delicious journey into Vietnamese cooking. Trust me when I say, once you try this Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe, it’ll quickly become one of your favorites!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry
Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry

If you are a big fan of flavorful and spicy food, then this Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry recipe will definitely become one of your favorites. This dish is a beautiful marriage of Indian and Vietnamese cuisine and uses some of the most aromatic ingredients like garlic, lemongrass, curry powder, and Thai basil. It’s a dish that will make you feel as though you were strolling down the sun-baked roads of Saigon.

But what makes this chicken curry truly special is its bold and complex flavors. The creamy yellow coconut broth infused with a medley of irresistible spices coats tender chunks of chicken and potatoes stewed to perfection. The curry soup is deliciously warm and serves best on top of some steaming white rice or alongside crunchy banh mi bread.

This recipe stands out because it perfectly balances its spicy and sour notes without overpowering the other flavors. Unlike the typical Indian curry, this Vietnamese-style curry has just the right amount of heat, making it perfect for those who like their dishes mild or with a little zing. Additionally, the blend paste can be refrigerated for later use, making this chicken curry recipe an excellent time-saving option for busy weeknight dinners.

Not only is this Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe simple to prepare, but it will tantalize your taste buds with an irresistible depth of flavor. It’s one recipe that you can’t get enough of!

Ingredient List

“A bowl of comfort: Southern Vietnamese chicken curry”

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need for this Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe:


  • 1.5 lbs skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, sliced into 1-inch chunks


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red chilies, chopped
  • 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, sliced
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped

Vegetables and Starch:

  • 3 potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks (optional)

Curry Mixture:

  • Curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 can of coconut milk


  • Thai basil leaves, chiffonade

Note: You can adjust the amount of chili according to your preference. The recipe also works with other types of protein such as beef or seafood. To bring out the best flavor, use good quality curry powder and freshly squeezed coconut milk.

The Recipe How-To

“Experience the taste of Vietnam in your kitchen”

Now comes the exciting part – let’s dive into making this delicious Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe! This recipe can serve up to 4-6 people, depending on serving size.


  • 2 lbs of Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 can (14oz) of Coconut Milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of Curry Powder
  • 2 Red Chilies, finely chopped
  • 5 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Stalk of Lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 3 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 Medium-sized Potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • A handful of Thai Basil for garnish
  • Sea Salt to taste

Step 1: Prepare the Chicken and Spices

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add one tablespoon of oil and sauté the minced garlic and shallots until they are fragrant – typically around one minute. Then add the red chilies, lemongrass, and two tablespoons of curry powder. Give everything a good mix and let it cook for about two minutes.

Step 2: Add The Chicken

Next up is adding the chicken into the pot. Ensure that you stir the chicken thoroughly with the spice mixture to cover all the chunks evenly. Cook the chicken for around six minutes until it becomes golden-brown.

Step 3: Add The Vegetables

After six minutes have passed, add in your peeled and chunked potatoes and pour in one can of coconut milk. Stir well to combine everything together completely.

Step 4: Simmer and Serve

Bring your chicken curry to a simmer while stirring frequently for around 15 minutes until the ingredients meld perfectly together, forming a rich and creamy yellow coconut-based sauce with tender chicken pieces and potatoes. If you think the curry is too thick, add water, chicken broth, or coconut milk to thin it out. Add salt to your liking. To finish, garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves and serve with steamed rice, noodles of your choice, toast, banh mi or even some baguette to soak in the soup.

Trust us; you’ll be happy you made this recipe. It’s a warm and delicious bowl of tender chicken and potatoes stewed in a rich, creamy yellow coconut-based sauce that will make your taste buds dance with joy!

Substitutions and Variations

“Aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk make this curry irresistible”

When it comes to preparing a dish, sometimes it can be hard to find all the ingredients that are required for the recipe. Thankfully, with a little creativity, you can easily substitute or modify certain ingredients in this southern Vietnamese chicken curry recipe.

Firstly, if you cannot get your hands on Thai basil, regular Italian basil can work just fine as a substitute. Though note that the flavor profile will be different from the original recipe. You could also use dried basil leaves in a pinch.

In terms of protein, while this recipe calls for skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs can be a great substitute. Chicken thighs tend to remain tender and juicy during cooking and have more natural flavors than chicken breasts. If you’re vegetarian/vegan, substituting chicken with tofu or paneer (a type of Indian cheese) would make for an excellent vegetarian or vegan option.

For those who want to spice things up, adding extra red chilies or chili flakes can create more heat for your dish. But if you prefer less heat or have aversions to spicy food altogether, you can use sweet paprika instead of curry powder for a milder taste.

If you cannot find fresh lemongrass or shallots at your local grocery store, you could use jarred minced lemongrass and shallots instead. Though keep in mind that fresh herbs will always provide better flavor and aroma than their jarred counterparts.

Lastly, while potatoes are a classic ingredient in this southern Vietnamese chicken curry recipe, you could easily swap them out with other vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes.

By experimenting with these substitutions and variations listed above, know that whatever ingredient tweaks you make will still result in a delicious bowl of tender chicken curry soup with rich creamy yellow coconut sauce – perfect for comforting any hungry stomachs!

Serving and Pairing

“Add some heat with red chili peppers in this chicken curry”

After simmering for a while, we now have the warm and delicious bowl of tender chicken and potatoes stewed in rich creamy yellow coconut Vietnamese chicken curry, ready to be served. The aroma of the spices and herbs is so inviting and will surely stimulate your appetite. To take the experience to another level, try pairing this dish with some jasmine rice or steamed broccoli. The rice will complement the rich texture of the curry, while the broccoli will add a nice crunch and vibrant color contrast on your plate.

Alternatively, you can also serve it with some yellow curry noodle soup, which is a popular Vietnamese dish that elevates the flavor with its tangy and spicy broth. Or you can try dipping some Banh Mi in it, a French-Vietnamese sandwich baguette with pickled veggies and protein filling that would make for an excellent fusion meal.

Whatever you choose to pair it with, this Vietnamese chicken curry recipe is sure to impress anyone who tries it. Its flavors are unforgettable and will leave you wanting more after every bite. Enjoy it warm with your choice of sides, and let this flavorful dish satiate your cravings for comfort food.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Tender chicken pieces soaked in a rich and flavorful broth”

This Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry is perfect for a make-ahead meal. The stew can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and reheated when ready to serve. The flavors will only deepen as the curry sits, making it an ideal option for meal prepping or hosting dinner parties.

To store, transfer the cooled curry into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When it’s time to reheat, place the curry in a saucepan over low heat until warmed through. If you find that the curry has thickened, add a tablespoon or two of water or chicken broth to loosen it up.

For longer storage, you can freeze the cooled curry in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat as instructed above.

One thing to keep in mind when reheating this dish is that overcooking will lead to tough and rubbery chicken. To avoid this, take care not to boil the curry or reheat for too long. Instead, warm it gently until heated through and serve with some fresh steamed rice or crusty bread.

This versatile and comforting Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry can be enjoyed any time of the year and reheated again and again without losing its rich aroma and depth of flavors.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Garnished with fresh herbs to enhance the flavor profile”

Now, let’s explore some tips to ensure your Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry comes out perfectly every time.

1. Use fresh ingredients

It is incredibly important to use fresh ingredients when making Vietnamese chicken curry. This is especially true for the lemongrass, red chilies, and Thai basil, which are essential elements of the dish. Fresh ingredients will provide more flavor, aroma, and nutrients to the dish compared to old ones.

2. Cut the chicken properly

Cut the skinless chicken breasts into equal-sized chunks, preferably 2 inches or less in size. Doing so will help the chicken cook evenly and keep it moist and tender.

3. Brown the chicken

Browning the meat first will add depth of flavor and texture to the curry. It is optional but highly recommended to take this extra step for ultimate deliciousness.

4. Don’t overcook the potatoes

The potatoes should be cut into small pieces or coin-like shapes around 1 inch thick. Cook them until they are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork, but not so much that they turn mushy or fall apart.

5. Adjust salt level

When making coconut milk-based curries such as Vietnamese chicken curry, it is important to balance the saltiness level since coconut milk has natural sweetness that affects how salty you perceive it. Start by adding half of the suggested amount of sea salt in the recipe during cooking and adjust gradually until reaching your perfect savory taste.

6. Mix up spice preference

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its use of herbs like lemongrass, while Indian cuisine typically uses more dried whole spices such as coriander seeds and cumin seeds. You can play around with your preferred spices by mixing up Madras curry powder or Thai red curry paste.

7. Cook low and slow for rich flavors

Let simmer gently at low heat until everything is thoroughly cooked through and has melded together for about an hour, which it could enhance the natural sweetness of chicken and vegetables that nicely balances by the savory coconut milk.

By following these tips, not only will your Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry be delicious, but it will also look and taste incredible every time.


Now that you know how to make this delicious Southern Vietnamese chicken curry, it’s time to address some common questions that may arise while making it. Don’t worry if you’re new to Vietnamese cooking or cooking in general, the answers provided will help you troubleshoot any issues and provide guidance for achieving the perfect bowl of warm, delicious curry. Let’s dive into the FAQ section.

What is Vietnamese curry made of?

When it comes to hearty and flavorful dishes, Vietnamese chicken curry or cà ri gà holds a top spot. Featuring succulent pieces of chicken and hearty potatoes in a divine yellow coconut curry broth, this dish is a must-try. Enjoy it by pouring it over a bed of steamed rice, rice noodles, or try using it as a dip with a toasted baguette on the side. Get ready for a mouth-watering experience!

Is Vietnamese curry different from Indian curry?

When it comes to the preparation and seasoning of the chicken, Vietnamese chicken curry differs from other curry dishes. Marinating the chicken before cooking is a crucial step to infuse rich, bold flavors into the meat and create an overall delicious dish.

Is Vietnamese curry the same as Thai curry?

Curry can come in different consistencies and flavors depending on the region it’s from. Vietnamese chicken curry has a thinner texture comparable to Japanese curry, with a hint of sweetness from the addition of coconut milk reminiscent of Thai curry. This unique blend of flavors makes for a delicious broth that pairs perfectly with a warm slice of bread.

Does Vietnamese cooking use coconut milk?

Coconut plays an integral role in the development of culinary dishes from Vietnam. In Vietnamese cuisine, the flavorful liquid from a coconut is utilized as a means of marination, larger pieces of grated coconut serve as a tantalizing finishing touch, and coconut milk is a key ingredient in dishes ranging from savory curries to mouthwatering desserts.

What are the secret ingredients for a great curry?

When it comes to creating a flavourful Indian curry dish, garlic, onion, and ginger serve as the fundamental components. Although some curry styles won’t feature garlic to prevent overpowering the subtle taste, it’s a general practice that these three ingredients will be present in the recipe. By incorporating these ingredients, you can build a deep, rich flavour that will make your curry stand out.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry is an explosion of flavor and aroma that will take your senses on a journey through Vietnamese culinary. This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves delicious, warm, and hearty meals that are simple to prepare. It is also a perfect dish to impress your family and friends at dinner parties or any other gathering.

The beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity yet variety. You can easily adjust the ingredients to your liking and create your own version of Vietnamese chicken curry. Add vegetables like carrots or green beans for extra nutrition, toss in extra chilies for an added kick, or switch up the protein from chicken to beef or shrimp.

Overall, this recipe by Hungry Huy is a must-try. Its tender chicken and potatoes stewed in rich creamy yellow coconut milk with spices such as lemongrass, fish sauce, and Thai basil create a one-of-a-kind flavor that cannot be forgotten. So get ready to indulge in a bowl of deliciousness that will leave you wanting more!

Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry

Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry Recipe

I served this at a dinner party and it was very popular. Do not expect heat or intensity or even subtlety. Instead you will have a rather heady, aromatic dish. Service with rice or rice vermicelli.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 465.2 kcal


  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 8 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh red chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mild indian curry powder
  • 450 g skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 300 ml coconut milk
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • fresh Thai basil (optional)


  • Shallow-fry the potato pieces in hot oil until lightly browned.
  • Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
  • Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the shallots with the lemon grass, garlic and chillies until soft.
  • Add the curry powder and stir for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chicken and cook, stirring until it is opaque.
  • Add the potatoes, salt, coconut milk and chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.
  • Garnish with Thai basil leaves, if using.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 516gCalories: 465.2kcalCarbohydrates: 37.1gProtein: 33.3gFat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 15.6gCholesterol: 76.6mgSodium: 954.5mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 4.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Chicken, Curries, Meat, Poultry, Stove Top, Vietnamese
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