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+ servings
Bowl of ca ri ga, served with fresh bread for dipping.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk - Ca Ri Ga

Try this amazing one-pan dinner - Vietnamese Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk (Ca Ri Ga). It’s the perfect balance of savoury flavour, mild heat and a gentle sweetness everyone will love!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 657kcal
Cost $10


  • 650 g chicken thighs 1.5 lb, boneless, sub with more traditional legs, wings or bone-in for extra flavour
  • 1 potato peeled and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 sweet potato 250 g / 8.8 oz, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 carrot 125 g / 4.4 oz, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
  • 200 ml coconut milk sub with coconut cream or regular milk for a non-coconut finish
  • 3-4 cups water to cover the chicken (amount will vary depending on the depth and width of your pot)

Chicken marinade:



For the Marinade:

  • Place your chicken pieces in a small bowl and add the marinade ingredients (curry powder, fish sauce, lemongrass, onion, chicken stock, sugar and garlic). Marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to 8 hours overnight.
    650 g chicken thighs, 1.5 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp chicken stock, 1 tsp sugar, 3 cm lemongrass, 1 onion, 2 garlic

For the Curry:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Fry the potato, sweet potato and carrot chunks until lightly browned on all sides (around 5 minutes). Note: They don’t have to be cooked all the way through at this stage. This is to “seal” them and help to keep their shape in the curry without turning mushy.
    1 potato, 1 sweet potato, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 carrot
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan, leaving as much of the oil behind as possible.
  • Keep the heat on high and add in the marinated chicken. Cook for around 2-3 minutes per side until browned. Pour in the water until the chicken is covered.
    3-4 cups water
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add the vegetables in at this point and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes. Scoop off any foam that forms on top with a slotted spoon.
  • Pour in the coconut milk once the vegetables are soft and cooked all the way through. You can serve the curry now if you like it thinner. Optional: If you prefer a thicker soup, add in the cornstarch slurry mix, and stir for a minute until the curry thickens.
    200 ml coconut milk, 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Optional: Add chilli oil for extra heat and flavour.
    1 tbsp chilli oil
  • Switch off the heat and serve. Garnish with fresh herbs like coriander and serve with crusty Vietnamese or French bread, rice or vermicelli noodles.
    1 handful fresh cilantro / coriander, 2 Vietnamese rolls, vermicelli rice noodles, white rice



  • Skip Marinating -Skip the marinating if you need a super quick curry. We’re using chicken thighs, so even sitting for a few minutes in the marinade while you fry the vegetables will make ALL the difference. 
  • Chicken - If you’ve marinated the chicken in the fridge overnight, bring it up to room temperature before frying (around 20 minutes). This will help it cook through evenly.
  • Spices - Be careful not to burn the spices when frying the chicken as this can make the curry taste bitter.
  • Protein - Swap the chicken for diced pork, tofu or seafood. Remember to adjust your cooking time accordingly. 
  • Curry Seasoning - Use Japanese curry roux for an extra thick curry sauce.
  • Optional Garnishes - Top your finished curry with a handful of fresh coriander / cilantro leaves, or sprinkle with fried shallots.
  • Add Heat - Infuse your marinate with finely chopped fresh chilli or chilli flakes.
  • Add Veggies - Around 5-10 mins before you’ve finished cooking, add a handful of green beans, spinach, bok choy, gai lan or capsicum / bell pepper. 
  • Add Even More Flavour - Add a handful of finely sliced kaffir / makrut lime leaves or a whole bay leaf or two in with the marinade, and make sure to marinate the chicken overnight. 


    Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 670mg | Potassium: 1131mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 14239IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 4mg