Cà Ri Gà (Vietnamese Chicken Curry)
Vietnamese Chicken Curry is of the stew kind. This dish goes great with thin rice vermicelli noodles, rice or toasted French Bread.
- 8 chicken thighs and drumsticks (bone-in)
- 4 whole potatoes (peeled+cut into 2-inch cubes)
- 2 whole carrots (peeled+cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 1 whole large yellow or white onion (diced/chopped finely)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 knob ginger (minced)
- 2 stalks lemongrass (cut into thirds, bruised and bundled together with cooking twine)
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp canola oil (for searing chicken)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp curry powder (Ca Ri Ni An Do (Madras Curry Powder))
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2 tsp fish sauce (Sur La Table Red Boat 40°N Fish Sauce, 8.45 fl. oz.)
- 1 lime (cut into thin wedges)
- white rice (Three Ladies Jasmine Rice Long Grain, 5 Lbs)
- small french bread
- thin rice vermicelli noodles (Vietnamese Rice Stick(vermicelli) Three Ladies Brand 2lbs)
- Clean the chicken. Drain them, then put the pieces in a mixing bowl. Mix in the salt, onion powder and [eafl id=3630 name="Red Boat Fish Sauce" text="fish sauce"] with the chicken. Marinate for 2-4 hours.
- After marinating, add 1 tsbp oil in a pot. Then, brown the chicken on all sides in small batches (skin side down first unless if you're going skinless, then neither side matter, duh).
- Peel the potatoes and carrots. Dice into 2-inch cubes/pieces and set aside.
- Remove chicken, drain fat and clean off any burned residue in the pot.
- Dice the onion. Mince garlic, shallots, and ginger. Cut the 2 lemongrass stalks into thirds, then bruise to release fragrance. Tie together with [eafl id=3628 name="Cooking Twine" text="cooking twine"] so you don't have to dig the stalks out upon serving. Set aside separately from the potatoes and carrots.
- Using the same pot, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add in the lemongrass, ginger and onions.
- Bring the chicken back to the pot and add bay leaves.
- Add 50% water and 50% chicken broth to the pot until all ingredients are fully submerged.
- Put the flame on high until boiling, reduce to medium-high heat to maintain a low boil.
- Add 2 tsp [eafl id=3630 name="Red Boat Fish Sauce" text="fish sauce"] and more curry powder to your desired taste
- Add potatoes and carrots, more water and chicken broth to cover (50/50 ratio) and return to a simmer
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are soft to the touch (use a fork/spoon/chopstick, not your finger duh).
- Add coconut milk until it hits a boil, then turn off the heat. Let stand for 15 mins.
- Ladle the curry into your favorite bowl. Serve with bread/[eafl id=3631 name="White Rice" text="white rice"]/[eafl id=3632 name="Rice Vermicelli (Medium)" text="medium rice vermicelli noodles"], top off with a squeeze of lime and chili-garlic oil for heat.
What's your favorite variation on this recipe?
For Reference: You can buy cheaper fish sauce at the Asian grocery store, but it is a case of getting what you "paid for". Or "getting what you paid for". The placement of quotation marks seems to make a difference in this context.
If you had to choose based on price and quality, here's what I say:
Low-End: Three Crabs (Don't be fooled by the imposted "Shrimp & Crab" which uses almost exactly the same labeling, but extremely sh*ttier)
Middle-End: Tiparos (with the yellow background and the red circle that actually says "Tiparos". Again, don't be fooled by the SunLee imitation)
High-End: Red Boat (Such a pure taste without the excessive putrid rotting fish smell. No fillers, no added sugar. Just quality sea salt and fish).
This is a tale of a little girl who refused her mom's invitations to help cook at the kitchen. Many invitations were given. Many were rejected. In fact, all of them were. What that little girl wasn't thinking about, was how she would crave all of these traditional Vietnamese dishes her mom made. She also didn't realize that as she grew older, she would ask her Mom for those recipes only to be denied. Mom never really gave away her recipes. She became a stubborn woman then. Or, maybe she was teaching this grown-up girl a lesson. Some form of "I told you so" or "Haha".
Well, thanks to Google, cookbooks and friends, this girl was able to bypass her mom and take action on her cravings, her hunger, her desire to eat healthy yet tasty artistic creations.