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Vietnamese chicken curry

  • 20 minutes, marinating time 1 hour minimum or overnight
  • 1½ hours
  • 6
Vietnamese chicken curry

Spicy, sweet and not too hot, this curry has a touch of the taste of France thanks to the bay leaves. Serve with rice or warm French bread.


  • 3 stalks dried lemongrass
  • ½ onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded
  • 2 tablespoons fragrant Thai curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2-4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • Curry
  • 6-8 chicken thigh portions
  • 3 large waxy potatoes, peeled
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled
  • 1½ onions, peeled
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 400-millilitre can coconut milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour


  1. Trim the white part of the lemon grass from the stem and reserve the long green stem. Chop the white bulb roughly and place in a small food processor or food mill with the onion, garlic, chillies, curry paste and powder, fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Process to a smooth paste.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in a sealable bag and add the paste. Seal and turn to coat the pieces evenly. Refrigerate for at least one hour over overnight.
  3. Cut potatoes, carrots and onions into chunks. Heat a dash of oil in a large lidded frying pan and brown chicken over a moderate heat. Add the vegetables, chicken stock, bay leaves and green lemongrass stems, stir to mix evenly. Cover. Cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the coconut milk or cream and salt, then continue to cook, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
  5. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a smooth paste, stir into the hot curry and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove the green lemongrass stems before serving.

Cooks Tips

Replace fresh lemon grass, use 2 tablespoons minced lemongrass. Use skinless chicken thighs if wished. Cooking times are for chicken on the bone - boned thighs require less cooking time.

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