Vietnamese curry doesn’t gain the proper hype that Thai curry does, but it’s extremely flavorful, brothier than its Thai relative, and served with bread instead of rice, which is due to France’s heavy culinary (and cultural) influence on Vietnam.
For this dish, we’re keeping things as close to the OG as possible—heck, we even Face-Timed Kim’s grandma, who’s amazingly talented in the field of Vietnamese cuisine, to get all the details we could on this classic dish.
Making it requires only one pot, forty minutes from prep to finish, and affordable ingredients available at most Asian markets. The final result is comforting, perfect for chilly days, and less fussy than most other curries. Three cheers for Vietnamese food’s simplicity!
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10 Curry Recipes & Counting
1-Pot Vietnamese Curry with Seared Vegan Drumsticks & Hearty Potatoes
Vegan fish sauce, lemongrass, & Vietnamese curry powder season this full bodied soup, served alongside soft French baguettes for the traditional experience.
- 14 oz (~10) vegan drumsticks or fried tofu*
- 3 medium yukon gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, cut on the bias about 1/4” thick
- 1/2 large onion, medium diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed then lightly smashed*
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut in half
- 2 bay leaves
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsps vegetable oil
- 2 tbsps Vietnamese curry powder*
- 1 tbsp vegan fish sauce
- 2 tsps sugar
- black pepper
- 3/4 c full-fat coconut milk
- French baguette, sliced on the bias
- fresh cilantro (optional)
- chili oil (optional)
- Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once hot, add vegetable oil, chicken, and lemongrass. Coat in oil then cook without stirring until chicken is brown on one side; about 3 minutes. Flip, and repeat for another side.
- After the second side, add in onions, bay leaves, a heavy pinch of salt & pepper, one tablespoon of curry powder, and stir to combine. Cook until chicken is browned on third side and onions begin to brown on edges; 3-4 more minutes.
- Add potatoes, carrots, garlic, ginger, and enough vegetable broth to cover (took us 2 ½ cups). Stir in remaining curry powder, fish sauce, and sugar.
- Clamp on lid, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Stir in coconut milk and cook for another 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed—more fish sauce fore saltiness, sugar for sweetness, curry for flavor, or coconut milk for creaminess (Vietnamese Curry is not supposed to be as thick as Thai curry).
- Remove lemongrass, ginger, and bay leaves, and serve with fresh French baguette slices on the side! Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat in a pot over medium heat until bubbly.
*If you’re using fried tofu in place of vegan meat, simply cook the lemongrass, onions, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and curry powder together until fragrant & onions are lightly browned, then move on to step 3.
*To prep the lemongrass, cut off the thin green part up top and trim about 2 inches from the bottom. Then cut each stalk into shorter, more manage pieces. From there, use the back of your knife to hit the lemongrass to loosen up its leaves and essential oils.
*Vietnamese curry powder can be found at most Oriental markets. If you can’t find it, use a standard yellow curry powder—it won’t be the same, but it’ll be close.