Once I was asked what my most favorite dish was, spontaneously, words came out of my mouth “It is the best dish I have ever eaten, a hot, spicy, aromatic and gravy like chicken stew, or so called chicken curry, but not regular curry. It is my mom’s version of Vietnamese chicken curry.” For years, I have been studying in Ho Chi Minh city, whose diversity of food culture is highly regarded, surely, almost every types of curry dishes could be found here. Unforturnately, they can not fulfil my craving for my mother’s curry. Thus, I decided to ask her for the recipe to cook for myself. At first, I was very overwhelmed by the number of ingredients including, and it took me kind of many times trying to make my curry taste as delicious as my mom’s. For this reason, I will simplify the recipe by dividing it into 3 steps of preparing the ingredients, cooking, and assembling the dish.
The first step is preparing. A food shopping would be appropriate as this dish needs “tons” of ingredients, and here is the list for 4 to 6 servings:
1 - 1.5 kg bone-in chicken thighs, breasts or wings, preferably with skin
2 sweet potatoes and 3 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, diced
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised stems
3 cloves garlic, 2 shallots and a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
5 tablespoons of Vietnamese curry powder
3 tablespoons of hot chilli garlic sauce
5 bay leaves
1.5 cups (about 750ml) of chicken stock
1.5 cups of coconut juice
Fish sauce, sugar, vegetable oil
Cilantro or Thai basil
After collecting all the ingredients, the next thing to do is marinating the chicken meats. They should be mixed with one third of minced garlic, shallot, and ginger, 3 tablespoons of curry powder, and 1 tablespoon of chilli sauce, for about 30 minutes before cooking.
The cooking step is a little bit confusing due to its substeps, but not to worry, they are grouped into 3 major works, starting with frying the sweet potatoes. Put a pan on