This one-pot Vietnamese curry (or Cà ri) is loaded with veggies and infused with aromatics like ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and lime. It is super creamy, flavorful, hearty, and takes less than one hour to prepare!
I have many curry recipes, but most of them are Indian-inspired. While Vietnamese curries are not as popular as Indian curries, they definitely need more recognition!
Are you in for a rustic, comforting, and perfectly balanced curry?
📘 What is Vietnamese Curry
"Cà ri" is a popular dish in Central and Southern Vietnam. It is said that curry was introduced to Viet Nam by Indian and Khmer traders in the 18th century. Vietnamese then tweaked it to their taste by adding taro, sweet potatoes, and different veggies, as well as a toned-down curry powder.
It usually consists of meat and/or vegetables cooked in coconut milk, spices, and aromatics like lemongrass, shallots, or garlic.
This vegetarian version recipe was given to me by a Vietnamese family, so it is as authentic as possible.
🥣 How to Make Vietnamese Curry
This vegetarian curry requires basic ingredients, 30 minutes, and it's made entirely in one pot. Here is what you will need:
- Garlic and shallots
- Lemongrass - For lemony and floral notes. You can use minced lemongrass as noted in the recipe, or two whole lemongrass stalks crushed.
- Ginger - Use fresh ginger root for a spicy and citrusy flavor.
- Mushrooms - Any type of mushroom will work, you can use cremini, shiitakes, or even oyster mushrooms.
- Eggplant - Any type of eggplant will work, I personally use Chinese eggplants as I find them less bitter than regular ones.
- Taro - While optional, Vietnamese curry often includes taro for a heartier meal. You can usually find taro in produce markets, or in the frozen section of Asian grocery stores. Never heard of taro? Check out our guide on What is Taro!
- Potatoes - I recommend using starchy baby potatoes. They will stay whole and won't crumble in the curry.
- Coconut milk - Use full-fat coconut milk for a rich and thick curry. I would advise against using coconut cream as it tends to separate during cooking and won't yield a smooth consistency.
- Salt and sugar - To balance with the spiciness.
- Curry powder - Vietnamese curry powder is different than most Indian curry powders. It is usually milder and has a more pronounced anise flavor. You can find Vietnamese curry powder online or check out my recipe for Vietnamese Curry Powder!
- Optional: Feel free to add tofu, vegan chicken, or your favorite meat-substitute for a meatier curry.
First, it starts with the aromatics that are sautéed until fragrant. Then, we add the mushrooms and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
Once mushrooms are cooked, add the remaining vegetables: eggplants, potatoes, taro, and carrots. Cover with the full-fat coconut milk and water.
Season with the Vietnamese curry powder for flavor and spiciness, soy sauce and salt for umami and saltiness, and sugar for sweetness.
Finally, let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked and tender. Top with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and enjoy!
🍚 What to Serve with this Curry
Vietnamese curry is often served with either:
- Is this curry spicy? If using homemade Vietnamese curry powder, then this curry is mildly spicy. If using store-bought curry powder (the Ba Tam brand for example), the curry will be slightly more spicy.
- How long does this curry keep? This curry will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can reheat it over medium heat on the stovetop.
- I can't find taro, can I omit it? Of course! This curry is super versatile so feel free to use the vegetables you have on hand.
If you are looking for a hearty, cozy, and delicious one-pot meal, you are going to love this Vietnamese curry! It's probably one of the recipe from the blog I make the most!
Easy Vegan Vietnamese Curry
- 1 tablespoon oil use annatto oil for a deeper color
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 shallot finely diced
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 4-5 mushrooms quartered
- 1 medium carrot sliced into thick chunks
- 1 small eggplant diced into 1.5-inch cubes
- ½ medium taro root diced into 1.5-inch cubes
- 3-4 baby potato peeled
- 1 block fried tofu diced, optional
- 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 and ⅓ cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 and ½ tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 tablespoon Vietnamese curry powder see notes
- optional: lime juice, fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, shallot, lemongrass, and ginger. Sauté for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, taro, eggplants, potatoes, and tofu if using, to the pot. Pour in the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and curry powder.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes partially covered. The vegetables should be fork tender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve with rice, noodles, or crusty bread! Before serving, top with chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime! Curry will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- You can find Vietnamese curry powder in most Asian supermarkets. Otherwise, you can replace it with: 1 teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon ground coriander, ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon anise, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.
- This curry is quite versatile so feel free to use the vegetables you have on hand!
- You can substitute sweet white potatoes for baby potatoes.