Recipes March 28, 2024  | Servings: 4 | Prep Time: 20 min | Cook Time: 20 min

Vietnamese Curry

Practitioners and staff love when this Vietnamese Curry, created by Spirit Rock cook Deanna, is served in our dining hall. It’s not as spicy as a Thai curry but delivers a wonderful warming flavor. The stew can be a highlight for folks on retreat with us or for you and your guests at home.

Vietnamese Curry Powder Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon ground annatto (if omitting, double turmeric amount)
  • 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8-10 dried curry leaves (optional)

Vietnamese Curry Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil, such as sunflower oil or annatto oil for a deeper color
  • 3 whole shallots finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½-inch ginger grated
  • 1 Tablespoon lemongrass minced
  • 2 Tablespoon Vietnamese curry powder
  • 4-5 mushrooms quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
  • ½ green cabbage cut in 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium carrot sliced into thick chunks
  • 3-4 baby potato, peeled and halved
  • 1 block tofu cut into cubes
  • 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 and ⅓-cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 and a ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • Optional: lime juice, fresh cilantro


Instructions for Vietnamese Curry Powder

  1. Make curry powder by grinding spices if using any whole and stir until fully combined.

Instructions for Vietnamese Curry

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. Once hot, add shallot, garlic, lemongrass and ginger, and sauté until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add curry powder and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the mushrooms and red bell pepper and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, cabbage, tofu, and whatever other vegetables you prefer or have on hand to the pot. Pour in the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, sugar, and salt.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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