Filipino chicken curry – rich, creamy, and mildly spiced with a touch of sweetness. I’ve kept it simple with everyday ingredients, and the magic happens with the addition of coconut milk and evaporated milk, making the sauce irresistibly lush.

Filipino Chicken Curry

Filipino curries are friendlier on the spice scale than Indian or Thai counterparts, making them a hit with a broad range of taste buds. Low on the spice, high on the flavor – that’s the Filipino curry way. The added potatoes give it that comforting starchiness that sets it apart.

What you need

And here’s the best part – you only need a handful of simple ingredients to whip up this Filipino dish. These are:


The best part of chicken for Filipino chicken curry are chicken pieces with bone-in and skin-on. For this recipe, I opt for chicken thighs, though you can mix it up by adding chicken legs or using cut-up pieces of a whole chicken. The choice is yours.

Preparation Tip: Trim away any extra visible fat with a sharp knife, being mindful to keep the skin intact. This not only reduces the overall fat content but ensures the sauce remains flavorful and rich.

Curry Sauce and Other Ingredients

curry powder, coconut milk, evaporated milk, onion, ginger, garlic and bell pepper.
  • Aromatics – Dried bay leaf, fresh ginger, onion, and garlic for best results.
  • Yellow Curry powderMcCormick curry powder is the go-to option for Filipino curry. Known for its mild profile with just a subtle hint of spice.
  • Coconut Milk (not cream) – for the best flavor, use the purest you can find. At most, it should only have water as the added ingredient.
  • Evaporated Milk – further enhances the creaminess of the dish. You don’t need much. Just a splash will do the magic.
  • Fish Sauce (patis) is the secret to making the most flavorful curry. Regular cooking salt can also be used but the flavor won’t be the same.
  • Vegetables – the classic CBP of course–carrots, potatoes, red bell peppers, and green bell peppers. You can also green chili for added aroma.
  • Chicken broth – For convenience, I use one piece of chicken bouillon dissolved in hot water.

How to Make Filipino Chicken Curry

And here’s how to make it:

  • Brown the chicken – Begin by searing the chicken on both sides, starting with the skin side down. Season with salt and pepper during this process. This not only creates a beautiful golden crust on the chicken but also infuses the sauce with an extra layer of rich and flavorful goodness.
  • Suate the aromatics and curry powder – Lightly caramelize the onion for a natural touch of sweetness. Once it turns lightly brown add the garlic and ginger and continue cooking until fragrant. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. This step gives the curry a deeper flavor.
  • Simmer the chicken – Add back the chicken, together with the fish sauce and chicken broth. Let it cook until half tender.
  • Add carrots, potatoes, coconut milk, and evaporated milk then simmer until the chicken is tender and the sauce becomes creamy and flavorful. Do a final taste test then adjust salt/fish sauce as necessary.
  • Add bell peppers to finish the dish. It’s another twist that sets this Filipino curry apart from the rest.

And that is it! Done and easy!

What to Serve with

Filipino style chicken curry pairs wonderfully with a variety of side dishes, allowing you to create a well-rounded and satisfying meal. A classic choice is steamed rice which serves as the perfect canvas for the creamy curry sauce.

coconut chicken curry served with rice.

Include a side of steamed or stir-fried vegetables such as broccoli, snow peas, or bok choy to add freshness and nutrition to your plate. Pickled vegetables, like Filipino atchara, with their tangy notes, make for an excellent contrast to the richness of the curry.

Garnish your dish with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley to add a burst of color and herbal freshness.

Shelf-life and Storage

Refrigerate any leftover chicken curry in airtight containers. Refrigerated curry maintains its quality for about 3 to 4 days.

When reheating, ensure the curry reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety. Stirring during reheating helps redistribute ingredients, especially in creamy curries prone to separation.

It’s recommended to reheat only the portion you intend to consume to maintain the dish’s quality. Always trust your senses—if the curry exhibits an off smell, unusual color, or texture, exercise caution and consider not consuming it to ensure food safety.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use yellow curry paste?

While traditional Filipino chicken curry typically doesn’t use yellow curry paste, there’s no strict rule against using yellow curry paste.

Yellow curry paste is spicier and contains a blend of spices, including turmeric, coriander, cumin, and other aromatics. If you decide to use yellow curry paste in your Filipino chicken curry, be aware that it may impart a different flavor profile compared to the traditional Filipino curry.

Can I make this without evaporated milk?

Certainly! You can omit evaporated milk when making Filipino chicken curry and just use coconut milk. While I included it in this recipe for added richness and a hint of sweetness, the dish can still be delicious without it.

Watch the recipe video

More chicken recipes

Filipino coconut chicken curry with carrots and potatoes.

Chicken Curry Filipino Recipe

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Recipe video above. Filipino Chicken Curry is one of the mildest curry dishes you’ll ever have. Made with just a handful of ingredients such as coconut milk, mild yellow curry powder, and ginger. It’s rich, creamy, and savory with a hint of sweetness.
Servings5 servings
preparation time10 minutes
Total cooking time45 minutes


  • 1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 pieces chicken thighs or legs (bone-in and skin-on)
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 inch ginger (peeled, grated)
  • 2.5 tbsp yellow curry powder (note 1, add more as needed)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (add more as needed)
  • 2 large potatoes (quartered)
  • 1 large carrot (sliced)
  • 1 ½ cup chicken broth (note 2)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup evaporated milk (note 3)
  • 1 small red bell pepper (deseeded, sliced)
  • 1 small green red bell pepper (deseeded, sliced)
  • salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  • green onions or coriander leaves (for garnish, optional)


  • Sear the chicken – Heat oil in a large pot. Searing the chicken on both sides, starting with the skin side down. Season with black pepper and salt. Do this in batches if the pot is not big enough. Transfer to a plate once the chicken is brown, doesn't have to be fully cooked. Set aside.
  • Saute aromatics – Add onion and saute until slightly caramelized. Add garlic and ginger. Saute until fragrant. Add curry powder and stir for 30 seconds.
  • Simmer chicken – Add back the chicken pieces, followed by chicken broth, bay leaf, and fish sauce. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the brown bits. Cover with a lid and cook until halfway done about 12 minutes.
  • Add carrots and potatoes. Pour coconut milk and evaporated milk. Gently stir to submerge the chicken. Cover and continue cooking until vegetables and chicken are tender.
  • Finish cooking – Add bell pepper and simmer for a couple of minutes without the lid for a thicker sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  • Serve with rice. Garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves and enjoy!

Recipe Notes & Tips:

  1. Curry powder – the more curry powder the more intense the flavor will be. If using yellow curry paste, follow the amount of paste recommended per pound of meat.
  2. Chicken broth – you can also use 1 piece chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup water.
  3. Evaporated milk – can be omitted. Substitute with an equal amount of coconut milk.
  4. Searing shortcut – brown only one side of the chicken, preferably the skin side.
  5. Cooking time – Adjust cooking time if using smaller pieces of chicken. Test doneness after 20 minutes, remove the lid to thicken the sauce just a bit.
  6. Add bird’s eye chili, or siling labuyo if you like it spicy.
Jump to Video
Author : Mella
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : ginataang manok, mild chicken curry recipe
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Curry Filipino Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Tag @rivertenkitchen or leave a comment below!

Originally published March 2020. Updated Jan. 2024 with new photos, and a streamlined recipe after further testing to improve the recipe! 

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