Filipino Coconut Chicken Curry

The other night we had dinner over at our friend’s house. A missionary visiting from France who spoke at our church last Sunday stayed with them. For his last night we decided to have dinner together, sort of a pot luck. I didn’t have time to prepare a main dish as we toured him around the area during the day (though I made some French clafoutis for dessert in his honor). Hubby and I just decided to get a couple of rotisserie chicken as our contribution. 

We had a lot of food! One of the roasted chickens was not even touched so we had to bring it home. As I was wondering on what to use the chicken for, I remembered that I haven’t yet made any Filipino curry version for the blog. While we normally use uncooked chicken when we make curry in the Philippines, I thought using the already roasted one would make cooking easier and shorter, too. Besides, you can always use another idea on how to use left-over chicken, right? This is one such recipe! 

Filipino chicken curry is a little different compared to our Asian neighbors. Technically, it doesn’t really use a curry powder mix but simply rely on ginger, perhaps some turmeric, too for flavor. Since ginger and turmeric are often included in curry mixes and recipes anyway, I think this qualifies as curry, too. However, I decided to add some curry powder and some sweet potatoes to the mix (hubby is trying a more paleo-friendly diet these days and I am joining him, too). Bell peppers were also incorporated for flavor and color. If you wish to make it more traditionally Filipino, you can use green unripe papaya instead of sweet potatoes or sweet peppers. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any papayas when I made this but feel free to sub if you do. Likewise, the sugar (or a little honey as sub) is not meant to make this curry sweet but simply to balance the flavors of the dish. As with any cooking, simply adjust to taste. If not doing a paleo diet, be sure to enjoy this with some Jasmine rice!!! This is a very tasty dish so we hope you try it soon! 🙂

Filipino Coconut Chicken Curry

By: Manila Spoon

July 9, 2015

Gluten-free, paleo-friendly, healthy and delicious is this Filipino-style coconut chicken curry flavored with fresh ginger and other spices. We added some sweet potatoes and bell peppers for extra nutrition and yum!


  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 6 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 2-inch long fresh Ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • 1 Sweet Potato (Yam), peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3-4 cups left-over Chicken or 1 ( 3-lb) Rotisserie Chicken, chopped or cubed
  • 1 1/2 cans Coconut Milk plus 1/2 can water (use 14 oz can for measurement)
  • 2 Tablespoons paleo-friendly Fish Sauce
  • 1 large red Bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon brown Sugar (or Honey for paleo), to taste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy cooking pot with a lid. Saute the garlic, onion and fresh ginger until aromatic about 1-2 minutes. Adjust the heat to the lowest setting and add the curry powder and ground turmeric to the onion mixture and stir.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and chicken. Pour the coconut milk plus 1/2 a can of water, fish sauce and some freshly ground pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and then simmer on low for 8-10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
  3. Add the chopped bell peppers and the brown sugar or honey to balance out the flavor (not to make it sweet). Cook for another 2 minutes or until the peppers are heated through. If the sauce becomes too thick, simply add some more water. Adjust the seasoning if desired. Garnish with some chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15-20 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

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  1. July 10, 2015 / 4:15 am

    This is a wonderful curry recipe….and it looks amazing. Wish I was there at your party, you wouldn't have had any leftovers 🙂

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:38 pm

      Thanks, Sandi! Perhaps I will contact you next time! 🙂

  2. July 10, 2015 / 4:23 am

    I LOVE the look of this dish. Lately we've been gorging on way too many sweets. Time to get back to healthy eating. I'll have to give this a try. Thanks Abigail

  3. July 10, 2015 / 6:10 am

    A good curry recipe is always hard to find. You do such a wonderful job with this recipe. I love your use of coconut in this recipe. The Filipino twist makes this very unique.

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      Thanks, Rini! I love cooking with coconut – makes everything delish!

  4. July 10, 2015 / 6:57 am

    I love a good curry but I never think to make it at home, I always order it at restaurants. Can't wait to try this, pinned for later!

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:36 pm

      We are huge curry fans in our house, too Sara and hope you get to try this!

  5. July 10, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    This Filipino version sounds heavenly to me! I love ginger. My husband is a little ginger averse but I'm slowly winning him over.

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      Perhaps this will help his conversion! 🙂 Thanks, Alisa!

  6. July 10, 2015 / 2:53 pm

    Love using leftover chicken. This dish is so beautiful and healthful with the coconut oil and turmeric. Love it, Love it and can't wait to make it! 🙂

  7. July 10, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    I'm so glad I came across your blog this morning! My husband and I are in the process of adopting from the Philippines and I really want to learn to cook traditional Filipino food. I can't wait to dive into some of your recipes!

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:34 pm

      Hi Jessica! I hope all goes well with the adoption and thank you for doing that. There are many needy children in the Philippines for sure. Hope you enjoy our dishes!

  8. July 10, 2015 / 3:09 pm

    This looks absolutely wonderful, a must try recipe!!

  9. July 10, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    Mmm, I love this variation because I love ginger! Looks hearty and delicious!

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:33 pm

      Ginger is one of my favorite spices, too Katerina! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. July 10, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    I am a huge curry lover and I'll be adding this to my recipe list. Looks delicious.

  11. July 10, 2015 / 6:27 pm

    What a beautiful recipe! I love filipino food 🙂

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      Thanks, Elena! Glad to know you enjoy Filipino cuisine!

  12. July 10, 2015 / 7:52 pm

    This is a delicious dish full of wonderful flavors.

  13. July 10, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    Beautiful colors and perfect balance of flavors in this dish! It looks perfect!

  14. July 11, 2015 / 12:20 am

    Oh man I wish I had a huge bowl of this in front of me right now! It looks perfect!

  15. July 11, 2015 / 2:06 am

    Oh how delicious. Love the silky texture of the sauce. And beautiful to boot. 🙂

    • July 11, 2015 / 3:31 pm

      Thanks, Susan – that sauce is perfect to drizzle over rice!

  16. July 11, 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Abigail I so love your recipes and this caught my eye and my tummy xoxo

    • July 28, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      Awww, thanks Beverley! Hope you get to enjoy this!

  17. July 27, 2015 / 10:57 pm

    Honey this recipe is DE-LIC-IOUS, even my toddler finished his plate. I served it with basmati rice. Wouldn't change a thing.

    • July 28, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      I am so glad to know you and your toddler enjoyed it Genevieve! Thank you for letting us know. Appreciate it much. Thanks!

  18. September 16, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    I am pregnant and can barely stand to eat anything besides cookies, but this is amazing—I make it every week. I double the veggies and add eggplant since it's pretty much to only way I'll eat them right now. My toddler loves it too!

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