One of the first things many people try when traveling to a new country is sampling its local cuisine. Vietnam is no exception. The country’s food culture is as vibrant and diverse as any other region in the world, with a range of influences from neighboring Asian countries like China and Thailand, as well as more far-flung places like India and France. If you enjoy sampling regional cuisines, then you are going to fall in love with Vietnamese food! It has flavors that are spicy, sweet, sour, salty and everything in between.
Time for the taste of the Far East. If you like pork and you like Vietnamese flavors, then this recipe is for you. Pâté chaud (pronounced exactly how it looks) is a French term meaning “hot pâté” that’s used to describe any variety of meat-based terrines served hot. A traditional version will be made with chicken livers, onions, salt pork, and seasonings such as onions, brandy or cognac, black pepper, lemon juice and perhaps a splash of vinegar.
We are going to make this dish with pork instead of chicken livers. And you can add some extra heat with some chilli or ginger. There will be no brandy or cognac (or any alcohol for that matter) in this Vietnamese Pate Chaud because not all of us can consume alcohol. But we can dig into this hot pate on chilly evenings just about anytime!
Vietnamese Pate Chaud
- 1 Oven
- 2 sheets Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry sheets
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup minced cremini or wood ear mushroom
- 1/4 cup onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 1/2 tablespoon chicken bouillon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 baking sheet
- In a big bowl, mix ground pork, egg, mushroom, onion, garlic, green onion, chicken bouillon, sugar, fish sauce, and pepper all together. You might want to boil a small scoop of the pork to flavor-test it.
- Thaw the frozen puff pastry sheets for about 40 minutes for easy handling. Pepperidge Farm is the store-bought pastry dough that I'd recommend for those located in the US.
- Cut the puff pastry sheet into 3x3 square shapes and place them on a baking/parchment sheet
- Place the pork filling on one square, and use another square to place it on top of the pork. The amount of filling will depend on the size of your square. The goal is to not overfill with the pork to the point that your top layer starts to stretch too much and cause your filling to spill out.
- Use a fork to pin the bottom and top layers together. Remember to make some holes or cross-cut the top layer to allow the steam to escape when baking.
- Pop them into the oven at 320°F for about 10 - 15 minutes until the top fully turns golden brown
- In this recipe, I use wood ear mushroom, which is not a commonly known ingredient in western countries but very popular in Southeast Asia. It is also called black fungus mushroom but is totally edible. Don't let the name scare you off! Wood ear mushroom is very rich in vitamins and minerals. It has medicinal properties and is used in traditional medicine for treating diseases or conditions like arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis, and so on. The texture is crunchy and jelly-like which makes it very versatile.
- The bottom of your pate chaud might be a little mushy and wet from the butter in the dough. What I did was remove the baking sheet with all the melted butter from the tray and flip the pate chaud upside down, and bake them again for 5 more minutes. At this point, your pate chaud should be fully crunchy on both sides with a nice golden brown on the top.