Friday, June 24, 2016

Bánh Pa Tê Sô or Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Hot Pastries)--makes 36 pastries

Bánh Pa Tê Sô or Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Hot Pastries)
Vietnamese bánh pa tê sô or pâté chaud are French inspired hot and savory meat pastries. I assisted a friend of a friend to make these over two decades ago. I remember the recipe was simple and it came from her uncle. It consisted of just a few ingredients--beef, onion, salt, pepper, sugar and store bought puff pastry sheets. Although they were tasty I made them only a handful of times since that day. This week I decided it was time to recreate them since I have a few new fresh ingredients to experiment with. How could I make pâté chaud without pâté or any hint of liver? I visited Exeter Farmer's Market and was lucky to find a slice of beef liver from my local farmer. It looks amazingly fresh and healthy...and with no visible parasites! Remember my monkfish livers a few posts ago? I think I lost a few friends after posting that! My coworker Moniqua gave me bags of fresh scallions and garlic leaves from her garden and they inspired me to use them for the filling. Thank you Moniqua for your generosity! My Ah Ma (grandmother) frequently uses fresh garlic leaves in her cooking. She tells me that I may omit garlic cloves if I am already using the leaves. I find that a pair of kitchen scissors is useful for snipping the scallions and garlic leaves quickly.

While at Exeter Farmer's Market I approached a local farm and this was part of my conversation with him & later with my husband (now I am going to lose more friends by posting this!): 

Me: Do you raise pigs on your farm?
Farmer: Yes.
Me (glancing around and keeping my voice low): Do you sell pig's ear, snout, stomach, or bladder?
Farmer (glancing around): Let me get back to you in a week.
My husband (later when we were in the car driving home): I see you did not ask for testicles.
Me: Because you think that I need to build some sort of rapport with him prior to asking for his balls! 

A few years ago I emailed someone I met at the market and requested for some testicles and he abruptly stopped writing. My husband who is always diplomatic tells me that I should get to know someone better before I ask for such things. What can I say? I prefer to just get to the point!

Bánh Pa Tê Sô or Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Hot Pastries)--makes 36 pastries

Bánh Pa Tê Sô or Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Hot Pastries) Filling--makes 3.2 pounds or 36 individual portions

bánh pa tê sô or pâté chaud
(Vietnamese hot pastries) filling
9 tiny portions of filling to be used for the pastries

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled, diced (1 1/2 cup diced)
1 slice of beef liver (7 3/4 oz), cut into thin slices for quick cooking
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped garlic leaves, plus 1/3 cup chopped garlic leaves
2.12 lbs pork, ground (2 lbs would be fine)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp crushed sea salt
1 tsp raw sugar
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black or white pepper
2 tsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)


1) In a small pan heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add liver pieces and cook about a minute until the outside is no longer pink.
2) Add scallions and 1/2 cup sliced garlic leaves. Saute about another minute and remove from heat to cool completely.
3) Cut the pork in small cubes and grind a small portion at a time until complete. Remove the ground pork and place in a large bowl.
4) Pick out the liver pieces and grind them. Add the ground liver to the ground pork.
5) Add the cooled cooked scallions and garlic leaves, the remaining 1/3 cup sliced garlic leaves, sesame oil, salt, pepper, sugar and mirin. Mix all ingredients well. I use a pair of chopsticks and a fork to blend everything together. May divide the filling into 12 ounce portions. Each portion will yield 9 small portions enough for each box of pastry. Avoid trying to form balls. Keep the filling loose. This way the filling will be soft and not hard once baked. May use the filling right away or cover and place in the refrigerator 1-2 days.

*This filling is not too salty. As always adjust the ingredients according to your taste preference.
*You can basically use any kind of liver you have available. If you don't like liver just omit it.
*The garlic taste is not overpowering despite using lots of scallion and garlic leaves in this recipe. If you do not have garlic leaves then use a few cloves of garlic. For such filling I either grate or finely mince them. 

Pastry Assembly (makes 36 pastries)

each pastry sheet = 9 squares
sealed pastries with a fork
egg yolk wash on top for a nice golden color once baked

1 recipe of Bánh Pa Tê Sô or Pâté Chaud (Vietnamese Hot Pastries) Filling (see recipe above)
4 boxes Ready-To-Bake Pepperidge Farm 1.1 lbs puff pastry sheets (keep frozen until ready to use)
4 eggs (yolk and white separated in separate bowls)--About one egg yolk for each box of pastry sheets


1) Remove the pastry from the box and keep it out at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Once the pastry is partially thawed unfold the sheets. Cut the sheets into 18 equal squares (9 squares per sheet).
2) Dab the edges with the egg white. Place a small individual portion of filling in the center of each 9 squares. Place the top square on each one. Press the top down slightly if needed. Gently press the edges together with your finger and thumb. Push the filling in if it leaks out. Take a fork and press down along the the edges to make a tight seal.
3) Brush a thin layer of egg yolk on top for a nice golden color once baked.
4) Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes. Use the center rack in the oven.

*Make your own puff pastry if you have time. These store bought ones are convenient, flaky and light.

Vietnamese hot pastries
*This time I used pork instead of beef. However, you may substitute with another meat if interested.
*If you cut the pastries in squares then you will not be wasting any of the dough. You can also make round or triangular shaped pastries.

Addendum: So, one of my brothers ate 2 of these pastries and tells me that the filling needs extra salt and pepper. His kids ate them and seemed to enjoy them. When you make your filling just season it according to your taste preference. 

my brother and his children (2016)

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