My mom's bánh patê sô make a delicious snack with flavorful moist pork filling nestled in layers of flaky, buttery puff pastry.
Growing up in Vietnam, I loved getting bánh patê sô and croissant as a treat whenever we visited my grandma in Saigon. When we came to America, I noticed their appearance at banh mi delis and Vietnamese bakeries. They tasted even better than the ones from my childhood with flavorful moist pork filling nestled in layers of flaky, buttery puff pastry. In America, my mom began making bánh patê sô because we have access to an oven, unlike Vietnam. Her version is made from a simple mixture of ground pork, pate, aromatics, and flavored with a hefty amount of freshly ground pepper. Just the smell of patê sô baking had me impatiently waiting nearby to grab one as soon as they were done!
What is Pâté Chaud Bánh Patê Sô
When the French invaded Vietnam, they brought along cheese, butter, baguette, charcuterie, pate, pate chaud, and wine. Pâté Chaud translates to meat pies.
- Ground pork: use ground pork butt which is a bit fattier compared to other cuts. If you're using lean ground pork, make sure to add twenty to twenty five percent pork fat to keep the filling moist.
- Pate: use a quality pate. I like the pork liver pate from Flower which is mild and does not overpower the filling.
- Aromatics: use a combination of garlic and shallots which adds flavor and sweetness.
- Salt: use salt instead of fish sauce for seasoning to minimize the amount of moisture in the filling.
- Pepper: freshly ground pepper adds a lot of flavor to the filling. If you have kids, alter the amount to their taste.
- Sugar: to add a bit of sweetness to the filling.
- For the meat, you can use ground chicken, turkey, and even beef. Make sure it has enough fat similar to the ground pork.
- Instead of shallot, you can substitute with onion.
Tips for Making the Filling
- The key to great tasting patê sô is to minimize the moisture in the filling to allow the puff pastry to rise properly.
- Place the ground pork on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb all the liquid.
- A trick I learned from my mom is to sauté the shallot and garlic to bring out their natural sweetness and fragrance before adding them to the filling. This also minimizes the amount of moisture in the filling.
- Take a teaspoon of filling and microwave it for 60 seconds to taste the seasoning. Adjust the seasoning to your liking before making bánh patê sô.
Tips for Working with Puff Pastry
- Use a quality all butter puff pastry so you can enjoy those delicious buttery, flaky layers of dough similar to a pie crust. They will have a richer flavor, and the dough will produce nice layers of pastry.
- Thaw the puff pastry in the fridge the night before you want to use it. For best results, defrost in the refrigerator at least 4 hours and up to 1 day before using. Since puff pastry is made with a lot of butter, thawing it in a cold environment allows the pastry to become pliable without softening too much.
- Unfold the puff pastry only when it’s fully thawed otherwise you’ll break or crack the pastry. Be gentle when handling the pastry.
- Flour your surface and rolling pin which allows the pastry to roll out smoothly and prevent it from sticking.
- Cut puff pastry into circles, 3.5 inches in diameter.
How Much Filling to Use
I use about 2 tablespoons of filling per patê sô. Do not overfill or they will burst during baking.
How to Seal the Pastry
Lightly moisten the edges with egg wash, place the second pastry circle over the top, run your finger around the filling and push out any air. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
Tips for Baking
- Chill the pastry before baking. I put mine in the freezer for 15 minutes. This step gives the butter a chance to re-solidify and melt slowly during baking and helps hold its shape.
- Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the patê sô with egg wash before baking.
- Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
How to Store
- For baked patê sô, keep them in an airtight container. They will keep for 48 hours at room temperature and 72 hours if refrigerated. Rewarm them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 5 minutes and they will be as flaky as when they're first baked.
- To freeze unbaked patê sô, place them on a baking sheet ad freezer for 2 hours. Transfer the frozen ones to an airtight container and return to the freezer. They will keep for a month. When ready to bake, partially unthaw them for about 15 minutes, then brush them with egg wash, and bake for 3-5 extra minutes depending on your oven.
Vietnamese Pate Chaud
- 1.5 pounds all butter puff pastry
- ¾ cup chopped shallot or red onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 10 ounces ground pork
- 2 tablespoons pate
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten for sealing and brushing
- Cut the puff pastry into 3.5 inch rounds. You will need 24 rounds. Place them on lined baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Mix sauted shallot and garlic with ground pork, pate, sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
- Take 2 tablespoons of pork mixture and place it in the center of puff pastry round.
- Brush the edges with beaten egg, place another pastry round on top. Use for to press around the edges of pastry to seal.
- Place unbaked pate so on lined baking sheet and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
- Brush pastries with egg. Place tray on middle rack and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.