Recipes Share: Banh Pa-Te-So (Pate Chaud)

When I was growing up in Saigon, banh pa-te-so (or Pate Chaud) made a frequent appearance in my breakfasts. Near my house, there was a chain bakery named Banh Duc Phat. Every morning on my way to school, I would stop and and smell that buttery scent of fresh pastry. Naturally, I tried every thing. But my favorite would always be "Banh Pa-Te-So."

A fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisine, Banh Pa-Te-So is a meat-filled puff pastry. To make puff pastry, one would repeatedly fold and roll the dough, with layers of butter in between. I used to make my own puff pastry, but it is quite frankly not worth the trouble . At the super market, you can buy frozen puff pastry sheets that are ready to use.

Here's what you will need:
As pictured: Frozen Puff Pastry sheets, Shiitake Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic, Ground Pork, Ground Beef.
And because I am a forgetful person, I didn't take picture of : 1 Egg, Fish Sauce, Salt, and Pepper
Disclaimer: I am a Pa-te-so purist. I had a particular type of banh pa-te-so growing up and that is the taste I am trying to recreate. I know people add noodles, celery, carrot, and many other things in their pa-te-so as well, but I don't. I guess it's up to you to create your own pa-te-so :-).

Now, start out chopping your onion. Make longitudinal cuts first, then cut horizontally, then run your knife through it again just to make sure it's finely diced. You don't want to bite into your pa-te-so and find a big chunk of onion... I hate chopping onions - they make my eyes water - so I quit, and only added less than 1/2 of a medium onion. Feel free to press on if you can.

With the Shiitake mushroom, remove stems, then again chop it finely. I only ended up using one container, about this much. Don't judge me - It's not a precise science, OK? :-)

Now put everything together: 1/2 lb Ground Pork, 1/2 lb Ground Beef, 1/2 Onion, and 1 cup Shiitake Mushroom. Oh, while you are at it, throw in 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic too, like this:

Now comes the flavoring. Add some salt, add some pepper, and add about 1 table spoon of fish sauce:

Now comes the most important ingredient of the Pa-Te-So: Cognac. This is what gives Pa-Te-So its distinct flavor. I didn't have proper cognac on hand, so I used another kind of VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) brandy that I know to have a similar taste. But believe me when I tell you that it makes a difference. I used to have an incredible bottle of Cognac - I still mourn its absence. Add about 1.5 Table spoon or so. 

Now get your hands in there and just mix it all together. Let all the flavors introduce themselves to each other... Let the mixture sit for a while as you open your frozen puff pastry, and cut them into squares. Then put some fillings in the puff pastry sheets, and shield the edges. If you need help shielding the edges, you can use a little bit of water. I am lazy, and I just press the heck out of them. Of course, you are free to make Pa-Te-So in other shapes if you would like. 

Now, remember the egg I forgot to take a picture off? Just beat it lightly, and brush it on top of the pastry to achieve that golden color. Cut a few nicks for venting.

Bake these babies at around 375-400 degree F  (190-204 degree C) for 25-30 minutes. You will see them puff up and turn golden.... like this:

Oh... they are delicious. My husband can eat dozens of these. My friend Thomas came over yesterday and he agreed that they were delicious - I told him I would quote him :-). 

If you ever wake up on a Sunday morning and want a taste of French-Vietnamese cuisine, you must give these a try. For me, there is nothing quite as magical as a childhood memory. 

For similar Vietnamese recipes, check out these great blogs I follow:



Hien said...

OMG your recipe is brilliant - I'm gonna try it soon and let you know how it goes. Lady, you've put my so-called 'cooking' to shame ;) xxx

April said...

Not at all!! I am sure your cooking is far better than mine. I rarely cook and I only know a few things :-). Thank goodness N. cooks - I will post his recipes sometimes :-).

Thu said...

Looks lovely :)

April & Hien: I actually have time now (hooray for away rotations) to write something if you like. Any topics in particular? Can this blog handle another Viet female? :P

April said...

@Thu: I would say food! Hien, Thu is a phenomenal cook. One of my favorite memories with her is when she showed up at my doorstep one day, a WEDNESDAY no less, with a big pot of Thai curry - just because...

Hien said...

@Thu: Yeses please!!! Food please!!! Thai curry? I like you already lol

April said...

@Thu: If you email me your post, i will post it! :-) Looking forward to it.

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