It’s no secret I love Vietnamese food. I always joke to Mike that it’s one of the reasons why I married him. Just between you and me though, it’s not really much of a joke — if you tasted his mom’s food, you’d know what I’m talking about. Once a week we head over to my in-laws for dinner: home made pho, banh xeo, spring rolls, salad rolls, and the list goes on. Basically, if I mention in passing that I want to eat it, my mother-in-law will make it, unless it’s baked. She doesn’t cook things that go in an oven.
There aren’t a lot of Vietnamese foods that are baked in an oven, but I’ve found one and it’s pretty delicious. Banh pate chaud is kind of like a Vietnamese sausage roll. I first saw it on Ravenous Couple’s site and it sounded so good I absolutely had to try it, but when I asked Mike if he had it before he told me it’s not “typical” Vietnamese food. Not convinced, I asked his parents, who of course, had heard of it.
It’s a pretty simple recipe: puff pastry filled with meat. The simplest things are always the best though, flaky, crispy layers of puff pastry hide moist savoury, delicately spiced meat. Most of the recipes I’ve seen bake up the puffs with raw meat inside, but I’m paranoid about meat being cooked properly, so I like to bake up the meat first, cool it, then bake it in the pastry.
You can make a bunch of these, freeze them and bake them from frozen for a quick snack. They’re fantastic coming out of a hot oven and just as delicious at room temperature.
Banh Pate Chaud Recipe
Yield: 6 pastries
frozen puff pastry, rolled to 12 inches by 12 inches
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms soaked for 15-20 minutes in hot tap water, sliced
1 shallot, finely diced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon five spice
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
1. Defrost your frozen puff pastry according to the package.
2. Preheat the oven to 300˚F.
3. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Evenly spread the meat in a parchment paper lined loaf pan and bake for 20 minutes.
4. Cool the pan of meat and slice it into pieces 1 inch by 2 inches. You should have 6 pieces. You want the meat to be completely cool or your puff pastry will start to melt.
5. Preheat your oven to 375˚F. Unroll your puff pastry and cut it into rectangles approximately about 3 inches by 4 inches.
6. Top half of the rectangles with the rectangles of meat filling and brush water on the edges of the rectangle. Place the remaining puff pastry rectangles on top and pinch the edges to seal.
7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the pastries about 3 inches apart.
8. Brush the tops with the lightly beaten egg so your pastries bake up golden brown. Gently poke holes with a fork on top of each pastry so they don’t explode in the oven.
9. Place in the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.