This recipe was given to me by a former co-worker who was born in Vietnam but has lived in the US for most of her life. I understand that traditionally, this is made with actual pate in addition to other ground meats, so I want to disclose that this is a simplified recipe that many may not consider traditional. I call it “pate chaud” because that is what the friend who taught me called it. If you are a stickler for truly “authentic” Vietnamese recipes, this one may not be for you.
Vietnamese food two posts in a row should not surprise anyone. Because I love Vietnamese food!
This one is called pate chaud.
I have served these amazing little morsels of deliciousness to friends in my home, and have taken them to parties. They are generally inhaled by those who don’t care about appearances, or they are discretely snuck off the serving platter by those who don’t want to appear to be gluttons. I fall in the second group, but I’m coming to suspect I’m not fooling anyone.
This post is courtesy of a suggestion from my friend Nataliya. Probably because I took a batch of these to a small party at her house once and they were very well received. Nataliya and I met for lunch with some other friends on Friday and she thought this one should be my next recipe to share. So, here it is!
I’ve learned that everyone makes their own version of this hot pastry meat pie, and fillings come in many different varieties. Many use pork or chicken. My friend Kim gave me this recipe and she uses ground turkey in her pate chaud. And I found I like it very much with ground turkey. I added a little butter for sautéing the onion because I think it adds a richness to the turkey.
By the way, here’s the oyster sauce I use. But if you prefer to use another, please do.
Believe me when I tell you that these few little ingredients come together as a whole much bigger than the sum of the parts.
Start by caramelizing the diced onion in the butter. Be sure to spread the onion in a single layer so it browns more quickly and more evenly.
You need to start here because you want this to cool before adding it to the raw ground turkey.
The browned onion adds a “beefiness” to the filling that would be sadly missed if omitted. Caramelize them well, but manage your flame so as not to burn them. That would take the taste of the filling south in a real hurry.
It is always advisable to taste your food as you prepare it to make sure that the flavors are what you want them to be. But what to do with raw seafood, pork, chicken or turkey mixtures? Just take a little bit and gently microwave it. Taste it and adjust seasonings as needed!
I used a scalloped biscuit cutter 2 1/2 inches in diameter. That’s because I like my pate chaud to be two-bite wonders. If you make them smaller, they are harder to assemble and are a lot more work. If you make them bigger, they can be quite filling. Two bites is the perfect pate chaud balance, in my mind.
Some recipes use a fork to seal the edges. I have discovered that if you use an egg wash made from the egg whites and add it to the inside of both the bottom and top pastries, you can use a more generous portion of filling and just lightly press the edges. They stay sealed quite nicely.
A quick tip is to lay the top pastry straight down over the middle as opposed to bringing it from the top and side like covering something with a blanket. The egg wash gets slippery and moves the meat filling right off it’s little bed if you don’t come straight down on it.
Use the egg yolks to make a yellow wash for the top. This will give the baked pate chaud the most beautiful little tans!
See? None of them suffered from lack of fork sealing. Not a leak to be found.
But, oh, the aroma…too hot to eat…too hot to eat…patience!
They are delicious warm, they are delicious cold, they can be gently rewarmed in the oven, making them just as delicious. So, I guess what I’m saying is that these are delicious!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 1 teaspoon sweet butter
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 boxes Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets (4 total)
- ¾ teaspoons ground white pepper
- 2 eggs, yolks separated from whites
- Dice the sweet onion in a skillet with the butter over medium heat.
- Distribute evenly and stir frequently until golden brown.
- Allow onion to cool.
- Mix the turkey, caramelized onion, oyster sauce and pepper in a mixing bowl until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Place a very small portion in a microwave-safe dish and cook for 15 to 20 seconds.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Preheat oven to 400 ° F.
- Using a 2½ inch biscuit cutter, cut the puff pastry sheets into approximately 80 small rounds.
- Gather leftover cut dough and using a rolling pin, make new sheets until the dough is used up.
- Separate the yolks from the whites into separate bowls, adding a little water to both to create two different colored egg washes.
- With a kitchen brush, coat the insides of two pastry rounds with the white egg wash.
- Place 1 teaspoon of seasoned turkey filling on the bottom one.
- Top with the other round, egg wash side down.
- Continue assembling and placing onto a parchment covered cookie sheet.
- Brush assembled pate chaud with yellow egg wash.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until pastry has puffed out and is a deep golden brown.
- Cool until warm enough to the touch.
- Transfer to platter and serve.