One of my new year’s resolutions is to try my hands at 10 Vietnamese recipes. I’m of Vietnamese descent and am almost too embarrassed to admit that the only Vietnamese dishes I’ve made were just my piggyback riding on my mom’s cooking. The mental roadblock that has kept me from just diving in, is that I’m also shamefully a Vietnamese illiterate, making navigating Asian markets an intimidating task.
Well, I finally decided to get off my lazy bum and attempt my first Vietnamese dish on my own. I purposely picked a dish that does not require a trip to the Asian market (next dish perhaps?). PÃ¢tÃ© Chaud (pronounced Pate So) is a popular French influenced Vietnamese snack. It’s translated as meat pie or hot pie and I like to call it the Vietnamese version of an Empanada. A simple and easily modifiable meat mixture, encased in buttery puff pastry and baked to a golden luscious color. You can often find this savory snack at Vietnamese delis. With a few pointers from my parents on the phone, here’s the recipe I concocted. It yields 6 small pies.
1/4 lb pork
1/4 lb beef
1 sheet of thawed puff pastry
2 dashes of soy sauce
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 beaten egg
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix meat, garlic, onion, soy sauce, salt, pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
- Cut and divide the puff pastry into 12 rectangles of the same size.
- Spoon meat mixture to the center of a puff pastry piece.
- Brushed the edges of that same piece with egg and place another sheet on top. Pressing the edges together to seal the meat pie.
- Use a fork to crimp the edges.
- Cut a small slit on the top of the meat pie. This will let the steam out of the meat pie when it bakes.
- Repeat steps 4-7 with remaining meat mixture and puff pastry pieces.
- Place the 6 meat pies on a prepared baking sheet, coat the top of the pies with a layer of egg.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.
I ate one PÃ¢tÃ© Chaud fresh from the oven and the warm butter flakes giving way to a pocket of savory meat brought me back to my childhood. My parents used to pick up these little pockets of joy from banh mi shops. Give this easy snack a try and let me know what you think!
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