Ever since I was a little kid, my mom would make these Vietnamese pastries for breakfast, though we’d eat them at all hours anyway. When I left for college, I pried the recipe for this cost-effective dish from her at the last minute. It has turned out to be one of the more useful things that I brought with me.
I hesitate to use the word “traditional” when referring to this dish; the very nature of Vietnamese cuisine sort of rebuts the word. Phở, for example, takes its name from the French “pot-au-feu.” That dish, which has become the meal that most typifies “traditional” Vietnamese food, is made using French techniques such as the bouquet garni.
But who gives a fuck, right? The important thing here is that the Vietnamese are notorious for appropriating the cuisine of their colonial overlords and making substantial leaps and bounds with their interpretations of it. And so, a few generations later, you have me making bánh pâté chaud in my residence hall kitchen.
Bánh Pâté Chaud
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- a couple dashes of fish sauce
- pepper, maybe salt if you really feel like it
- 1 or 2 boxes of Pillsbury puff pastry dough (depending on how you fill them)
Mix all of the sexy ingredients, and insert a bit of the mixture into an approximately 2×2-inch square of pastry dough. Press the edges with a fork or your fingers. Brush some yolk on top if you want to get fancy.
Finally, throw it all into a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes! These freeze really well, too.