The Best Banh Mi Pate Fillings for Meat Lovers and Vegetarians Alike

By Alex Au Yeung

5/5 - (2 votes)

Banh mi pate is a Vietnamese sandwich that I discovered during a trip to Ho Chi Minh City a few years ago, and it instantly became one of my favorite foods.

The sandwich is a perfect balance of crispy bread, savory pate, fresh vegetables, and spicy condiments, creating a burst of flavors and textures in every bite. I was fascinated by the history and cultural significance of this popular street food, which reflects Vietnam’s French colonial influence and its rich culinary heritage.

Since then, I have explored various banh mi pate recipes, experimented with different fillings and condiments, and even tried making my own bread from scratch.

Today, in this Yelo blog, I will share my knowledge and passion for banh mi pate, and hopefully, inspire you to try this delicious and versatile sandwich yourself.

What is banh mi pate?

Is Vietnam Food Healthy?
What is banh mi pate?

Banh mi pate is a popular Vietnamese sandwich that consists of a French-style baguette filled with pate, vegetables, and condiments. The bread is typically airy and crisp on the outside, while soft and chewy on the inside, providing the perfect base for the savory fillings.

The term “banh mi” actually refers to the bread itself, which was introduced to Vietnam during the French colonial period in the late 19th and early 20th century. Initially, the bread was only consumed by the French colonizers, but it soon became popular among the Vietnamese locals due to its affordability and accessibility.

“What is banh mi pate?” The concept of Vietnamese pate emerged in the 1950s, when Vietnamese bakers started to incorporate pate, a liver-based spread of French origin, into the sandwich filling, along with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro, and chili peppers. This fusion of French and Vietnamese ingredients and flavors created a unique and delicious sandwich that quickly gained popularity in the country.

Today, banh mi pate is widely available in Vietnam and other parts of the world, and it has also inspired many variations and adaptations. Despite its humble origins, banh mi pate has become an iconic dish that represents the cultural diversity and creativity of Vietnamese cuisine.

Why banh mi pate is popular?

Vietnamese pate has become a popular dish for several reasons, including its unique blend of flavors, accessibility, and affordability.

  • Firstly, banh mi pate is known for its delicious and diverse flavors. The combination of the crispy baguette, creamy pate, tangy pickled vegetables, and spicy condiments creates a perfect balance of sweet, savory, sour, and spicy tastes. Moreover, the sandwich can be customized with different types of meats, such as pork, beef, chicken, or tofu, and a variety of condiments, depending on personal preferences.
  • Secondly, banh mi pate is a highly accessible street food that can be found in many corners of Vietnamese cities and towns. It is often sold by street vendors or small shops that specialize in Banh Mi, making it a convenient and popular food choice for locals and tourists alike, particularly for Vietnamese breakfast. Vietnamese breakfast seekers can easily indulge in the delightful combination of crusty bread, flavorful pate, and fresh herbs to kick-start their day.
  • Finally, banh mi pate is an affordable and filling meal that offers great value for money. The ingredients used in the sandwich are inexpensive and widely available, making it a popular option for those on a tight budget. Additionally, the generous portions and balanced nutrition of banh mi pate make it a satisfying and convenient meal for people on the go.

The combination of unique flavors, accessibility, and affordability has made banh mi pate a beloved and popular dish in Vietnam and beyond.

Banh mi pate recipes 

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banh mi pate recipes 

Here’s a pate banh mi recipe that incorporates the keywords “pate banh mi recipe” and “banh mi ingredients pate”. This recipe requires making the pate ahead of time.

Cooking Note

  • Yield: 4 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese

Equipment:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Food processor or blender
  • Skillet
  • Baking sheet
  • Oven

Ingredients

For the Pate For the Banh Mi
1 lb chicken liver1 shallot, finely chopped2 cloves garlic, minced2 tbsp unsalted butter2 tbsp brandy1 tsp dried thyme1 tsp salt1/2 tsp black pepper 4 mini baguettes4 tbsp mayonnaise1/2 cup pickled carrots and daikon1/2 cup sliced cucumbers1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

Table about nutrient facts of banh mi pate

Here is a table with nutrient facts for a typical banh mi pate 

Nutrient Amount
Calories 350-450
Total Fat 10-15g
Saturated Fat 3-5g
Cholesterol 30-50 mg
Sodium 800-1000 mg
Carbohydrates 45-55g
Fiber 2-3g
Sugars 5-8g
Protein 15-20g

Note: The exact nutrient values for banh mi pate may vary depending on the specific ingredients and recipe used. The values listed above are approximate and should be used as a general guideline.

As seen in the table, a typical banh mi pate calories contain around 350–450 calories, with most of the calories coming from carbohydrates and protein. The sandwich is also relatively high in sodium, which is mainly due to the use of pickled vegetables and condiments. However, banh mi pate can be a nutritious and balanced meal if made with fresh and healthy ingredients, such as whole-grain bread, lean protein, and plenty of vegetables.

How to make banh mi pate?

Is Vietnam Food Healthy?
How to make banh mi pate?

 

“What is banh mi pate made of?” the pate is typically made from pork, chicken, or liver and is spread on the bread as a creamy and savory base. The pickled vegetables provide a tangy and crunchy contrast to the rich pate, while the other toppings add freshness and heat to the sandwich. banh mi pate is a delicious and unique fusion of French and Vietnamese culinary traditions, making it a beloved dish in both cultures.

I will show you how to make banh mi pate and pate. Follow my progress.

Pate

  1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken liver, then trim any fat and sinew.
  2. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken liver, brandy, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook until the liver is browned and cooked through.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  5. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Banh mi pate

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice the baguettes lengthwise and spread each side with butter.
  3. Spread the pate on the bottom half of each baguette.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the carrot and daikon, and toss to coat. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to pickle.
  5. In another small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and sriracha sauce to make the spicy mayo.
  6. Place a generous amount of pickled vegetables, sliced cucumber, jalapeno, and cilantro leaves on top of the pate.
  7. Spread the spicy mayo on the top half of each baguette, and place it on top of the filling.
  8. Bake the sandwiches in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and the pate is warmed through.

Serve hot and enjoy your homemade banh mi pate!

Types of bread used for banh mi pate

Banh mi pate is traditionally made with a type of French-style baguette that has a crispy crust and a soft, airy interior. However, many different types of bread can be used for banh mi pate, depending on personal preferences and availability.

Here are some common types of bread used for banh mi pate:

  • French Baguette: This is the classic and most commonly used bread for banh mi pate. It is a long, thin loaf with a crispy crust and a soft, chewy interior.
  • Vietnamese Baguette: This bread is similar to the French baguette, but slightly lighter and fluffier in texture. It is often used for banh mi pate in Vietnam.
  • Ciabatta: This Italian bread is characterized by its chewy texture and irregular shape. It is a popular alternative to traditional baguettes for banh mi pate, as it provides a hearty and rustic flavor.
  • Sourdough: This bread has a tangy and complex flavor, which can add depth to the flavor profile of banh mi pate. It is denser than baguette, which can make it more filling.
  • Whole Grain: This bread is a healthier option for banh mi pate, as it contains more fiber and nutrients than white bread. It also has a nuttier and more robust flavor that can complement the rich and savory pate filling.

The type of bread used for banh mi pate can vary depending on personal preferences and availability. However, the bread should have a crispy crust, a soft and airy interior, and a sturdy texture that can hold up to the savory fillings and condiments of the sandwich.

Types of pate used for banh mi pate

Several types of pate can be used in banh mi pate, each offering a different flavor and texture. Here are some common types of pate used in banh mi pate:

  • Pork pate: This is the most traditional and popular type of pate used in banh mi pate. It is typically made with ground pork, liver, and spices, and has a creamy and savory flavor.
  • Chicken pate: Chicken pate is a lighter and milder alternative to pork pate, and is a great option for those who prefer a less intense flavor. It is made with ground chicken, liver, and herbs.
  • Liver pate: Liver pate is a more intense and earthy option, with a distinct flavor that is not for everyone. It is made with liver, cream, and seasonings, and can be used alone or in combination with other types of pate.
  • Vegetarian pate: For those who prefer a meat-free option, vegetarian pate made from mushrooms, nuts, and vegetables is a delicious and nutritious alternative. It offers a similar creamy and savory texture as traditional pate, without the use of animal products.

The choice of pate for banh mi pate depends on personal taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Experimenting with different types of pate can add variety and depth to this delicious Vietnamese sandwich.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S–Kp3at4Q4

 

How to choose good quality pate?

Choosing good quality pate is crucial for making a delicious banh mi pate sandwich. Here are some characteristics to look for when selecting pate:

  • Freshness: Look for pate that is freshly made and has not been sitting on the shelf for too long. Fresh pate will have a smooth texture and a rich aroma.
  • Quality ingredients: Choose pate that is made with high-quality meat, such as pork or chicken liver, and does not contain fillers or artificial flavors. The best pate for banh mi pate is rich and flavorful, but not overly greasy.
  • Consistency: Good quality pate should have a smooth and creamy consistency that is easy to spread on the bread.
  • Flavor: Look for pate that has a rich and complex flavor profile, with a balance of savory and sweet notes. The best pate for banh mi pate will have a strong umami taste and a hint of sweetness.
  • Brand reputation: Choose pate from a reputable brand or supplier that has a track record of producing high-quality products.

When selecting pate for banh mi pate, it is important to choose one that complements the other ingredients in the sandwich. A good quality pate should be rich and flavorful, but not overpowering, allowing the other flavors to shine through. By paying attention to the above characteristics, you can find the best pate for your banh mi pate sandwich and enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal.

Banh mi pate substitute ingredients

While pate is an essential ingredient in traditional banh mi pate, several substitutes can be used to create a similar flavor and texture. Here are some ideas for banh mi pate substitutes:

  • Tofu: Firm or extra-firm tofu can be sliced and marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic to create a savory and protein-packed filling for banh mi pate. The texture is similar to pate, and it can be seasoned to mimic the flavor of meat-based pate.
  • Hummus: Hummus is a creamy and flavorful spread made from chickpeas, tahini, and olive oil. It can be used as a vegetarian substitute for pate, providing a similar consistency and a tangy flavor that complements the other ingredients in banh mi pate.
  • Eggplant spread: Roasted or grilled eggplant can be mashed with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil to create a delicious and smoky spread that can be used as a vegetarian alternative to pate.
  • Mushroom spread: Sautéed mushrooms can be blended with herbs, garlic, and cream cheese or tofu to create a rich and savory spread that can be used in place of pate. The earthy flavor of mushrooms pairs well with the other ingredients in banh mi pate.
  • Chicken liver pate substitute: If you’re looking for a substitute for pate that still has a meaty flavor, consider using chicken liver mousse. This spread is made from chicken liver, cream, and seasonings and has a similar texture and flavor to traditional pate.

These banh mi pate substitutes are a great way to make the sandwich accessible to people with dietary restrictions or personal preferences, while still maintaining the delicious flavor and texture of the traditional recipe

Variations of banh mi pate

Banh mi pate is a versatile sandwich that can be customized with a variety of fillings to suit individual tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some popular variations of banh mi pate:

Vietnamese liver pate 

Vietnamese liver pate is the traditional pate used in banh mi pate and is typically made with pork or chicken liver, onions, garlic, and various spices. It has a rich and creamy texture and a savory flavor that complements the other ingredients in the sandwich.

Vietnamese chicken liver pate

Vietnamese chicken liver pate is a lighter and milder version of traditional pate that is made with chicken liver instead of pork. It has a slightly sweeter and more delicate flavor that pairs well with the pickled vegetables and spicy mayo in banh mi pate.

Vegetarian pate for banh mi

This is a meat-free alternative to traditional pate that is made with ingredients such as lentils, beans, nuts, or tofu. Vegetarian pate for banh mi can be seasoned with herbs, spices, and umami-rich ingredients like soy sauce or miso to create a flavorful and satisfying spread that mimics the texture of pate.

Vietnamese mushroom pate

Vietnamese mushroom pate is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly alternative to traditional pate that is made with mushrooms, onions, garlic, and herbs. The mushrooms are sautéed until they are tender and then blended with the other ingredients to create a smooth and flavorful spread that adds an earthy and umami flavor to banh mi pate.

These variations of banh mi pate offer different tastes and textures that can suit a variety of dietary preferences and taste preferences. Whether you prefer traditional pate or want to try a vegetarian or mushroom-based alternative, banh mi pate is a versatile and delicious sandwich that can be customized to your liking.

What pate is used in banh mi?

The most commonly used pate in Banh Mi is Vietnamese liver pate, also known as “banh mi pate thit nguoi“. This pate is made from pork liver, pork shoulder, and seasonings, and has a smooth and creamy texture that is perfect for spreading on the bread.

In some variations of Banh Mi, chicken liver pate or vegetarian pate may be used as a substitute for the traditional pork liver pate. Chicken liver pate is made from chicken liver, cream, and seasonings, while vegetarian pate can be made from a variety of ingredients such as tofu, nuts, beans, or vegetables.

Regardless of the type of pate used, it is an essential ingredient in banh mi pate, providing a rich and savory flavor that complements the tangy pickled vegetables and spicy mayo, so “what pate is used in banh mi” then the answer is pate Anything can be used with bread

What pre-made pates?

If you’re looking for pre-made pate options for banh mi pate, several Vietnamese brands produce high-quality pates. Here are some popular pre-made pates that can be used in banh mi pate:

  • Vietnamese Pate Can: This is a small, canned pate that is often used as a convenient and affordable option for banh mi pate. It is similar to the traditional Vietnamese liver pate, but has a slightly firmer texture.
  • Minh Long Pate: This is a popular brand of pre-made pate that is widely available in Vietnamese grocery stores. They offer several varieties of pate, including pork liver pate and chicken liver pate.
  • Ba Tam Pate: This is another well-known brand of Vietnamese pate that is popular among banh mi pate makers. They offer a range of pate flavors, including pork liver, chicken liver, and mixed meat pate.
  • Kim Son Pate: This is a brand that specializes in pork liver pate and has been producing pate for over 40 years. Their pate is made with high-quality pork liver and seasonings and has a smooth and creamy texture.

These pre-made pates offer a convenient and easy way to make banh mi pate at home, without the need to make pate from scratch. However, it’s always a good idea to read the ingredient list and choose brands that use high-quality ingredients and avoid fillers or artificial flavors.

Where can buy pre-made pate?

Pre-made pate for banh mi can be found in most Vietnamese or Asian grocery stores, as well as some specialty food stores or online retailers. These locations are excellent sources for various Vietnamese snacks and ingredients. Here are some places where you can buy pre-made pate for banh mi:

  • Vietnamese or Asian grocery stores: These stores typically carry a wide range of Vietnamese food products, including pre-made pate. Some popular stores include 99 Ranch Market, H Mart, and Viet Wah Supermarket.
  • Specialty food stores: Some specialty food stores may carry pre-made pate from Vietnamese brands. Check with your local gourmet food store or specialty meat shop to see if they carry any options.
  • Online retailers: You can also buy pre-made pate for banh mi pate online from retailers such as Amazon or Asian Food Grocer. Just be sure to check the reviews and choose a reputable brand before making a purchase.

When shopping for pre-made pate, it’s a good idea to read the ingredient list and choose brands that use high-quality ingredients and avoid fillers or artificial flavors. This will ensure that you are getting a delicious and authentic banh mi pate experience.

What is the price of banh mi pate?

Is Vietnam Food Healthy?
What is the price of banh mi pate

 

The price of banh mi pate can vary depending on the location and the vendor. In Vietnam, banh mi pate can be found for as little as 10,000 VND (less than 50 cents USD) from street vendors. In the United States or other Western countries, the price can range from $3 to USD 8 or more, depending on the location and the quality of the ingredients used. 

Pre-made pate for banh mi pate can also vary in price depending on the brand and the size of the can. It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare prices to find the best value for your money.

Try more banh mi recipes at home:

 

FAQs

Do all banh mi have pate?

Not all banh mi sandwiches include pate, but it is a common and traditional ingredient in banh mi pate. “Does banh mi have pate” the sandwich typically consists of a French-style baguette, pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, spicy mayo, and a protein filling such as grilled pork, chicken, or tofu. 

While pate is the most common protein filling for banh mi pate, some variations of the sandwich may use other ingredients such as grilled meat or tofu as a substitute.

Can I freeze banh mi pate?

Yes, banh mi pate can be frozen for later use. To freeze, wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and then place it in an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to eat, thaw the sandwich in the refrigerator overnight and then heat it in the oven or microwave until warmed through.

Is liver pate high risk?

Liver pate can be high in fat and cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease if consumed in excess. Additionally, if the pate is not cooked or stored properly, it can be a source of foodborne illness due to the presence of bacteria. 

It is important to choose high-quality pate from a reputable source and store it properly in the refrigerator. When preparing pate at home, be sure to follow safe food handling practices and cook the pate thoroughly to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.

Conclusion

After all, is said and done, banh mi pate is a delicious and satisfying sandwich that is loved by many.

This traditional Vietnamese sandwich is made with a French-style baguette, pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, spicy mayo, and a protein filling such as pate or grilled meat. Pate is the most common protein filling for banh mi pate, but there are many variations of the sandwich that use other ingredients, such as tofu or mushroom spread.

Making banh mi pate at home is easy and requires only a few key ingredients. High-quality pate is an essential ingredient in the sandwich, providing a rich and savory flavor that complements the tangy pickled vegetables and spicy mayo. There are also many pre-made pate options available for those who prefer a convenient and easy option.

Whether you prefer the traditional pate filling or a vegetarian-friendly option, banh mi pate is a versatile and delicious sandwich that is sure to please.