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Vietnamese pate: A gourmet's delight for a great culinary experience

31/01/2024 6.580

If you are interested in European-influenced food in Vietnam, you must know about Vietnamese pate. It is a special item with a unique taste and texture.

Vietnamese pate

Having a taste of Vietnamese pate is something you should not miss out on during your trip to Vietnam. It can complete your Vietnam travel experience! In this guide, we will explain to you what it is, offer you several different recipes, and provide suggestions of where you can buy it to make your own Vietnamese food.

1. What is Vietnamese pate? What is it made of?

Vietnamese pate is a type of paste that originates from European countries and was introduced to Vietnam during the French colonial period from 1858 to 1954. Its key ingredients typically include animal liver and various seasonings like salt, pepper, sugar, and sometimes even wine. These ingredients are blended or processed into a smooth paste and then cooked. 

Vietnamese pate can vary in taste and texture, depending on the recipes and regional variations. It is often used in bánh mì, where a layer of pate is spread on the bread before adding other ingredients like grilled meats and pickled vegetables. Pate is also enjoyed as a topping for famous Vietnamese foods like xôi mặn.

Vietnamese pate

2. How many types of Vietnamese pate are there?

There are several variations of Vietnamese pate, each with its own unique flavors and ingredients. Some common types of Vietnamese pate include:

  • Chicken pate: Made primarily from chicken liver, this is one of the most common types of pate used in Vietnamese cuisine. It has a mild flavor.
  • Pork pate: Pork liver is used to make this type of pate. It tends to have a slightly stronger and richer taste compared to chicken pate.
  • Goose/duck pate: This is a type of pate made from goose/duck liver, similar in concept to other types of liver-based pates. It has a rich flavor due to the fatty nature of goose/duck liver.

Vietnamese pate is also classified by how it is made: 

  • Steamed pate: Pate steamed using a water bath method.
  • Baked Pate: Pate baked in metal or aluminum molds and placed in an oven at a temperature of about 250 degrees Celsius for 20 - 25 minutes.
Vietnamese pate

>>> Discover: Vietnam food list: 20 culinary delights you must try once in your life

3. How to make Vietnamese pate? - 4 most popular recipes

3.1. Vietnamese pork liver pate


  • 500g of pork liver
  • 250g of ground pork
  • 100g of pork fat
  • 1 tablespoon of five-spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of MSG
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette
  • 300ml of unsweetened fresh milk
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons of seasoning powder
  • 5 shallots
  • 1 garlic bulb


  1. Clean the pork liver, cut it into small pieces, and soak it in fresh milk for about 30 minutes. Rinse it thoroughly. Cut the baguette into small pieces and soak it in the fresh milk.
  2. Cut the pork fat into small cubes. Mix it with the ground pork, fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and MSG.
  3. Sauté the chopped shallots and minced garlic until fragrant. Add the mixed pork from the second step and stir until it firms up. Add the pork liver and continue to stir.
  4. Add the soaked baguette pieces and seasoning powder, mix well, and simmer on low heat until it is cooked. Allow it to cool. Blend the mixture until it becomes smooth.
  5. Spoon the mixture into ceramic molds and place them in a baking tray. Pour water into the tray to cover about 1/3 of the molds. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 45 minutes.
Vietnamese pate

3.2. Vietnamese salmon pate


  • 400g of salmon
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 5g of thyme leaves
  • 70g of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce


  1. Rinse the salmon filet and marinate it with thyme, salt, and ginger. Steam for about 8 minutes, then squeeze out excess water.
  2. Sauté the shallot and onion with butter until fragrant. Add the salmon and remaining spices. Cook over medium heat until the salmon is fully cooked.
  3. Blend the cooked salmon until smooth. Transfer it into a mold, smooth the surface, and refrigerate for about 3 - 4 hours.
  4. When serving, melt some butter and pour it over the top of the salmon pate. This Vietnamese pate is delicious when served with bread.

3.3. Vietnamese chicken liver pate


  • 400g of chicken liver
  • 100g of ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150ml of unsweetened fresh milk


  1. Clean the chicken liver, soak it in fresh milk for 20 - 30 minutes, rinse it, drain, and cut it into small pieces.
  2. Dice the onion. Finely chop the shallots and garlic. Tear the baguette into pieces and soak them in fresh milk.
  3. Sauté the garlic in butter, then add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add the ground pork and stir until it's cooked. Add the chicken liver and cook until it's done. Season with oyster sauce, salt, seasoning powder, black pepper, and sugar.
  4. Let the chicken liver mixture cool, then transfer it to a blender. Add the soaked baguette pieces and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into a mold, spreading it evenly. Place the mold inside a larger pan, add boiling water, then put the pate mold inside. Steam for 25 minutes.
Vietnamese pate

3.4. Vietnamese vegetarian pate


  • 500g of straw mushrooms
  • 2 pieces of white tofu
  • 50g of red bean paste
  • 50g of black bean paste
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of peanut butter
  • 100g of king oyster mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetarian seasoning powder
  • 1 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil


  1. Trim the base of the straw mushrooms and soak them in salted water. Finely chop them, then season with vegetarian seasoning powder and black pepper. 
  2. Mash the white tofu, season it with vegetarian seasoning powder, salt, sugar, and black pepper, then mix well.
  3. Sauté the king oyster mushrooms until fragrant. Add the straw mushrooms, white tofu, red bean paste, black bean paste, peanut butter, and mix together.
  4. Pour the mixture into a mold that has been greased with butter, press it firmly, and steam for about 20 minutes.

4. What dishes pair perfectly with Vietnamese pate?

Vietnamese pate is a versatile condiment that pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes. One of the most classic combinations is the beloved bánh mì, where the creamy pate complements the savory grilled meats, pickled vegetables, and fresh herbs. Additionally, Vietnamese pate can elevate Vietnamese breakfast foods like sticky rice, adding a rich and savory flavor. It can also be used in chicken recipes or for making pan-fried Vietnamese bread.

5. Where to buy Vietnamese pate on your trip?

Travelers can enjoy Vietnamese pate at most street-side vendors and restaurants. If you want to purchase Vietnamese pate to enjoy later, you can consider the following addresses in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City:

5.1. In Hanoi

  • Pate Lãn Ông: This is the go-to place for Hanoians to buy pate. 500g costs 100,000 VND. This brand has three branches: 
    • 8 Cha Ca
    • 25 Kim Ma
    • 65 Hang Be
  • Pate Nguyên Sinh: You can find tasty goose pate here. It costs 210,000 VND for 600g. This local pate brand has two branches: 
    • 17-19 Ly Quoc Su
    • 201 AB Doi Can
  • Pate Phố Huế: This is one of the oldest places selling Vietnamese pate in Hanoi. 500g costs 120,000 VND. The location is 118A Pho Hue.
Vietnamese pate

5.2. In Ho Chi Minh City

  • Pate Huỳnh Hoa: This is another Vietnamese pate place that offers 500g for 100,000 VND. The pate here is particularly loved by locals for its smooth texture. The address is 26 Le Thi Rieng.
  • Pate Nguyên Hà: You can buy goose pate, which is conveniently packaged for 68,000 VND/500g here. It is well-known for its French-Vietnamese taste.
  • Pate Tuyền Ký: This is a popular canned brand of pate in Vietnam. 170g is priced at only 25,000 VND. 

>>> Read more: Restaurants in Vietnam: 35+ BEST options for unforgettable dining

Besides Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you should also visit Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Ha Long while in Vietnam. These are all great destinations with lots to offer. Notably, the hotels and resorts of Vinpearl in these places offer fantastic accommodations, where you can choose from a variety of spacious and fully furnished rooms. Plus, you can further explore Vietnam’s cuisine at Vinpearl’s luxury dining establishments. 

In addition, don’t forget to check out the entertainment complexes of VinWonders. Here, there are countless activities that promise fun-filled memories for everyone.

Vietnamese pate

>>> Book rooms in Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Resort & Golf Nam Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long to enjoy luxurious accommodations in Vietnam!

Vietnamese pate is a unique type of paste that is made of a variety of ingredients, which is typically smooth in texture and creamy in taste. You can find it in many Vietnamese delicacies, such as bánh mì and xôi mặn. Make sure you give them a try!

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