If you have never had Bahn Mi, move to a bigger city. Do it.

If you are unfortunate enough to live in a city that is big enough to have one or two Vietnamese restaurants, but they serve Bahn Mi without paté and don’t give you the option of having it, move to a bigger city. DO IT.

If you live in a large city but don’t like paté on your Bahn Mi … I … have nothing to say to that.

I try, and utterly fail, to make my paté taste as good as Pho Thanh Huong’s paté in Las Vegas. They are a very good restaurant on the whole. They have a good number of different sandwiches and they are pretty generous with the fillings; unlike a lot of other places they don’t skimp on the pickled veggies, and a paucity of those will completely ruin a Bahn Mi. As will a lack of smooth, peppery chicken liver paté. They also have tons of different noodle dishes that are all executed very well.

After we have Bahn Mi for dinner I almost always have some of this left over. I’ll just eat it on bread. It looks terrible, but it’s delicious and good for you!

Paté for Bahn Mi
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
Use generously.
  • 1 lb chicken livers
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Any of the following, whatever you have on hand, see notes for amounts: teriyaki sauce, korean barbecue sauce, dark soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce
  1. Rinse the livers and soak in milk for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium high heat and add the onion. Saute 5 mins or until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and chicken livers, saute 7 mins or until no pink remains. Add any additional flavorings here. Break apart the livers to check that the inside is thoroughly cooked.
  4. Add ground pepper and cool until ready to puree the livers.
  5. Puree in food processor until completely smooth. If mixture is too thick to puree, add chicken stock by the tablespoon.
You can flavor the pate with a great variety of sauces listed above. For teriyaki, korean barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, I'd recommend 1 tbsp. For dark soy sauce, 1 - 2 tsp. A chili sauce of your choice can also be used in small amounts, but the point of the pate is to be very peppery instead of very spicy.