Pork and Chicken Liver Pate for Banh Mi

vietnamese pate

Banh mi without good pate and mayonnaise feels almost naked and incomplete. While you can find decent premade pate in specialty stores and at Lee’s sandwiches, nothing beats making your own–and it’s not that hard to do.

This is Hong’s mom’s easy pate recipe which goes great on anything but especially banh mi such as  banh mi nem nuong and banh mi thit nuong.

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on banh mi with making homemade mayonnaise and banh mi thit nuong.

vietnamese pate

Vietnamese Pate for Banh Mi


2 cup bread crumb
1/2 cup water
1 lb chicken liver
1 lb ground pork
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
1/2 tb pepper
1 head garlic, peeled

1-2 tb cognac (optional)
2-3 drops red food coloring (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean chicken liver by removing any brown or green trimmings and fatty vestiges. Combine water and bread crumbs, mix and set aside. Slowly add all the ingredients together in a food processor and puree well until smooth. (After cooking, liver tends to turn a pasty gray and ashen color which is quite unappealing. Add a few drops of red food coloring for aesthetics)

Add the mixture to a loaf pan/ceramic baking pan (use 2 if necessary) and bake until a tooth pick comes out clean in the center, roughly 30 minutes. Allow to cool and transfer to a canning jar or other sealed container.

Pate lasts about 1 week. If you plan on storing it longer, melt some butter and layer over the top of pate to refrigerate or freeze.

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36 Responses to “Pork and Chicken Liver Pate for Banh Mi”

  1. 1

    Gastronomer — August 26, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

    I've never even considered making my own pate, but you're absolutely right, it's very doable! Is the bacon totally inedible? Throwing away bacon feels so wrong 😉

  2. 2

    Ravenous Couple — August 26, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

    Gastronomer: We hear ya–it would be almost sacrilegious to throw away the bacon–we just didn't put in in the banh mi, although there's certainly no reason why not as bacon makes everyone taste good!

  3. 3

    Amrita — August 27, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

    I'm salivating here! Looks meaty and absolutely gorgeous!

  4. 4

    cookingpractice — August 28, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

    i will try this very soon for my home made bánh mỳ! 🙂

  5. 5

    They call me Linh — November 19, 2009 @ 4:32 am

    My mouth is watering just thinking about homemade pate, are you kidding me!!!!!!!! Thank you for posting this recipe.

  6. 6

    Anonymous — January 4, 2010 @ 4:48 am

    I was wondering how long the pate would keep? I don't think I would be able to use this much up if it doesn't keep for a good amount of time. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. 7

    Ravenous Couple — January 4, 2010 @ 4:52 am

    Anonymous: This was quite a lot of pate for us as well and we decreased White on Rice's couples portions in half. We would decrease the recipe in half again the next time we do this.

  8. 8

    Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88 — February 4, 2010 @ 12:23 am

    Wow, making your own pate. Sounds great but how long can we keep this in the fridge? Maybe I can try to make smaller portion.

  9. 9

    Anonymous — April 9, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

    go to 7online.com search baogeutte, they stole your recipe for pate.

  10. 10

    Xuan — May 2, 2010 @ 4:39 pm

    Is there anything I can used to substitute for the pork fat? I don't have a problem with it but my family members have cholesterol problems. Thanks =)

  11. 11

    Ravenous Couple — May 2, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

    xuan, there are many types of pate that don't additional pork fat at all…so just don't use it. we adapted this recipe from another blog listed above and it was alot..

  12. 12

    CrazyIrish — July 31, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    Hi, this is great! I’ve always love making my own versions for food but is there a certain type of baguette to buy? Do you have a recipe for making the baguette? Thanks in advance!

  13. 13

    anh — August 14, 2011 @ 8:44 am

    Do you use fresh bread crumb or dry bread crumb? thank you!

  14. 14

    Quynh — August 28, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

    What kind of breadcrumbs do you use? plain, fresh or dry? Also, can you substitute chicken liver for pork liver? People comments talk about bacon fat and pork fat, I dont see that on the recipe?

  15. 15

    The Ravenous Couple — August 29, 2011 @ 10:30 am

    this is an updated, streamlined and much easier version. any breadcrumb will do, we make our own from day old bread and process it in the food processor.

  16. 16

    vietfood — September 21, 2011 @ 8:55 am

    Thanks for the recipe. So you add all the ingredients mixed it and cooked before you put it in the oven right?

  17. 17

    The Ravenous Couple — September 21, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    yes! it needs to be finely mixed/pureed first. good luck!

  18. 18

    Robert — November 16, 2011 @ 5:03 am

    Tastes great, but so not creamy. Is the recipe right? DId I overbake? Made a firm loaf….what have I done?

  19. 19

    Zoey — June 6, 2012 @ 8:18 am

    I have a question. Do I cook the ground pork before mixing or do I leave it raw?

  20. 20

    The Ravenous Couple — June 6, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    leave raw, you bake everything at the end

  21. 21

    homer — August 12, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    Sorry!! what about the ground pork? mix it at the same time the chicken liver?? puree the chicken liver uncooked?? Thank a lot

  22. 22

    The Ravenous Couple — August 13, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    yes, combine it all together

  23. 23

    magicafe — January 7, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    like the pate and look yummy. instead of ground pork, can we use chicken or beef for the ingredient. does it alter the taste of the pate? thanks

  24. 24

    The Ravenous Couple — January 24, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    yes, you can substitute groudn pork w/ chicken, prob with milder taste

  25. 25

    $1 Bánh Mì — January 8, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

    […] making a pate sounds tricky, it’s really not. This is the first recipe I tried, and I’ve modeled this recipe on theirs. The completed loaf, removed from its […]

  26. 26

    Lynna — March 13, 2013 @ 11:33 am

    Banh mi with pate is definitely one of my favorite sandwiches, ever. I grew up eating this, so I`m always craving it now that I`m in college. Haha!

  27. 27

    AnnN — July 7, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    Thank you for all these wonderful recipes. I’m Vietnamese, but can’t understand any of the Vietnamese recipes written in Vietnamese (I know, bad) and Google translate can’t translate correctly so things come out often in gibberish. I love EVERYTHING about your recipes from the gorgeous pictures (us Asians need our colored pictures!), step by step photos, recipes from scratch so you can make it a healthier way than what you can buy in the store. QUESTION: did I read correctly, it’s pork meat, NOT pork liver? I’ve been looking for this recipe forever. Do you know if there is anything different from this vs. the French style pate? Big thanks, love, love your blog!

  28. 28

    The Ravenous Couple — July 8, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

    thank you for the kind words! yes, it’s combination of ground pork and pork liver.

  29. 29

    FoodLover — November 26, 2013 @ 7:11 pm


    I made this recipe today, but it does not look smooth like yours. It is thick…my husband joked and asked if it was meat loaf. How to I get the soft smooth texture like yours?

    Thank you!

  30. 30

    The Ravenous Couple — December 6, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    you have to grind it up in food processor until smooth..

  31. 31

    henry — February 8, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

    author’s recommended bake time: 30 minutes
    actual bake time: 1 hr and 30 minutes

    just fyi before you make this.

  32. 32

    Vietnamese Pate for Banh Mi - The Ravenous Couple - Celebrity Chefs TV | Celebrity Chefs TV — May 1, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

    […] Vietnamese Pate for Banh Mi – The Ravenous Couple […]

  33. 33

    Amy — June 30, 2014 @ 8:22 am

    Just wanted to let you know I tried out this recipe yesterday and it turned out AMAZING! Thank you very much for sharing!

  34. 34

    Banh Mi - Ang Sarap — April 22, 2016 @ 12:00 am

    […] with meats of all kinds but the popular ones are meatballs, pork (steamed, grilled or roasted), liver pâté, pork floss, sardines, tofu, etc. This meat is then accompanied by vegetables and condiments like […]

  35. 35

    Lydia Rose — July 12, 2016 @ 3:28 pm

    OMG, I’m in heaven now that I have found you. It was by accident, I was on a quest to find a recipe for liver pate and your recipe came up.
    I did a quick research on you and found you to be Vietnamese
    That made me very happy. After all when you want authentic Banh Mi who better to advice me
    You now have a new fan

  36. 36

    AliceMai — September 13, 2016 @ 2:05 pm

    I just tested this recipe and it’s super easy and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your talents.

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