Growing up I was never much a fan of Vietnamese desserts. Most were either too sickly sweet or the textures weren't to my liking. [Xin lỗi to the relatives I may have offended!] But when it comes to Vietnamese savories I go crazy for them.
One of my absolute favorites is Bánh Patê Sô, a pork-filled puff pastry. Their influence is definitely French and the name is actually a play on pâté chaud or "hot pastry." My mom typically saved these treats for special occasions or when she had Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry on hand. In Vietnam they're normally eaten for breakfast but I like to enjoy them any time of day.
I took it as a sign that I should make these for myself when I had some leftover egg roll filling and quickest puff pastry dough sitting in my freezer. I'm so glad I did! I'm kicking myself for not making them from scratch sooner. The great thing is that the shaped, unbaked pastries can be frozen well in advance of when you need them. Just thaw them overnight in the fridge and they're ready to go in the oven.
3/4 lb ground pork
1 medium yellow onion diced
2 tbs fish sauce
1/2 tbs ground pepper
1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms, soaked in warm water about 10 min and minced to a small dice
1/4 cup bean thread noodles, soaked in warm water about 10 min and cut
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 package of puff pastry squares or cups (typically 10-12 pastries) or homemade
1 egg, beatened for egg wash
Allow the puff pastry to defrost in the fridge and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine the pork with onions, fish sauce, ground pepper and veggies in a bowl. Cut the puff pastry in to about 4-inch squares.* Add a spoonful of the meat mixture to one corner. Be careful not to add too much and leave space at the edges to seal the pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash and fold it into a triangle. Crimple the edges with a fork to seal.
At this point you can freeze the pastries to bake later. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and freeze until firm. Place the frozen pastries in a ziploc bag. They can be kept frozen for 2 months. To use, place frozen pastries on a parchment lined sheet pan and thaw overnight in the fridge. Continue with recipe below.
Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash for a beautiful golden color. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
* I used a 1.5-inch fluted round cutter to cut the puff pastry dough and filled two rounds with a 1/2 teaspoon of filling.