Vegetarian Bánh Pate So (Vietnamese Savory Pies)
March 5, 2024
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

Perfect for celebrating Lunar New Year- this vegetarian twist on traditional Vietnamese savory pies will have everyone coming back for seconds. They’re also an advantageous way to sneak some healthy foods into picky kids (and grownups!) all wrapped up in tasty puff pastry. Usually made with a combination of ground pork and mushrooms, this version utilizes lentils to give the pie filling a delicious texture and a boost of plant-based protein and fiber. Mushrooms are a superfood in their own right, containing an amino acid called ergothioneine, which prevents and slows down cellular damage and aging. They also lower cholesterol, boost vitamin D, and protect brain health.

Makes 12-15 mini pies
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet prepared puff pastry, defrosted per package instructions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups finely chopped mushrooms (whichever variety you have available)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ small white onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ cup cooked brown lentils
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 beaten egg yolk

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the mushrooms, garlic, and onion, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  2. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until the onion begins to caramelize and the mushrooms cook down and release their liquid. 
  3. In a small bowl, mash the lentils into a paste, then add to the pan with the mushrooms and stir thoroughly to combine. 
  4. Unroll the pastry, and use a small jar or glass to cut out an even number of circles. Peel the excess pastry away and save it for another use or discard it. 
  5. Use a small spoon to scoop about 1 teaspoon of filling onto half of the pastry circles. Line up the other circles on top, and use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges securely closed around the filling. Place each completed pie onto the prepared baking sheet. 
  6. Brush the beaten egg yolk onto each pie, and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your pies). Take them out when they are golden brown and puffed. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: Feel free to swap in any filling you prefer. And freeze any leftovers- they save and reheat easily in your oven. 

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com