Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (2024)

Huy Vu 9/19/20 Jump to Recipe

This creamy and rich chicken liver pâté recipe is full of buttery, fatty flavor and amazing to eat with even just a slice of baguette.You will most likely see Vietnamese pâté in bánh mì and it’s the perfect amount of extra flavor that boosts the sandwich’s flavor.

If you want to make bánh mi at home and don’t want to use the canned varieties you find at Lee’s sandwiches or at your local Vietnamese grocery store, this recipe is easy to follow and will give you extra batches to share with friends and family (or to make tons of bánh mì).

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (1)


Pâté is generally a type of meat paste with a main ingredient of liver, but you can also find other types including ground meat of pork, beef, or even chicken.

While there are different types of pâté from all over the world, Vietnamese pâté was introduced by French colonialism and cuisine. Different French variations of pâté include a baked crust version (pâté en croûte) where it’s similarly baked like a pie or a pâté en terrine where it is baked in a mold usually in a water bath in the oven.

Not to be confused with pâté chaud, which is a meat pie that is made of ground pork or beef (and not liver). pâté is essentially a formed meat pie, but it’s known that pâté chaud has origins from a seafood stuffed pastry–not technically the forcemeat (or grounded and molded meat) version we know pâté to be these days.

The Vietnamese version of pâté is called pâté de campagne, or country pâté; This usually has a coarser texture and is traditionally made with cheaper ingredients like pork liver because they could not afford to make the traditional chicken or goose liver pâté. These days, there are plenty of pâté versions that are made with chicken and pork livers.

Prep & cooking chicken livers

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (2)

Chicken livers have somewhat of a bad rap to them because of their iron taste, but I feel like it’s definitely misunderstood. After learning a few adjustments in my cooking, I realized chicken livers can have a flavorful profile.

Before I even start to cook my chicken livers, I like to soak them in a milk bath overnight. I know I know, this sounds like a LONG time, but it’s definitely worth it. The milk helps to remove some of the gumminess in the texture and also mellows out the flavor.

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (3)

One of the easiest things about this recipe is that you don’t need to bake or water bath this pâté to cook it. All the cooking is done over the stove and then pulsed in a food processor.

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (4)

Even though this is a rustic type of pâté that is often more coarse than other types, I still like the option of straining it to remove the chewy pieces of ground pork.


Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (5)

Sometimes when I buy bánh mì sandwiches, I find that there’s never enough pâté inside so I love having the option of adding more when I make homemade pâté. Other ways I like to eat pâté is also on a cheeseboard with plenty of crackers and Stilton cheese.


Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (6)
  • Remove stringy tendons and fatty white/yellow parts when prepping the livers. This will help prevent more chewy pieces in the pâté.
  • Soak the livers in milk overnight in the fridge. While this obviously is a long time to wait, soaking the livers in milk helps reduce the gumminess and mellow out the flavor of the livers. If you don’t have enough time, I would still suggest at least 3-4 hours soaking in the fridge.
  • Don’t overcook livers in the pan. I like to use a meat thermometer to test the livers while cooking to make sure I’m not overcooking them. Otherwise, they will start to taste very bitter and dry or tough. I stop cooking once the livers hit 160 °F because I know they will continue to cook a little more while they cool.
  • Cool your livers and ground pork mixture before processing. This allows the sauce to slightly thicken, cook the livers a little more without overcooking, and doesn’t give you a hot mess when you try to pulse them into a pulp.
  • Option to strain. While pâté de campagne is known to be coarse, I still like to strain the pâté before putting them in the mold to remove the chewy ground pork pieces. This is optional.
  • Line your molds with plastic wrap to make it easier to remove after they have firmed up.
  • Add a layer of clarified butter on top to help seal the surface and prevent the pâté from drying up.
  • You can freeze the pâté if you have extras and defrost them for later use as well.

How long can you keep chicken liver pâté?

In the fridge, chicken liver pâté is only good for a few days. You also have the option for freezing leftover untouched pâté.

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (7)

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (8)

Chicken Liver Pâté (great for bánh mì)

5 from 10 votes

This creamy and buttery chicken liver pate is an easy to follow recipe and you'll want to make this for any Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich.


BY: Huy Vu

Prep: 10 minutes mins

Cook: 25 minutes mins

Marinating, resting, and chilling: 10 hours hrs

Total: 10 hours hrs 35 minutes mins



  • 1 lb (453.6 g) chicken livers
  • 1 c milk
  • ½ lb (226.8 g) ground pork minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¾ c yellow onion (about 1 small onion) chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic (about 5 cloves) minced
  • 4 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Equipment Used


  • Prep liver by cleaning the livers under running water to remove any random debris and using a knife to cut out fatty pieces or dark brown spots.

  • Put the livers into a glass container, pour milk until it covers all of the livers, and cover with a lid. Marinade the livers in milk overnight in the fridge.

  • The day after, remove the livers from the fridge, transfer them into a strainer to remove the excess milk, and rest on the counter to get to room temperature (about 20 minutes before cooking).

  • Place the ground pork in the food processor and grind until it’s minced.

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and saute the onions for about two minutes or until fragrant, then add the garlic and saute for another one minute. Add the butter and stir until it melts.

  • Add the chicken livers and ground pork in the saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes.

  • Then, mix in the other ingredients into the saucepan and cook for about 7 minutes or until the liver’s temperature measures to about 160 °F and it feels firmer to the touch. The whole cooking time should not take longer than 15 minutes.

  • Turn off heat and let the liver mixture come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

  • Once it’s cooled down, add everything into a food processor and chop until it’s smooth. Option to strain if you want a smoother texture.

  • Transfer the pâté to containers and cling wrap over the top of the container to prevent the pâté from drying out. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours to let it form.

  • Optional: line containers with cling wrap to prevent it from sticking after forming in the fridge. I like to use airtight containers with a lid so the pâté will stay fresh in the fridge. You also can add a top layer of clarified butter to further keep the pâté from molding.

  • Transfer the pâté from the fridge and onto a serving container and eat immediately. Fresh pâté can be stored in the fridge for up to three to four days. You can also freeze untouched pâté too.

Nutrition Facts

Chicken Liver Pâté (great for bánh mì)

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*






Saturated Fat



































Vitamin A





Vitamin C















* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Course: Appetizer, Sides

Cuisine: Vietnamese

Keyword: banh mi, chicken liver, pate

Did you cook this recipe?Tag @HungryHuy or #hungryhuy–I’d love to see it!

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Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (14)

Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe (Great for Vietnamese Bánh Mì) - Hungry Huy (2024)


What is the difference between pâté and Vietnamese pate? ›

However since the Vietnamese were poor, cheaper cuts of meat like pork liver were used in the production of the Vietnamese version of pate. Vietnamese pate also has a courser texture than French pate.

What is Vietnamese pate made of? ›

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.

What makes a great pâté? ›

The choice of meat used in pâté can significantly influence its flavor and texture. For example, chicken liver pâté tends to be smooth and spreadable, while a game pâté may be more robust and coarse. The balance of lean meats and fat in a recipe is very important as it will define its texture and flavor profile.

How long does Vietnamese pate last in the fridge? ›

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

Why is liver pate so expensive? ›

It's that labor cost—coupled with a limited supply of fatty livers for the market—that makes foie gras so pricey.

What is the best bread for liver pate? ›

A grilled, properly spiky sourdough bread would be the ideal here, but any decent, thick-cut real white or granary bread will do. Brown bread feels too worthy in this context. Likewise, limp, thin-sliced, industrially manufactured bread will not cut it in the regal presence of a paté.

How do you eat Vietnamese pate? ›

Spread the pate inside of the baguette for your banh mi before adding the other ingredients. You can also enjoy it as a delicious snack by smearing it on crackers. Enjoy the pork pate with crackers for a delicious snack.

What is the main ingredient in pâté? ›

Pâté is often made of pig meat and parts, but wild game like snipe, partridge, venison or wild boar can be cooked into a pâté, as can farm-raised duck, rabbit or pheasant. Even vegetables can be made into pâté. Lean meats might require the addition of some pork fat to keep the pâté from drying out in the oven.

What kind of liver is in liver pate? ›

Liver pâté
Liver pâté on toasted, buttered bread with accompaniments
Main ingredientsGround pork liver, lard
VariationsGround chicken liver
Media: Liver pâté
2 more rows

What is the best pâté for beginners? ›

For beginners, Daguin recommends pâté de campagne as a "pâté 101." This country-style pâté is traditionally made with coarse ground pork meat and pork liver with garlic, parsley and sometimes onion, rosemary and clove, making it a savory and easy intro to those unfamiliar with pâté's often unique texture and flavor.

What is the most famous pâté? ›

Some of the most popular types of pâté in France include pâté de campagne, made with pork, pâté de foie gras, made with duck or goose liver, and pâté en croûte, which is baked in a pastry crust.

How do you thicken chicken liver pate? ›

Assuming it's chicken liver pate, have you tried adding butter, cream or other saturated fat? This can thicken and so firm pate quite well. Or you could use some kind of meal - oat flour or matzo meal, breadcrumbs etc that would absorb the liquid.

How long is homemade chicken liver pate good for? ›

Refrigerator: Refrigerate chicken liver pâté tightly covered for up to 1 week. To refrigerate it longer than 1 week but no longer than 1 month, pour a little melted lard or clarified butter on top to seal. Each time you dip into the pâté, you will need to reseal the top to preserve it.

Why is my chicken liver pate grainy? ›

If you're not familiar with cooking liver the temptation is to overcook it but this will cause your pâté to become grainy. The best thing to do is to not overcrowd the pan – this way the livers will get enough heat to colour and cook within 6 minutes.

Can I freeze chicken liver pate? ›

Yes you can freeze chicken liver pate. Wrap the dishes well and freeze for up to 2 months.

What does Vietnamese pate taste like? ›

This creamy and rich chicken liver pâté recipe is full of buttery, fatty flavor and amazing to eat with even just a slice of baguette. You will most likely see Vietnamese pâté in bánh mì and it's the perfect amount of extra flavor that boosts the sandwich's flavor.

What are the different types of pâté? ›

Types of pâté
Types of pâtéIngredients
Pâté ForestièrePork liver, pancetta, eggs, brandy, sherry, cream, mushrooms, truffle salt, and fresh herbs like parsley and thyme
Pâté MaisonChicken liver and pork liver paste wrapped in bacon
Pâté HénaffPork, ham, liver, stock, and different spices like sea salt
9 more rows
Feb 24, 2022

What can I use instead of pâté for banh mi? ›

The answer is a mushroom pâté

When dried, mushrooms pack a much more intense flavor that will match the funky, earthy banh mi bite you remember from the days before going vegan. For even more umami flavor, throw in a dash of vegan fish sauce and MSG, along with aromatics like shallots and garlic.

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