Pate Gan Heo Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Vietnamese pork liver pâté (pate gan heo) is undoubtedly a true culinary revelation. With a rich flavor and silky texture, it is a cornerstone of Vietnamese cuisine every food lover should experience.

This article will present the necessary tools and ingredients for this pork liver pâté. Besides, I will walk you through comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions on making it.

I also share tips to ensure your pork liver pâté is perfect each time. If you’re wondering how to store this pate gan heo, I’ve got you covered.

Finally, I will introduce other Vietnamese pork dishes to broaden your gastronomic horizons. So, buckle up and prepare for an irresistible Vietnamese culinary exploration from your kitchen.

Pate Gan Heo Intro

What Is Vietnamese Pork Liver Pâté (Pate Gan Heo)?

Vietnamese-style pork liver pâté, also known as Pate Gan Heo, is a popular spreadable paste often used as a topping on bread or as an ingredient in various dishes.

The term “pâté” is French for paste, and in Vietnam, it’s typically made with pork liver, though you can use other ingredients.

Vietnam was a colony of France from the mid-19th century until 1954. During this period, French culinary traditions significantly influenced the local cuisine. This fusion of Vietnamese and French food is evident in many dishes, such as pork liver pâté.

This pork liver pâté holds a significant place regarding cultural importance. It’s a crucial ingredient in Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi), one of the most beloved street foods in Vietnam and worldwide.

Pate Gan Heo Outro

What Are Necessary Tools To Prepare Vietnamese Pork Liver Pâté?

You can only make pork liver pâté in Vietnamese style with these tools. So here are the necessary tools for pork liver pâté:

  • Oven: For roasting the pork liver.
  • Food processor: For blending the pork meat-liver mixture.
  • Frying pan and spatula: To stir-fry the pork meat and liver with other ingredients.
  • Glass container: For placing the pâté to steam it.
  • Pot/Steamer pot: For steaming the pâté mixture.
  • Aluminum foil: To cover the container top.
  • Knife and chopping board: For cutting up the ingredients.
Pate Gan Heo Tools

Which Ingredients Do You Need For Pate Gan Heo?

You only need several ingredients for this Vietnames-based pork liver pâté. I’ve also included other replacements to help you create other versions of this dish.

  • Pork liver: Or use goose/chicken liver.
  • Pork belly: You can use other types of ground meat based on your preferences.
  • Fresh bread crumbs: Bread make pâté smoother. Feel free to make bread crumbs from different kinds of bread or your leftover bread.Butter: You can replace it with olive or sunflower oil. But butter gives fragrance to your pâté.
  • Fresh milk: To remove the liver’s smell and soften the bread crumbs.
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms: Their signature aroma elevates the pâté.
  • Herbs: diced onion, minced garlic, Thai basil.
  • Spices: Ground pepper, soup powder, sugar, red chili pepper powder, fish sauce.
Pate Gan Heo Ingredients

What Are The Steps For Pork Liver Pâté?

Making this Vietnamese homemade-style pate gan heo is super easy. I’ve already written down all the steps for it, including preparing, sautéing, and pureeing the ingredients. Let’s follow them now!

Step 1: Prepare The Ingredients

Dice onion, mince garlic, and soak the dried shiitake mushrooms for 30 minutes in warm water.
Next, wash the liver thoroughly and remove the white tendons from it.

Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients1

Place the liver in the oven and partially roast it at 400°F/200°C for 10 minutes.

Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients2

Meanwhile, cut the pork belly into small strips to make it easier to grind. When the shiitake mushrooms have softened from soaking, chop them into small pieces.

Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients3

When the liver’s done roasting, take it out to cool and cut it into thin strips.

Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients4
Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients5

Soften the bread crumbs in 20ml of fresh milk.

Then, soak the liver pieces in the rest of the milk for at least 15 – 20 minutes, then scoop them out and rinse them with clean water. This method helps reduce the strong, gamey taste of the liver.

Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients6

Step 2: Sauté The Meat And Liver

When all ingredients are ready, add butter to a hot pan and sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant.

Next, add the pork belly and sauté it briefly for 2 – 3 minutes, then add the pork liver and sauté it for 2 more minutes.

Pate Gan Heo Step 2 Sauté Meat Liver1

Season the mixture with pepper, sugar, soup powder, red chili pepper powder, and fish sauce.

Drop some Thai basil leaves for a more aromatic flavor and stir for another minute.

Finally, add the bread crumbs to the pan, stir well, and turn off the heat.

Pate Gan Heo Step 2 Sauté Meat Liver2
Pate Gan Heo Step 2 Sauté Meat Liver3

Step 3: Puree The Liver And Meat

Transfer the meat-liver mixture into a food processor and grind them into a smooth paste. And pour it into a glass container.

Pate Gan Heo Step 3 Puree Meat Liver1

Cover the container’s top with aluminum foil. If you have a steamer, place the container inside. However, you can use a regular pot and steam it with water equal to ½ of the glass container.

Steam the pâté for 1 hour at medium-to-low temperatures.

Pate Gan Heo Step 3 Puree Meat Liver2

Step 4: Present The Dish

Now, your pâté is steamed and fragrant. Take it out and enjoy it with your favorite dishes, such as bread, sticky rice, and more.

Pate Gan Heo Step 4 Present Dish

How About Best Tips For Your Pork Liver Pâté (Pate Gan Heo)?

For those striving for perfection, here are all of my suggested tips to make your pork liver pâté tastier:

  • Remove the white tendons to help your pâté less chewy.
  • Pork liver has a strong, gamey taste, so make sure to prepare it carefully at the first step.
  • Don’t sauté the liver for too long, or your pâté will turn bitter, dry, and too dark-colored.
  • Let the meat-liver mixture cool down a bit before pulsing for an easier process.
  • If you make a large amount of pâté, blend the mixture in batches for a smooth consistency.
  • Remember to cover the container tightly. Or the moisture can steep in and make the surface mushy.
  • You can line the container with plastic wrap, so removing the cool pâté will be easier.
  • Adding a layer of melted butter on top of the meat-liver mixture before steaming can help your pâté remain moist.
  • If your steamer is too deep, you can put a small bowl upside down inside before placing the glass container. This way, it’ll be easier to take out the container.
  • Use the toothpick method to check whether your pâté is cooked. If the toothpick comes out clean, it means the dish is ready.
  • You can add pork liver pâté to almost every sandwich in Vietnam, for example, chicken sandwiches (Banh mi ga).
Pate Gan Heo Outro

How To Store Pork Liver Pâté?

If you have some remaining portion, here is how to store the pork liver pâté:

Place it in an airtight container and keep it in your fridge for up to 1 month. Or you can freeze it for a longer storage life, up to 3 months. Make sure to top the pâté with melted butter to preserve its texture.

To defrost it, let the pâté thaw slowly in the fridge overnight. If you need it fast, submerge the tightly sealed container in water until it’s totally covered. Change the water every 30 minutes until the pâté returns to normal.

Are There Any Other Vietnamese Pork Dishes?

Absolutely. Below are several Vietnamese dishes made with pork:

Are You Excite For This Pork Liver Pâté?

I can’t help but appreciate the culinary magic behind this Vietnamese pork liver pâté. Its rich, creamy flavor offers a peek into the heart of Vietnam’s cuisine. I believe this pâté is a story to share and celebrate.

So, I encourage you to spread the word about this flavorful delight by clicking that like button and sharing this article. And don’t be shy; drop a comment and tell me what Vietnamese pate gan heo means to you!

Pate Gan Heo Recipe

Pork Liver Pâté (Pate Gan Heo)

Vietnamese pork liver pâté (pate gan heo) has stirred the culinary world. Join me on this culinary exploration, where you’ll find all the step-by-step instructions and pro tips you need.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Pate Gan Heo, Pork Liver Pâté, Vietnamese Pork Liver Pâté
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4
Calories: 810kcal


  • 1.43 pounds (650 grams) of pork liver
  • 0.66 pounds (300 grams) of pork belly
  • ½ cup (75 grams) fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (20 grams) butter
  • 1 cup (220 ml) of milk
  • 0.18 ounces (5 grams) of dried shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ onion: diced
  • 2 10 grams minced garlic cloves
  • Thai basil leaves


  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon soup powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red chili pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce


  • Dice onion and mince garlic cloves.
  • Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms for half an hour in warm water.
  • Clean the liver thoroughly under the water. Remove all of its white tendons.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients1
  • Quickly roast the liver in the oven for 10 minutes at 400°F/200°C.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients2
  • Slice the pork belly into small strips. When the shiitake mushrooms soften, cut them into small pieces.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients3
  • Remove the roasted liver from the oven and leave it to cool.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients4
  • When cooled, chop the liver into thin strips.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients5
  • Soak the bread crumbs in 20 ml of fresh milk until softened.
  • Soak the liver in the remaining milk for 15-20 minutes or longer. Afterward, take these liver pieces out and rinse them with water.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 1 Prepare Ingredients6
  • Sauté garlic and onions with butter in a hot pan until fragrant.
  • Then, stir in pork belly and quickly sauté it for a couple of minutes.
  • Add pork liver and continue stirring for another 2 minutes.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 2 Sauté Meat Liver1
  • Season the mixture with all the spices. Sprinkle Thai basil leaves and cook for 1 minute.
  • Drop the soaked bread crumbs into the pan.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 2 Sauté Meat Liver2
  • Stir until evenly mixed, and turn off the flame.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 2 Sauté Meat Liver3
  • Pulse the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Then, transfer it into a glass container.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 3 Puree Meat Liver1
  • Cover the container with aluminum foil and steam it in a steamer or regular pot. Use an amount of water equal to half the glass container.
  • Steam for 1 hour at medium-to-low flame.
    Pate Gan Heo Step 3 Puree Meat Liver2
  • Afterward, remove the pâté and serve!
    Pate Gan Heo Step 4 Present Dish



  • The preparation and cooking time is based on xx servings.
  • Make sure to prepare pork liver carefully, especially the step to remove white tendons, to make your pâté less chewy and gamey.
  • Avoid over-sautéing the liver, or the pâté will become dry and dark-colored, with a bitter taste.
  • To make pulsing easier, leave the sautéed mixture to cool down a bit.
  • If your food processor can’t handle it in one go, blend the meat-liver mixture in turns.
  • Line the container with plastic wrap before pouring the meat-liver mixture to remove it more easily.
  • Brush the pâté mixture with melted butter before steaming to preserve the dish’s moisture.
  • Tightly cover the container with aluminum foil to avoid moisture steeping in.
  • Place a small bowl upside down inside your steamer can make removing the glass container easier.
  • To check whether your pâté is ready, use a toothpick. Steam until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Pork liver pâté is suitable for different Vietnamese sandwiches (banh mi), including chicken sandwiches (banh mi ga).


Calories: 810kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 561mg | Sodium: 794mg | Potassium: 785mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 35352IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 153mg | Iron: 40mg


Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Food Styling, Food Photography, Cooking-video Maker, Beverage Evaluation Expert


Saigon Culinary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Diploma in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Vietnamese and Asian cuisines with intensive training and hands-on approach.

Vietnam Australia Vocational School (VAAC), Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Program: Bartender
  • Focus: Basic knowledge on how to store, preserve and select ingredients, and practice cocktails, mocktails, hot and cold drinks.

Richie, based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is a dynamic Content Writer with a talent for capturing the essence of culinary art.

Richie specializes in creating visually appealing and tasty content, offering a new angle on Vietnamese and other culinary traditions. With a background in graphic design and a love for food styling and photography, he expertly combines beauty with food narratives, encouraging his audience to discover the culinary world through his imaginative perspective.

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