Vietnam Chicken Liver Pate

For 3 or 4 ramekins, you'll need:
  • 250 gm (1/2 lb) chicken livers
  • 240 ml (1 cup) milk or soy milk (this is a flavour reducing step and is optional)
  • 1/2 cup white wine or 1 tblsp cognac
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 113 gm (4 oz) cup butter, and additional 66gm (2 oz) butter

  1. Wash the chicken livers and remove any excess white or yellow membrane. Wash again. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the chicken livers and mix thoroughly. 
  2. (Optional)Pour enough soy milk or regular milk over the livers to cover. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, rinse the livers and chop into smaller pieces. Set aside.
  4. Saute one small diced onion and six cloves of garlic. Don't worry if they aren't too uniform as everything gets pureed anyway.
  5. When the onions have slightly softened, add the chopped livers and 1/2 cup white wine.
  6. Saute until cooked and continue simmering for another 5 minutes or so until liquid reduces. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp fish sauce, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 
  7. Set mixture aside to slightly cool.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool a bit then puree in a food processor along with 113gm (4 oz) of butter. The heat of the warm mix will melt the butter and allow easy incorporation. Homogenise until smooth.
  9. Transfer into ramekins or suitable servers and place in the fridge to slightly firm the pate. The time depends on the amount of pate in each dish. Just check as you go. An hour I would suggest is somewhere in the ballpark. 
  10. Add just enough butter to coat the top of each container to prevent drying of the surface of the pate. 

  • Using a good tasting quality soft butter adds the advantage of a spreadable pate straight from the fridge. 
  • If using a standard butter then it is best to melt the butter at its lowest possible temperature, this will prevent re-liquefying of the pate,  and then pour this on as a thin layer on top of the pate in the dishes.