Vietnamese Black Bear Pâté Chaud

This recipe reminds me of my childhood. My mom made these all the time while I was growing up, and I was reminded of them again recently. Pâté chaud is a savory hand pie, filled with ground pork, common Asian herbs and spices, wrapped in flaky puff pastry. It is a classic example of French-Vietnamese cuisine and is a mainstay pastry item in Vietnamese bakeries everywhere—grab a coffee to-go and pick out a pâté chaud to take with you in a paper sack.

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up for recipes such as this; it came from a friend who went black bear hunting in Saskatchewan. Due to the risk of trichinosis, bear meat should not be eaten red. Hank Shaw at said:

“To kill trichinae parasites you need to hit at least 135°F and hold it there for a long time, at least an hour. Safer to get the meat up to 145 to 150°F, which is medium— still pink, by the way. Ignore the old warnings about 180°F and such.”

For the best table fare, look for meat in bears that have been foraging on berries and not on fish.

For this Vietnamese Black Bear Pâté Chaud recipe, visit: