I will admit, I held out on you last week.
There is a part two to the great vegetarian banh mi story and its name is vegan pate. We’ll skip past the part where I talk about despite this being made out of lentils it totally tastes like pate because, well, the truth is that I’ve never had pate. Never had the desire to eat meat ground into a paste, probably never will. So yes, we’re skipping that part.
But it’s just kind of fun to call this pate because authentic Vietnamese banh mi call for pate and so now we can eat authentic-ish vegan banh mi!
A lot of vegan pate recipes call for some kind of nut toasted + ground to add richness and body where meat would otherwise fill the void. Well, I made this at 9 p.m. one night after several other recipes and I was sweaty and not about to grind up my own walnut butter AND sauté aromatics AND boil lentils separately AND puree everything altogether. So I just added a smidgen of almond butter to my trusty Blendtec along with a hodge-podge of lentils and herbs and hoped for the best.
To be honest, a lot of the recipes I wing don’t turn out. But this one was like jump-up-and-down, have-to-share good. Because this is SO easy to throw together. Yes, the ingredients read like a list of the most unlikely combinations—miso and tarragon? Champagne wine vinegar and almond butter? BUT they do in fact combine* to make the most complexly flavored lentil mush I’ve ever eaten (oh yum). The flavors are just…
…well, you will never want to stop eating lentils. Especially slathered on a toasted pretzel roll topped with pickled vegetables, chewy tofu, crunchy peppers and fresh herbs. We are talking vegetarian sandwich NIRVANA, people.
*But really, if you try this, make sure you have all the ingredients because you do NOT want to miss out on this flavor bomb. (I got the tarragon, bay leaf and thyme from the bulk spice section of my grocery store for about .10 cents).
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ small onion diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ cup green lentils rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- ½ tablespoon champagne wine vinegar alternatively: white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- dash of pepper
- Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 6 minutes, or until soft. Add the lentils, bay leaf, water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and let cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Once lentils are soft (i.e. you can smush them with a spoon), remove pot from heat. Remove the bay leaf and add lentil mixture to a blender (let cool if necessary—I do not recommend blending very hot substances under any circumstances).
- Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Mixture should be very thick, but blendable. Add a tablespoon or two of water or olive oil if you’re having trouble blending it.
- For tips on assembling a full vegetarian banh mi, check out this post.
LOVE this! Gorgeous colors, and my kind of ingredients cuz i’m vegetarian. Looks great! Thx for sharing!
This is new..
As a Vietnamese who has never went out her country I’ve never seen a lentil in my life
Most of our vegan pate are made of mushrooms or soy
Will try this thou 😉
Haha Jen, I would LOVE it if you tried this and let me know how you like it!! I need to hear how it compares to authentic vegan Vietnamese pate! 🙂
This recipe is amazing. Shocked me how much it reminded me of meat pate. Best vegan pate I’ve had
Tried this today – made half the batch exactly to your recipe, and half with Marmite and nooch in place of the Miso… I think I prefer your recipe, as the miso works beautifully (though your recommended white would be better than the dark miso which is the only decent stuff I can get atm!), but both are really lovely. I think I needed to steam off more of the water, as mine wasn’t as firm as I was expecting (from the recipe and your lovely pics), but it was fine: this is a great recipe, a lovely way to eat lentils, and disturbingly like how I remember (from my childhood) meat pate tasting like, lol! Thank you for the great share: I’m going to make it all the time – MUCH nicer and better for me than shop-bought vegan pates, and I can experiment with herbs and stuff in it too :o)
So glad to hear you enjoyed it!! And that it tastes like the real deal–your comment totally made my day! 🙂
This is the most amazing and the easiest vegan pate ever!!!I
When I did it first time I followed the recipe and it was heaven!
However, just made it again and added good handful of mushrooms and half of red chilli (fried them with onions and garlic), added dark miso instead of a light one and added some ground sunflower seeds… It’s still warm but it’s almost gone 🙂 The beast thing ever! And even the meat eaters couldn’t resist it! 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe!
And I have made pickled vegetables. It was supposed to be the same as for your vegetarian banh mi, but they don’t sell daikon in supermarkets here so I have replaced it with beetroot and added some grated ginger to the vinegar mixture… It really is amazing! 😉
Agata, so sorry for my late response, but so happy to hear that you enjoyed the pate!! Your modifications sound fabulous!
This recipe is a triumph! I did make some modifications, though. Since my daughter has a tree nut allergy, I swapped out the almond butter for coconut butter and ground pumpkin seeds. As I didn’t have white miso paste, I used brown miso paste instead and I also substituted 1/2 of a cup of the water for red wine to try and emulate the wine-flavoured pates I used to love before going vegan. Finally, I threw in a good tablespoon of powdered garlic before blending everything together at the end as I am a bit of a garlic but. The result is amazing, and I’m sure will be even better once it fully cools (we couldn’t wait and ate half out of the blender). Fantastic way to boost your iron intake also! Thank you SO much for this!
Shelley, thanks so much for reporting back with your modifications!! Sounds delicious, and so glad you enjoyed! I might have to go make another batch now; you’ve awoken the cravings… 🙂
Hi!! I just wanted to tell you the changes I had to make in case some other people find out they are short in the ingredients as I was! I swaped the miso for some marmite as I didn’t have miso! I also skipped the tarragon and increased the thyme instead! I don’t know how yours is, but mine turned out amazing! Thanks sommuch!!! 🙂
Thanks so much for reporting back, Victoria! Those changes sound perfect since I think marmite is also a great source of complex salty flavor 🙂 So glad you liked it!
I am kinda dumbfounded that I never visited your site before because I love absolutely everything I see here. As far as pate goes, I am a regular pate eater, the fatty kind, not so good for me but I can’t help it. They also sell asparagus pate and mushroom pate where I live which is a bit better I guess. Your version sounds so lovely! I can’t wait to try. Honestly, I will.
Aww thanks so much Julia! 😀 Asparagus and mushroom pate…I’m intrigued. I wish I knew what actual pate tastes like so I could legitimately compare this to it! Alas…I do not. Thanks so much for your sweet comments–I’m so glad I got to discover your blog because it’s GORGEOUS!!!
The Wimpy Vegetarian
Oh my gosh Erika – I love this. This is so up my alley. I can’t wait to make it for my next party (just as soon as the kitchen’s done). Genius way to do a pâte!!!
Okay, I know pate sounds gross, but it’s actually quite delicious! But….this lentil pate looks awesome too! Maybe you’ll be the one to convert me to the veggie side (gasp!)
Haha! Okay, I’ll take your word for it 😉 New mission in life: convert Steph to veggie pate!
Kim @ Adventures In A New(ish) City
THIS LOOKS SO GOOD ERIKA. Like, I want to slather this all over everything forever and ever.
:))) Thanks Kim! Keep posting your Houston eats–I love them! So many great finds!
Amy Jean Tappenden
This looks so good!!! I must try once I’m back home :3
Thanks Amy! 🙂 I’m so curious about your story–what are you doing in Japan? I just peeked at your about page and it says you’re living and working there…do you work in fashion?? How long are you there for? It sounds so awesome!
This looks amazing! I actually prefer this to traditional pate!
I’m glad to hear it! The real stuff sounds pretty questionable to me…
Splendid – everything, all ’round! Isn’t prolific the way polar opposite ingredients can fuse together to create something glowingly lovely. (I think food offers sustenance to both body and mind.)
I’m not too keen on pâté; you’re not missing anything. 🙂
Yes!! SO eloquently said. Thank you so much Valerie! 🙂 And so glad to know I’m not missing out…it looks fairly luxurious, but the ingredients never really called to me :3
love that light black light in the pictures ….so perfect to set the plate
Thank you Shweta! 🙂
Katie (The Muffin Myth)
Daaaaang girl, this looks good! I have a pretty bonkers spice collection, but oddly enough tarragon isn’t a part of it. I’ll definitely have to change that! So obviously I had to look up the Swedish word for tarragon, and how rad is this: it’s dragon.
Oh man that is AWESOME. I only had tarragon in a teensy little spice bag from when I tried some eggplant dish ages ago, but now it’s definitely an herb I want to cook with more–that name! 🙂
Erin | The Law Student's Wife
OK, you have me totally intrigued! I love love lentils, so I think I’d flip for this!
Thanks Erin! If you love lentils, this is pretty much a sure-fire pleaser 🙂
Karen @ The Food Charlatan
Erika this looks SO much better than real pate, I have to say 🙂 also, I’m glad I’m not the only food blogger out there who tries to “wing it” all the time and it totally sucks. haha!! Glad this one worked!!!
Oh good. I wish I could say it tastes better too butttt…I have no idea hahaha. And you have no idea how happy I was that this worked too!!
Nora (A Clean Bake)
Not only am I going to make the heck out of this, I am also going to pass this on to my dad, who is a vegetarian and would love this! I have been to not one but two duck farms (aka pate factories) and I cannot bring myself to eat the stuff after seeing the little ducks happily waddling around. The ducks thank you!
Woo!!! Yay for your dad; I don’t meet many dad vegetarians 🙂 OH MY GOSH PATE FACTORIES?!? AHHHH. That visual makes me so glad I don’t eat ducks. Or meat. Haha. I hope you and your dad enjoy!!
I can’t wait to make this. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!
Anytime, Megan! 🙂
Choc Chip Uru
You have me in your grips my friend, I am so jealous when everyone around me is eating pate and I am sitting there with my hummus!
Lovely ingredients, thank you so much!
Choc Chip Uru
Oh yes! So sad when we vegetarians have to be left out of the feeding frenzy. I feel you, Uru 🙂
Your description of this spiced lentil mush sounds absolutely heavenly. I am actually sitting here salivating as I stare at those very convincing pate photos (it actually does look like meat pate, except for the absence of meat jelly or a butter layer on the top!). Oh my gosh. Want. I am definitely going to try this for the full vego banh mi experience… I like the meat version so I can imagine that I’ll go giddy knowing that the vego one is actually good for me too! Yay yay yay, thanks awesome woman! You are the BEST at gloriously snacky, delicious vegan/vego food! xx
Oh yay!!!! I’m so glad to hear from someone who would know that this DOES sort of resemble pate. But meat jelly? Butter layer? You’re speaking foreign words to me…must go google. Are those things that are traditionally served with/on/included in pate? Also, how do you usually eat pate? Is it just served as a spread normally? I am so out of touch with the meat world! Thanks for your lovely comment, as always 🙂
Haha… okay, let’s start from scratch. Non-vegan pate is made from liver, seasoned with lots of butter, stock and herbs. It’s normally topped with meat jelly (called ‘aspic’, basically strained stock that is set with gelatine) for a professional touch or with a layer of clarified butter (see this post from the Kitchn http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-chicken-liver-pate-with-sage-apple-and-thyme-179840) to keep the pate fresh for double the time. Both versions are wonderful, I particularly enjoy the one sealed with butter when eaten with just-toasted bread (as the butter melts wonderfully and really goes well with the creamy pate). As for eating pate, yep… I just eat it on its own with bread. I am not sure how the banh mi roll started incorporating pate but I’ve eaten quite a few Asian-inspired sliders and rolls with pate in them. I don’t think it was traditionally used in this way… I haven’t heard of a British or French sandwich incorporating pate but there might be one 🙂
Ah, that was so educational! You’re the best, Laura. I could have of course googled that, but thanks for saving my lazy butt from doing that–so much more fun to hear the explanation from a friend 🙂 You almost make pate sound appetizing! 😉