Cinnamon Pate (Cha Que)

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Title: Cinnamon Pate (Cha Que)
Yield: 1 Appetizer
Categories: Vietnamese, Appetizers


1 lb Boneless pork (weight after
-trimming fat), preferable
-fresh ham
3 tb Fish sauce (nuoc mam)
3 tb Water
1/2 tb Potato starch or rice flour
1/2 ts Granulated sugar
1 ts Baking powder
ds MSG (optional)
Sprinkling of freshly
-ground black pepper
2 oz Pork fat
1/2 ts Ground cinnamon

This recipe is very tasty with an interesting texture. Unless you're
a fan of hard work, use a food processor. The pate was originally
pounded to the proper consistency in a mortar and pestle... It can
be used all sorts of ways++made into balls for soup, sliced after
cooking and added to lettuce or rice paper rolls, served with shrimp
chips for munchies++whatever inspires you. The cinnamon flavor is
discernible but not overpowering. I've actually made this recipe and
found it to be a keeper.

Be sure pork is trimmed of all fat. Slice the meat 1/4 inch thick,
then cut into 1 inch squares. Make a marinade by combining all the
remaining ingredients, except for the pork fat and cinnamon, in a
large bowl. Add the pork slices to the marinade and mix well with
your hands, then cover the bowl with wrap or foil. Refrigerate for 5
hours, and after that period of time has elapsed, transfer the bowl
to the freezer for 10 minutes.

Remove the pork from the freezer, add the cinnamon, and reduce to a
paste in a food processor only.

Boil the pork fat for 10 minutes and dice into small pieces, the size
of whole peppercorns. Add the diced pork fat to the ground pork

Coat an 8-inch-square baking pan with oil. Put the meat paste into
the pan and press down firmly with your hands, making sure the
surface is smooth. The meat will come halfway up the side of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350F and bake the pate for 40 minutes or until the
surface looks brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then
slice and serve as an appetizer or with French bread for lunch or
dinner, or use in any recipe where it is required. It can be eaten
hot or cold.

This will keep fresh in the refrigerator for a week, or it can be
stored for a longer period in the freezer. To reheat, wrap in foil
and place in a 300F oven for 15 minutes.

From "The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam", Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerman,
Barron's, 1979.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg August 28 1990.