Vegetarian ‘pâté chinois’

The ‘pâté chinois’ is a staple of French-Canadian cuisine. Similar to French ‘hachis parmentier’ or Anglo-saxon ‘sherpherd’s pie’, it usually consists of potatoes, veal meat and cream corn.

Cream corn can easily be found pre-made in North American supermarkets but not in Europe! So we’ll have to make it ourselves

This vegetarian version is packed with proteins and fibers, which makes it healthier than its meaty counterpart but no less tasty; in fact, it was certified by my best friend/ex-roommate as being better than the original!

Note: this recipe also works really well with vegan cream and milk substitutes.

Cream corn

  • 1tbsp butter
  • 350ml cream
  • 900ml canned corn
  • 1tbsp flour
  • 1tsp paprika powder


  • 1kg potatoes
  • 200ml milk
  • 100g gouda/cheddar/or emmental cheese (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  • Slice the potatoes in big chunks and add them to a liter of boiling water. Let it cook for 30min.
  • Meanwhile, let’s make the cream corn: in a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle with flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the cream, stirring constantly, then add the corn kernels and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until corn is tender. Add salt and pepper.
  • Use a hand blender to turn the corn mixture into a coarse puree.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, add the milk and use the blender to turn them into puree.
  • Cook the brown lentils in boiling water for 25min.
  • Meanwhile, slice the onion, garlic and mushrooms.
  • In a pan, heat the oil over medium heat and stir-fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
  • Slowly add the lentils, walnuts, thyme, soy sauce, tomato paste and maple syrup. Mix well and transfer the mixture to a baking dish.
  • Place the corn on the lentil mixture and cover with mashed potatoes.
  • If you want, you can cover everything with shredded cheese.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, and broil for 5min if you added the cheese.