One of the foods I always found enticing when I go to Asia is their pizzas. Pizzas in the West are good, but the flavours and variety have more or less been the same since my childhood. Dough crust, pizza sauce, cheese, a couple of different toppings, and it’s nice, but doesn’t bring the wonder and joy of trying new things. In places like Japan and China however, the pizzas take on a slightly different characteristic, with different flavor sauces and main toppings like seafood. The recipe below is an attempt at reproducing at home the experience of eating these pizzas. It’s seafood based, and finished with a Japanese classic for grilled foods like takoyaki and okonomiyaki – bonito flakes. Along with the thin shredded nori seaweed, bonito flakes add a nice touch when it dances in the heat, making it appear like the top of the pizza is alive.
Ingredients (1 medium to large pizza)
- 275g bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast (or 2.5 tsp active dry yeast)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 175ml lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Seafood medley
- Shimeji mushrooms
- Sliced white onion
- Shredded nori seaweed
- Bonito flakes
- Add in all the dry ingredients for the crust in a bowl and stir to mix reasonably evenly. Note: if don’t have instant yeast, you can use active dry yeast. However, you should bloom the yeast in with the water and sugar before adding to the flour.
- Add in all the wet ingredients for the crust and mix together. Then, knead until the dough is smooth. It should be sticky, but possible to knead without getting stuck on your hand(s). When finished kneading, coat the dough and the bottom of the bowl with a bit of olive oil and cover to rise until around twice the size. The oil helps to prevent the dough from drying out and sticking to the bowl.
- While the dough is rising, stir fry the seafood on medium heat until almost cooked, and then add the mushrooms. Stir fry the mixture until just cooked. Set aside for later use.
- To make the sauce, combine the tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, sugar, and salt and mix well.
- Once the pizza dough is well risen, transfer it to a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper. Knead a few times to deflate.
- Using your hand or a rolling pin, form the dough into a pizza crust, taking note to form the raised edges of the crust.
- Using a fork, dock the crust (poke holes) so that it doesn’t trap air and result in a large bubble.
- Put on around a laddle of the sauce (or adjust to your liking), top with cheese, and finally with the seafood and sliced onions.
- Bake at 425F for ~15m on the middle rack or until the toppings and crust become golden.
- Now, while it’s piping hot, sprinkle on the shredded nori seaweed and bonito flakes and watch your pizza come to life as the last toppings dance from the heat!