A culinary mashup found on pizza menus throughout Japan.
Long before the ramenburger or the matcha croissant there was teriyaki pizza, an East-meets-West hybrid destined to become a staple of delivery menus across the country. Who would have thought pizza topped with chicken in a sweet and ever-so-slightly salty sauce would have proved so popular?
Teriyaki sauce is a combination of soy, mirin and sugar. In Japanese cuisine it’s traditionally paired with chicken (see our recipe for teriyakidon) or sometimes blue fish. It’s also delicious on baby potatoes or as a tare for meatballs.
This recipe for teriyaki pizza doesn’t require a great deal of time in the kitchen. We used a bread machine, but you can knead the pizza dough by hand if you’re so inclined.
To prevent the topping from being too dry, we recommend a dressing of yuzukosho mixed with olive oil and lemon juice when pizza comes out of the oven.
Ingredients (for 6 people/3 square pizzas)
- 280 g of hard wheat flour
- 15 g of butter
- 180 ml of cold water
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 300 g of chicken thigh
- 2 tablespoons of sake
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of mirin
- 100 g of eringi mushrooms and maitake mushrooms
- 150 – 200 g of shredded cheese
- 1 cup of thinly cut nori (3 – 4 cm length, 1 mm thin)
- 1 teaspoon of yuzukosho
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Prepare the sauce and topping first.
Mix the mayonnaise and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Tear apart the mushrooms with your hands. This shouldn’t be difficult if you’re using eringi mushrooms and maitake mushrooms. Otherwise, slice whatever you use thinly.
Remove the skin from the chicken thighs, slice the chicken into pieces 1 – 1.5 cm thick and then again into bite sized pieces. Evenly sprinkle 2 pinches of salt across the surface of the chicken, wait for 5 minutes and then remove any excess liquid with a paper towel. Place a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil on the medium heat and sauté the chicken for 2 minutes. Once the pieces have browned, turn them over then sauté another 2 minutes with the lid on. Next, remove any liquid remaining in the frying pan with paper towel. Mix the sake, soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl, then pour the mixture into the pan. Turn the chicken over frequently until the sauce has reduced.
Next, prepare the pizza dough. We used a bread maker to mix the ingredients, following the machine’s instructions. If you don’t have a bread maker, you’ll need to modify the ingredients and knead the dough by hand.
Once the dough is ready, lay it out on a wooden board coated in a thin layer of flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Separate the dough into 3 even portions, then use your hands to work the dough into smooth and round balls. Set them 10 cm apart on the board then cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Allow the dough to sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into rectangles 2 mm thick and 25 cm x 15 cm. Do this on a sheet of backing paper. Lastly, puncture each rectangle roughly with a fork.
Now it’s time to dress the pizza with its topping. Coat the dough with a thin layer of the mayonnaise and soy sauce. Next, add the teriyaki chicken then the mushrooms. Finally, sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly onto the top of each pizza. Bake them at 200℃ preheated for 12 – 15 minutes.
Serve the pizza with nori as a garnish. Add yuzukosho dressing and serve.
Nagoya’s contribution to the world’s great bar snacks.
Tebasaki chicken – deep-fried chicken wings coated with soy sauce and coated in sesame seeds – is a dish closely associated with the city of Nagoya, where it is a popular form of otsumami (dish to be eaten while drinking). The wings are full of flavor, thanks to the ingredients of the tare: vinegar, soy, sake, mirin, a little sugar, garlic and ginger.
The key to the dish is deep frying the chicken twice. This gives the skin it’s distinctive crispy texture.
Here we’re using the traditional seasoning, but feel free to experiment. Cumin, roughly-grated red peppers, cayenne pepper or Japan Eats favorite yuzukosho will add even more flavor.
While usually eaten hot, they can also be refrigerated eaten the next day.
Ingredients (for 2 – 4 people)
- 10 chicken wings
- 2 – 3 pinches of salt and grated black pepper
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of potato starch
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 table spoons of sake
- 2 tablespoons of mirin
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tea spoon of vinegar (rice vinegar)
- 5 – 10 g of garlic (1 clove, crushed)
- 5 g of ginger (sliced)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
- 2 – 3 pinches of roughly grated black pepper
First, remove the chicken wings from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.
While waiting, prepare the tare, or sauce. Place a small pan with all of the tare ingredients on a low heat and warm slowly. Maintain the level of heat and reduce for 5 minutes, during which you’ll see small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan. Pour the tare into a cooking tray and allow it to cool down naturally.
Next come the chicken wings. Remove any excess water with kitchen paper. Sprinkle 2 or 3 pinches of salt and grated black pepper evenly over both sides of the chicken wings and gently rub it into the chicken.
Now warm the vegetable oil in the deep-fryer on a medium heat until it reaches 160 – 165°C.
Coat the chicken wings with a thin, even layer of potato starch (pour the starch through a strainer) just before deep-frying.
Deep-fry the chicken wings in oil at 160 – 165°C for 5 minutes before removing and resting them for 3 – 4 minutes. Next, heat the oil to 175°C and deep-fry the chicken wings a second time for about a minute.
Once you remove the chicken wings from the oil, remove the excess oil carefully and place the wings into the cooking tray. Add the seasoning and mix well. Finally, coat the chicken with the tare using a teaspoon and serve. Preferably with a cold drink!
The perfect antidote to those winter blues
This is a popular (and inexpensive) dish usually eaten during the colder months in Japan. It can be served as either an appetizer or as a main course.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the browning of the chicken wings is important in giving the dish it’s deep and savory smell. I recommend you to adopt a similar approach when cooking thick negi (spring onions) or deep-fried tofu to be used in nimono or nabe.
Add the kurozu (black vinegar) to the chicken stock at the very end when cooking the chicken.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 600 g of chicken wings
- 500-600 g of daikon (Japanese radish)
- 30 g of ginger
- 4 boiled eggs
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 6 tablespoons of sake
- 4 tablespoons of soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of mirin
- 2 tablespoons of black vinegar
- 2 cups of cold water
First, prepare the chicken wings. Cut off the very tip of the wings tips. Use the knife and cut the gristle, then break it with your hands. This is both for looks and to make the wings easier to eat.
Next, prepare the daikon. Peal it and slice into pieces 2 – 3 cm thick, then cut into half rounds or quarters. Now peal the ginger and cut it into 1 mm slices.
Place a casserole dish on the gas table, pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil into the pot and warm it on the low to medium heat.
Remove the liquid on the chicken wings with a paper towel and then sauté with the skin face down until they are browned.
Be patient and don’t turn them around often so as to brown them. Don’t worry – the skin won’t stick to the bottom of the casserole if you brown them enough.
Add all the ingredients for the sauce except the kurozu (black vinegar). Next, drop the ginger and daikon into the casserole dish and turn up the heat to medium-high.
Once the liquid comes to the boil, turn it down to a low heat and put the lid on. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the daikon becomes soft.
While you’re cooking the soup, prepare the boiled eggs. I am sure that everybody knows how to do that…!
Once the eggs are cooked, move them to a cold bowl of water and let them sit in the bowl for 2-3 minutes, then remove the shells.
Confirm the daikon is soft and add the kurozu and the boiled egg. Cook for another 10 minutes with an otoshibuta (a drop lid made from paper) over the ingredients. For instructions on how to prepare one, click here.
Serve the chicken wings, daikon and egg halves, taking care to arrange the ingredients so they look good on the plate.
This coriander-packed Thai salad makes a great appetizer, but it’s just as good as a spicy sandwich filling.
To give the salad a fresh, crispy texture, it’s important to rinse the sliced vegetables in ice water. It’s also best eaten within 24 hours.
When you mix the ingredients in the bowl, use both hands. The taste will be much better than if you mix using utensils (wood, metal or otherwise).
Ingredients (for 4 – 8 people)
- 500 g of chicken breast
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of sake
- 200 – 250 g cabbage
- 120 g cucumber
- 50 – 60 g red onion
- 40 – 50 g celery
- 20 g of roughly chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint
- 2 red peppers (dried and finely chopped)
- 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil
- A pinch of salt
- Roughly chopped fresh coriander
- 4 – 5 tablespoons of crushed peanuts
First we’ll prepare the chicken. Remove any excess moisture with a paper towel then sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper onto all sides of the chicken breast. Place the chicken on a plate then rest it for 5 minutes. Pour 2 tablespoons of sake over it then wrap the plate with cling film (2 layers) before cooking it in the microwave for 5 ½ minutes. Take the plate out of the microwave and allow the chicken to rest until it is cool enough to touch.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dressing. Mix all of the ingredients other than the peanut oil and salt in a large bowl. Now add the peanut oil. Do so slowly stirring the dressing with your other hand. Check the flavor and add salt to taste.
As the chicken cools, prepare the vegetables. Rinse the cabbage then slice into pieces 1 – 2 mm thick. Rinse the cucumber and cut into slices approximately 1 mm thick. Peel the red onion then slice thinly, following the grain. Remove the strings from the celery and slice the stems diagonally into 1 – 2 mm pieces. Cut the leaves into pieces 1 – 2 mm thick.
Fill a large bowl with ice water (enough to cover the cabbage, cucumber, red onion and celery) and rinse them for 5 – 6 minutes before draining.
Once cool, break the chicken breast by hand into bite-sized pieces (follow the grain). Add this together with the liquid on the plate into the bowl containing the dressing.
Now add the vegetables to the chicken/dressing mixture.
Add 20 g of roughly chopped coriander and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint to the bowl. Combine all the ingredients by hand.
Decorate the salad with fresh coriander and crushed peanuts before serving.
Do you know your tatsutaage from your karaage?
Karaage is the deep fried chicken dish familiar to anyone who’s visited a Japanese izakaya. The chicken is coated in an egg based batter and then fried in vegetable oil.
Tatsutaage, on the other hand, is chicken, pork or fish are marinated and then coated with starch.
Here, we’re double frying chicken marinated in a mixture of soy, sake and ginger.
Serve with mayonnaise, ponzu or (our favorite) Thai sweet chili sauce.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 500 – 600 g chicken thigh
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sake
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 10 g of ginger
- 6 – 7 tablespoons of potato starch (or corn starch)
Take the chicken from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room
Next, cut away any fat or gristle. Place the chicken on a tray and sprinkle salt over the pieces. Again, leave it for 20 minutes. Wipe away any remaining moisture with a paper towel.
Prepare to marinate the chicken by peeling and grating the ginger. Now cut the chicken into 5 cm square pieces. Put them into a bowl and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour in a mixture of the sake, soy sauce and ginger.
If you haven’t already, fill a deep fryer with enough vegetable oil to cover the chicken (5 – 7 centimeters ought to be enough). Heat to 170 degrees centigrade.
Evenly distribute the starch on a tray. Coat each piece of chicken before gently dropping it into the oil. Take care to shake off any excess starch before dropping the chicken into the oil. It’s also worth noting that the chicken should be coated in starch right before frying.
Deep fry each piece for 2 – 3 minutes, then remove them from the oil and allow them to rest for a further 2 – 3 minutes. In order to maintain the temperature of the oil, it’s best not to fry all the pieces at once.
Now it’s time to fry the chicken a second time. Do so for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the chicken becomes brown. Keep a close eye on the bubbles erupting from the chicken as it fries – they will become smaller when the chicken is ready to remove from the oil. Before you take the chicken out of the deep fryer, turn the heat up so that the outside of the chicken becomes crispy and you can easily drain the oil.
Once the oil has drained away, serve with your choice of condiment.
Liven up your next bento with these chicken and lotus root meatballs
Tsukune are meatballs, usually made from either chicken or pork. They make a delicious meal, or an excellent addition to a bento (Japanese luchbox).
Here, we’re adding a twist to usual recipe by adding renkon (lotus root). The grated lotus root softens the meatball mix, while the other – roughly chopped – half of the vegetable provides some texture.
If you prepare this for a bento, garnish with shichimi (assorted spices) instead of asatsuki. The more adventurous can even use leftovers as filling for teriyaki meatball sandwiches (just add lettuce and mayonnaise!)
Ingredients (serves 3 – 4)
- 300 g of chicken mince
- 150 g of lotus root
- 1 egg
- 10 g of ginger (1 clove)
- 50 g green onion
- 1 teaspoon of sake
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of potato starch
- 2 tablespoons of sake
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of mirin
- 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of chopped asatsuki chives
Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to a bowl containing roughly 2 cups of water. Peal the lotus root and place it in the water for ten minutes to whiten it and take out any bitterness.
Take the lotus root out of the bowl and remove any moisture with the paper towels. Chop half (75 g) of the lotus root roughly into pieces 1 – 5 mm square. Grate the other half of the lotus root.
Finely chop the ginger and green onion. Take a bowl and mix the chicken, ginger, onion, lotus root, sake, soy, egg and potato starch until sticky.
Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a frying pan and warm it on a low heat. Moisten your hands with water and shape the batter into balls, then sauté with the lid on the pan. One one side becomes brown, turn them over. Sauté both sides for 5 – 6 minutes in total on a low heat. Repeat the process until you finish the mixture.
Next, prepare the teriyaki sauce. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Once you have finished cooking the meatballs, turn the heat to medium and pour the sauce into the frying pan. When it comes to the boil, turn the heat to low and dunk the meatballs into the sauce – 1 minute for each side.
Boil the sauce down until it thickens. Plate the meatballs and pour the remaining sauce over them. Garnish with a pinch of sesame seeds and chopped asatsuki chives.
Kupa Hokianga prepares a delicious Valentines dish
I recently took the opportunity to clean out my kitchen pantry. The TV was on in the background, tuned to a Discovery Channel show about waste reduction and simple low-budget eco ideas. The discarded pantry items were on the table waiting to be disposed of, but after listening to the TV program, I began to feel a little guilty. Surely I could do something with this food.
I want to share just one of the recipes I made that day: a B-class gourmet chicken breast glazed in rosemary, marmalade, and chilli-infused honey; a perfect Valentine’s meal for two.
You will love it. It’s a simple, inexpensive recipe using basic ingredients you may find in the fridge at home, takes only minutes to prepare, and looks and tastes fantastic.
Chicken is an inexpensive meat in Japan. I generally find it’s great value and, when prepared well, versatile, moist, and tasty. In my pantry, I found a jar of honey that had crystallized, cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, and several almost empty jars of jam and marmalade.
Here’s my really simple recipe for Tangy Pantry Chicken
The good thing is that any ingredient can be substituted with whatever your have. The objective is to get a sweet glaze syrup.
Chilli and honey balance really well and I actually use them in yogurt desserts; rosemary and honey also pair perfectly with chicken, but sage or thyme would also do.
I used three chicken breasts, but any chicken cut will be fine.
Check your cupboards for:
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of honey
- 3 tablespoons of marmalade (or any sweet fruit jam or cranberry sauce)
- 1 dry or fresh chilli
- 1 lemon or any citrus fruit
- Fresh rosemary or a woody herb
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (if you have it)
- Seasoning and olive oil or vegetable oil
(Quantities may vary depending on the viscosity of your ingredients.)
Preparing the chicken:
- After removing the retail wrapping, it’s best to reduce the moisture from the meat. I usually do this by placing the cuts, lightly salted, on a draining rack and leave them in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours, but if you’re in a hurry, just dab them with a paper towel.
- Place the chicken in a large bowl, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and drizzle on a little oil. Grab the fresh rosemary and massage the chicken using your hands. Allow it to rest while you prepare the oven and glaze.
Next preheat your oven and roasting dish to 190°C (about 375°F). A heavy-based pan works best.
- In a small pot on a low heat, spoon in the honey, fine chop the chilli and infuse the honey with it. (You could also use any citrus zest.) Heat and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Next, spoon in the marmalade or jam and continue to heat the mixture for one or two minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat before it begins to boil or caramelize. You just want a free-flowing combined mixture.
Warning: Do not be tempted to put your fingers into the honey mixture. It will burn you.
- Drain any blood or moisture that the chicken has released from the bowl, then pour about 70% of the hot glaze mixture over your chicken. Using a spoon or tongs, toss your chicken so the glaze covers all the surfaces. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.
- When the oven is hot, drop in your glazed chicken – skin side up – and set a timer for ten minutes. After ten minutes, use a spoon or a pastry brush to coat or baste the chicken with the pan juices. Repeat every five minutes until the meat juices run clear.
- Finally, reheat the remaining honey glaze in the small pot and stir in a table spoon of brown sugar (or soy sauce), reducing it so it becomes a thick syrup. Take the roasting dish from the oven and remove any watery pan juices so only the cooked chicken is left. Coat the chicken with the honey and brown sugar glaze and roast it for 2 – 3 minutes or until the surface caramelizes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven, cover it, and rest it on a pre-warmed plate for five minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a little zest, then serve it hot, drizzled with pan jus, or wrap it and have it cold in a fresh mint and pineapple salad the next day.
A jam and honey glaze can be made up in advance and kept for weeks in your fridge. Enjoy it on sliced grilled ham, pork chops, or grilled sausages, even on char-grilled slices of fruit such as nashi, apples, pineapples, or peaches – the possibilities are endless.
This Southeast Asian dish is incredibly simple to make. The salad employs one of the great flavor combinations – sesame and roast chicken.
It also contains nam pla, the aromatic Thai fish sauce, which adds depth to the flavor. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute nuoc man, the Vietnamese version of the same thing (although in Japan, nam pla tends to be easier to find than nuoc man – I buy mine at Seiyu supermarket).
Serve with with rice noodles such as pho.
Ingredients (for 2-3 people)
- 250g chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc man)
- 2-3 fresh lettuce leaves
- 1 green pepper
- 1/4 of a red onion
Break the lettuce into bite-sized pieces by hand. Thinly slice the onion (against the grain) and cut the green pepper in half and then into thin strips.
Place the vegetables into a bowl, then pour just enough water to cover them. Add 4-5 ice cubes to keep them crispy. Leave these in the water for about ten minutes, then drain.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and 1 pinch of pepper over the chicken breast and let it sit for for 5 minutes. Next, dribble a teaspoon of Thai fish sauce over the chicken and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
Spread the sesame oil over the chicken breast with a cooking brush (or use the back side of a small spoon). Dust the roasted sesame seeds over both sides of the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (410 Fahrenheit) and place the chicken on a tray covered in baking paper. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
When the chicken has finished cooking, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Once ready, tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces by hand. Plate the vegetables and then decorate with the pieces of chicken. Garnish with coriander (cilantro to those in North America) and a piece of lemon or lime.
Located on the same street as the Emporio Armani store, this basement izakaya, “Touan”, specializes in decent drinks, tofu, chicken, and sashimi. Several private tables, plus a few that look out onto a cellar-type Japanese garden, provide the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner or small-scale night out with friends. Jazz music plays in the background.
And Touan has a few dishes that will keep vegetarians happy. Try the dekitate (fresh) tofu, at 780 yen, that comes with seven toppings and can be split amongst four if one thinks in izakaya serving sizes (read: small). The large tofu slabs go well with a side of fried renkon (lotus root) chips (480 yen). The negi shiitake kushi (grilled green onions and mushrooms on a stick) are also worth a try at 200 yen each.
Meat-lovers will enjoy the tebasaki no karaage (fried chicken for 580 yen), and the tofu no gyoza (580 yen for six pieces)–sorry, healthy people, this one almost certainly has meat in it. It’s just too good. But everyone can wind down with a dish of tofu ice cream which is astoundingly tasty (380). Another wise selection is the ebi (shrimp)tenpura and cha (tea) soba (680). The tea flavor is more apparent on the nose than anywhere else. Very nicely done indeed.
The “Naina?” imo shochu at 700 yen a glass, and yuzu umeshu at 620, are excellent choices for herbivores and carnivores alike. The “Hakkaisan” junmai ginjo nihonshu (980) is recommended for those looking for a decent bit of the drink that John Gauntner has taught us so much about.
The drink selection is respectable in several ways. While “Four Roses” is the only whiskey on the menu, Touan steps it up with 14 different bottles of umeshu, 12 potato shochu, six nihonshu, plus wine, beer, kokutou and rice shochu, and cocktails. Draft beer is 580 yen, and wine is 450 per glass. Most alcoholic beverages range from between 450 to 900 yen. Soft drinks are 350.
Directions: JR Kichijoji north exit. Outside the station (looking at the rotary) turn left. You’ll soon pass Baskin Robbins. Go straight until you come to a four-way intersection with a traffic light. Turn right. Walk one block and turn left before Tokyu Department Store. Walk straight (past Banana Republic) and take the second right. Touan is on the left (B1) just before a furniture shop called Kagura. If you reach Emporio Armani, then you’ve gone too far.
Guru Navi Page: http://r.gnavi.co.jp/a045212/
Lunch: 11:30 – 14:00
Dinner: 17:00 – 24:30