Japan Eats

Recipe: Teriyaki pizza

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.

Teriyaki pizza

Teriyaki pizza is a year-round favorite.

Ingredients (for 6 people/3 square pizzas)

Pizza dough

  • 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

Sauce

  • 3 – 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce

Topping

  • 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)

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon of yuzukosho
  • 1 tablespoon  of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Method

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.

Recipe: Grilled mushroom wafu salad

Shiitake, maitake, shimeji. The perfect ingredients for an autumn-inspired salad

In Japan, mushrooms are considered the flavor of autumn. This easy to prepare salad is seasoned with salt and citrus to emphasize their complex flavor.

Here I used three types of mushrooms common in Japan – shiitake, maitake and shimeji. If you are struggling in your search for maitake or shimeji, experiment with other varieties. Portobello mushrooms, for example, aren’t common in Japan, but should work equally well in this recipe.

Grilled mushrooms wafu salad

Grilled mushrooms wafu salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

100 g of shiitake mushrooms
100 g of maitake mushrooms
100 g of shimeji mushrooms
1 sheet of deep fried tofu pouch
1-2 of citrus juice (kabosu or sudachi are ideal, but you can use limes, lemons, etc.)
1 pinch of salt

Method

Clean the mushrooms with a brush. Next, cut away the stems of the shiitake mushrooms.

Cut away the roots of maitake and the shimeji. Divide them into a little bunches for grilling.

Next, grill the deep fried tofu pouch in a toaster or on a grill until it becomes brown and crispy on the outside, then slice into strips 4 – 5 centimeters in length and 1 centimeter wide.

Now grill the mushrooms for 3 – 4 minutes on a medium to high heat. Once cooked, slice the shiitake into bite-sized pieces and roughly mix the mushrooms with the deep fried tofu pouches.

Plate the mushrooms and season with a pinch of salt. Serve with a slice or two of a citrus fruit such as kabosu.

Japanese style spaghetti with spinach and mushrooms

This simple dish makes an excellent appetiser but it can just as well be served as a main course.

Naturally, other types of pasta can be used instead of spaghetti, however those cooking the dish in Japan will find it difficult to get their hands on much else (despite an awareness of Italian cuisine, the average Japanese supermarket still only stocks thin spaghetti and macaroni).

Spaghetti with mushrooms and spinach

Spaghetti with spinach and mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 160g spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 100 – 150g spinach
  • 100-150g mushrooms (use shiitake mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms or eringi mushrooms – 2 kinds would be best)
  • 20g butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Boil 1.5l water. Once it’s bubbling add a pinch of salt and then cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the package. Pour the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a frying pan and add the minced garlic. Cook it on a low heat.

Wash the spinach and then drain away any excess water. Cut away the roots then slice the remaining leaves into large pieces. Now cut away the stems of the shiitake and cut the remaining mushrooms into slices around 2 to 3 mm thick.

Put the them into the frying pan and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and mix this together with the mushrooms. Next, season the sauce with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Drain the spaghetti, saving 2 to 3 tablespoons of the water. Pour this liquid into the frying pan and mix with the other ingredients.

Now pour the spaghetti into the frying pan and fold the sauce into the pasta. Pour 2 tablespoons of soy sauce into the inner surface of the frying pan and mix into the spaghetti.

Finally, turn off the heat and add the 20g of butter. Allow the butter to melt using the remaining heat and mix the dish together quickly. Test the sauce, and if necessary add a touch more salt. The dish is now ready to serve.