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: Teriyakidon (chicken teriyaki rice bowl)

A classic Japanese rice bowl that’s a cinch to prepare.

Donburi, rice bowls topped with fish, meat or vegetables, are one of Japan’s most popular lunchtime meals. Their appeal lies in the fact that they are quick to prepare and can be made from just about anything.

This recipe calls for rice topped with chicken coated in a delicious teriyaki sauce. The addition of pickled ginger ties the dish together beautifully.

Teriyakidon

Teriyakidon

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100 – 120 g green onion
  • 300 g chicken thigh
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 20 – 30 g of pickled ginger (half finely chopped, half thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons of white sesame seeds

Teriyaki sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of sake
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin

Method

First, cut the green onion into pieces 4 – 5 cm in length. Fry in pan on a medium heat without any oil. Once they have become brown, remove the pieces to a tray.

Prepare the chicken by chopping it into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over the chicken and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove any liquid that comes out of the chicken with a paper towel.

Next, cover the chicken with 1 tablespoon of flour. Make sure the pieces are evenly coated.

Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into a frying pan and place this on a medium heat. Saute the chicken until it has browned on one side. Turning the chicken over, place a lid on the pan and allow the second side to cook.

Now for the teriyaki sauce. Mix the sake, soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl. When both sides of the chicken are brown remove any extra oil from the pan with a paper towel then slowly add the sauce from the edge of the frying pan. Cook until the sauce has thickened and has completely covered the chicken.

Finally, mix a bowl of cooked rice with the finely chopped ginger and 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds. Cover with a layer of chicken and garnish with the thinly sliced pickled ginger.

Recipe: Shinjaga no teriyaki (baby potatoes in teriyaki sauce)

The Japanese potato season may be early summer, but now’s the time to take advantage shinjaga – baby potatoes.

Shinjaga is short for shin jagaimo, or baby potatoes. Currently in season, they are outcasts of sorts: farmers sell them to make room for their larger brothers and sisters. They taste delicious, however, and are particularly suited to sopping up sauces like this combination of garlic, butter and soy.

Today’s recipe makes either a great appetizer or a main course. Two tablespoons of olive oil instead of butter will result in a lighter dish. Add pancetta or bacon, on the other hand, and it can stand on its own as a main meal.

Shinjaga no teriyaki (baby potatoes in teriyaki sauce)

Shinjaga no teriyaki (baby potatoes in teriyaki sauce)

Ingredients

  • 800 g baby potatoes
  • 40 g finely chopped garlic
  • 20 g butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

Method

First, wash the baby potatoes. You don’t need to peel their skins as they’re very thin. If you use a brush when you wash them, the skins will come off easily.

Place a pot with a liter and a half of cold water, 2 – 3 pinches of salt and the potatoes on a high heat. When the water comes to the boil, turn the gas down to medium. Allow the pot to boil for 10 – 15 minutes.

Check if the potatoes are cooked by using a skewer on the largest one. When they are done, drain.

Place a large frying pan containing butter and finely chopped garlic on the stove. Turn the heat to low and sauté for 1 minute, taking care so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Once the it begins to produce a strong aroma, add the boiled baby potatoes to the pan and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Sauté on a medium heat until each potato is coated with butter and garlic.

Mix 1 tablespoon of mirin and 2  1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce in a cup. Add this sauce to the pan. Flip the pan so that the potatoes are completely coated in the sauce.

Once the liquid has been reduced, turn off the heat and sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the potatoes. Mix well and serve.

Recipe: Tori to renkon tsukune (chicken and lotus root meatballs, teriyaki style)

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!)

Chicken and lotus root meatballs

Chicken and lotus root meatballs

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

Method

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.