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: Koumiyasai no somen (somen with aromatic herb salad)

When Japanese think summer, they think somen.

Somen are very thin noodles made from wheat flour. They are usually eaten cold during the summer months, often with a garnish of grated ginger, asatsuki chives and thinly sliced miyoga.

This recipe combines the fine texture of the noodles with the refreshing flavors of sudachi, a Japanese citrus grown in southern Japan, and yuzukosho, a condiment made from dried yuzu, green peppers and salt.

If you’re having trouble sourcing the ingredients, you can substitute limes for the sudachi, and Yuzusco dressing for the yuzukosho.

For something completely different, try adding nampla and cilantro to give the dish a Thai flavor.

Koumiyasai no somen (somen with aromatic herb salad)

Koumiyasai no somen (somen with aromatic herb salad)

Ingredients (serves 4 people)

  • 130 – 150 g cucumber
  • 60 – 70 g miyoga (Japanese ginger)
  • 130 g radish sprouts
  • 12 sheets of shiso (green perilla)
  • 8 tablespoons of sakuraebi (dried shrimp)
  • 2 teaspoons yuzukosho
  • 2 sudachi, cut in halves
  • 200 g somen (50 g each)
  • 400 – 600 ml mentsuyu (Japanese condiment traditionally poured over somen)

Method

Fill a pot with water and boil. Once at the boil, add the somen and cook according to the instructions on the package. Next, drain the noodles using a fine colander or sieve. Rinse them in ice cold water and drain. Repeat several times, changing the water each time.

Now that all the starch has been removed from the somen, it’s time to prepare the rest of the ingredients. Slice the cucumber diagonally into pieces  1 mm thick.

Cut the roots from 130 g of radish sprouts and slice the mioga in half lengthwise and then again into thin strips.

Slice the green shiso leaves into strips 1 – 2 mm in width. Rinse the cucumber, radish sprouts, mioga and shiso together in a bowl of iced water for between 1 and 2 minutes. Mix them well while in the water.

Now divide the noodles between four serving bowls. Drain the vegetables and heap them onto the somen. Try to do this as artfully as possible. Sprinkle dried shrimp evenly over the vegetables and gently pour the mentsuyu into the dish, trying not to crush the vegetable garnish.

Add a half-teaspoon of yuzukosho to the side of each dish. Slice the sudachi into halves and add one half to each bowl. Serve.

Recipe: Grilled asparagus with yuzukosho butter

It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

Yuzukosho. As we’ve mentioned before, it can be used to add a citrus ‘zing’ to just about anything. And when it’s mixed with butter, it makes a great addition to baked dishes – potatoes, fish, and so on.

Here, we’re using yuzukosho butter to enhance a spring favorite – grilled asparagus.

Prepare the dish immediately before serving to maximize the flavor of both the yuzukosho and asparagus.

Grilled asparagus with yuzukosho butter

Grilled asparagus with yuzukosho butter

Ingredients

  • 8 stalks of asparagus
  • 10 g of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of yuzukosho
  • A pinch of salt

Method

First prepare the yuzukosho butter. Remove the butter from the fridge and let it come to room temperature, then use your fingers to mix the butter with 1 teaspoon of yuzukosho.

Cut 1 or 2 centimeters from the bottom of each stalk of asparagus. Ideally, the stalks will be of equal length. Now peel the outer skin from the bottom 4 -5 centimeters of each stalk. Use half of the yuzukosho butter to coat them. Again, it’s best to do this with your fingers.

Line up the asparagus on a plate, and cover the stalks with the remaining yuzukosho butter. Sprinkle a pinch of salt.

Grill for 8 – 10 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade. Garnish with a slice of lemon (to be squeezed over the asparagus immediately before eating).

 

Japan Eats Podcast: Episode 14, “Warm cockles″

This week, we discuss Marcus’s recent travels, winter hot pot dishes and the opening of Good Beer Faucets, a new craft beer bar in Shibuya.

Pretz

Mapo doufu Pretz

The Japan Eats Podcast is presented by Garrett DeOrio, Marcus Lovitt and Christopher Pellegrini. To listen, click play on the audio player below:

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You can also subscribe to the fortnightly Japan Eats feed via iTunes or directly with our RSS feed.

Find the Japan Eats Facebook page here. Have something to say? Drop us a line.

Here are some links to what we discussed this week:

You can e-mail us at lovitt@japaneats.tv

Follow us on the Japan Eats Twitter feed. And please “Like” Japan Eats on Facebook.

Recipe: Piman no butabaramaki (peppers wrapped in pork)

A simple hors d’oeuvre that’s bound to disappear quickly.

Cocktail parties are a rarity in Japan. When entertaining family or friends, most Japanese elect to host the event at a local izakaya rather than in their own houses or apartments – there simply isn’t enough space at home. When Japanese do have people over, the numbers are usually small and the meal something relatively simple and easy to share – nabe (hotpot) or gyoza (Chinese dumplings) are particularly popular.

Red and green peppers wrapped in pork

Red and green peppers wrapped in pork

If you have the space for a larger number of guests, however, this dish of red and green peppers wrapped in pork makes for the perfect finger food. The citrus of the ponzu cuts through any oiliness in the pork, and the still-crispy vegetables add a crunchy texture to each mouthful.

They also make an excellent side dish and can be combined with other otsumami to make a delicious izakaya-style meal. Better, they don’t have to be served right away – the pepper and pork rolls can be served either hot or after they have cooled down.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 50 g of green pepper
  • 50 g of red pepper
  • 100 g of thinly sliced pork belly
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of ponzu
  • 1 tablespoon of yuzukosho

Method

First, cut off the top and bottom of the green and red peppers. Next, cut into halves and remove the seeds. Slice them into strips 5 mm thick.

Put them into a bowl of cold water and rinse them for 2-3 minutes and drain (when you prepare salads or other vegetable dishes, you should put the vegetables – especially leaf vegetables – into a bowl of cold water to enliven them).

Remove the water with a paper towel, then divide into 6 portions. The green peppers and the red peppers should be mixed almost half and half.

Place a thinly sliced pork belly on a cutting board, then sprinkle a pinch of salt. Place one portion of the peppers in the center and roll them. Repeat another 5 times.

Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan and warm it on a low heat. Once the pan has heated up, lay down the pork rolls so that the ‘seam’ (where the end of the pork meets the rest of the roll) is face down – think of the nori around sushi rolls. As the side of the roll cooks, it will bind itself to the rest of the pork.

Turn the heat up to medium and sauté that side for 2-3 minutes till it becomes brown and perfectly bonded, then sauté the rest of the roll so it is cooked evenly.

Place the rolls on to a dish with a pinch of yuzukosho on a top of each. Pour 2 tablespoons of ponzu gently from side over the finished dish and serve.

Recipe: Wafu pasta with yuzukosho sauce

A delicious meat-free pasta 

This dish is easy to prepare and is vegetarian-friendly.

The key to success is making sure that the eggplant is washed in salt water prior to cooking, so as to prevent it from absorbing all of the oil. Be sure to squeeze the salt water out, though.

As yuzukosho has a strong flavor, start by adding only a teaspoon – you can always add more later.

For more about yuzukosho, listen to Episode 8 of the Japan Eats Podcast, where the Japanese condiment is discussed in detail.

Wafu pasta with yuzukosho sauce

Wafu pasta with yuzukosho sauce

Ingredients (serves 2 people)

  • 160 g of bavette (or spaghetti)
  • 200 g of eggplant
  • 100 g of shimeji mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of sake
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of yuzukosho
  • 10 g butter
  • 5 – 6 sheets of shiso to garnish

Method

Pour 200 ml of cold water into a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of salt. Remove the top of the eggplant and then cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each half into six more pieces. Put the slices into a bowl of saltwater for 5 minutes to remove any bitterness.

Pour two liters of cold water into a large saucepan and place it on the gas table. Once it has come to the boil, add 20 g of salt and the pasta.

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the frying pan and add finely chopped garlic. Place the pan on a low heat and sauté slowly until they’re lightly browned.

Remove the salt water from the eggplant by squeezing each slice softly. Add to the pan and sauté until they too become brown. Again, use a low heat.

Once the eggplant is ready, add the shimeji mushrooms. Cook for another minute.

Pour 4 tablespoons of sake into the pan, then cook on a low heat to burn off the alcohol.

Add 2 tablespoons of boiling water from the pot in which you’re cooking the pasta. In addition, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to the inner surface of the pan, and add 1 teaspoon of yuzukosho and turn off the heat. Mix thoroughly.

Drain the pasta and then add to the pan. Combine with the sauce.

Add 10 g of butter, and again mix well.

Finally, wash the shiso and remove the water with a paper towel. Roll the leaves together and slice thinly. Serve with the shiso as garnish.

Japan Eats Podcast: Episode 8, “Beware the exploding watermelon!”

The panel road test Yuzusco, talk about seasonal produce and issue a warning to those in the market for watermelons

The Japan Eats Podcast is presented by Garrett DeOrio, Marcus Lovitt, and Christopher Pellegrini. To listen, click play on the audio player below:

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You can also subscribe to the fortnightly Japan Eats feed via iTunes or directly with our RSS feed.

Find the Japan Eats Facebook page here. Have something to say? Drop us a line.

In this week’s Japan Eats Podcast, Garrett DeOrio, Marcus Lovitt and Christopher Pellegrini discuss yuzukosho, Yuzusco and seasonal produce.

Here are some links to what we discussed this week:

You can e-mail us at contact@japaneats.tv

Follow us on the Japan Eats Twitter feed. And please “Like” Japan Eats on Facebook.