A Pizza By Any Other Name

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on October 16, 2010

in Asian, fish or seafood

A mere month ago, I was saying that I wasn’t going to enter “that Project Food Blog thing” because I didn’t think I’d get very far. Amazingly, here I am, halfway through, with FIVE challenges under my (ever-increasing) belt.

Thank you all for your incredible support, links, tweets, and votes!

This challenge, to “create a twist on pizza” really had me stumped. I make pizza all the time, and have created many a “twist” on pizza in my day. Goat cheese, caramelized onions and mushrooms? Yep, been there. Folded over like a calzone? Sure.

Since I’ve done the traditional pizza thing, after much discussion with multiple people, I opted to be a bit more untraditional. FoodBuzz said that they are defining pizza as “a solid base, sauce, and at least one topping.” This got my gears going.

I wanted different but not disgusting. I wanted interesting without being predictable. A few suggestions later, and I had my inspiration.

None other than my favorite food.

sushi.jpg

Sushi holds a very special place in my heart for many reasons, only one of them being that Adam and I got engaged at our favorite sushi spot. A sushi restaurant was where I used to go with my friend James when I needed a break from home; I’d go for sushi with my dad when I was home from college; I’d go to the lone sushi place in my college town with roommates and we’d pretend we were back home. I fell in love with Adam over sushi… ok, enough sappiness.

First, I created a homemade wonton-type dough to create my solid base. I used a simple recipe found in a multitude of places which created a silky-smooth dough that was very easy to roll out.

Easy Wonton Dough

Ingredients

* 2 c. all purpose flour

* 1 egg

* 1/3 to 1/2 c. water

* 1 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. When combined, continue to knead about 10 minutes.

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Form into a ball and allow to rest at least 30 minutes.

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While this doesn’t have to rise like yeast pizza doughs, the gluten still needs to relax to allow it to be rolled thin.

Next, I made a batch of sushi rice. It’s not as easy as it might seem! The right rice had to be purchased, then washed and drained appropriately.

sushi collage 1

Then I cooked the rice in our rice cooker. And it was still watery and the grains were waterlogged, so I had to start all over. The second time though, it was right.

The process of making the sushi rice into the deliciously sticky food I know and love wasn’t nearly as simple as I thought either. The vinegar mixture needed to be heated then cooled, and then stirred folded into the hot rice without actually stirring in a conventional way. Then, the bowl of rice had to cool to room temperature.

sushi collage 2

While the rice cooled, I rolled out and cut my wonton crusts. They were quite thin, and I baked them at 350*F until crispy.

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When we were ready to eat, I assembled my toppings and made my sauces.

toppings

I purchased three colors of tobiko (flying fish eggs), wasabi powder, avocado, tuna, salmon, shrimp, shredded nori (toasted seaweed) and kewpie mayonnaise (in the cute red-topped bottle). This mayonnaise is what gives Japanese mayonnaise-based sauces their special flavor. It’s a touch sweeter and a little more liquid than regular mayo.

I made spicy mayonnaise with 1/2 c. kewpie mayo, 1 T. sriracha (rooster sauce), and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil. I mixed up some wasabi paste with 1 Tb. wasabi powder and about 1 tsp. water, and then mixed that into kewpie mayonnaise for a wasabi mayo. The fish was sliced, and, throwing caution to the wind, I assembled our pizzas.

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Pizza 1: Wonton crust topped with sushi rice, chili mayo sauce, fresh yellowfin tuna, avocado, orange tobiko, and wasabi mayo.

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Pizza 2: Wonton crust topped with sushi rice, fresh salmon, red and green tobiko, and chili mayo sauce

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Pizza 3: Wonton crust topped with sushi rice, wasabi sauce, boiled shrimp, avocado, red, green, and orange tobiko, chili mayo sauce

Not only were these pizzas beautiful, but they were absolutely delicious! I’ve never made real sushi for myself, so to embark on this adventure while putting such a twist on it was a little scary. I think though, I was quite successful on both accounts: a twist on pizza AND delicious sushi.

I had some fun with the remaining fish and rice:

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And I’m spent. This ピザ (pizza) took all the energy I had!

Voting will begin on FoodBuzz at 8 a.m. CDT on Monday, October 18 and I’d appreciate your support! Thank you all in advance!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley October 16, 2010 at 9:49 PM

Suuuper creative!!! Nice job…love how crunchy the won tons look. Yummm :)

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Manon October 16, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Holy WOW. This is so creative, amazing, and gorgeous I had to come out of Lurkville!! You definitely have my vote!
Manon´s last blog post ..Breaking in the Kitchen- Stinky Cheese-Prosciutto Pizza with Chopped Figs—It’s a Party in your mouth- YO!

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Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) October 16, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Such pretty food! I love it. One of my favorite things when eating sushi is the fish eggs. Love those salty little things. …and you have a variety?! SWEET!
Mary (What’s Cookin’ with Mary)´s last blog post ..Wordless Friday – The Non Baker Bakes !

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Kristina @ spabettie October 16, 2010 at 10:54 PM

I will definitely be voting for this one, Mara…

*wishing my sushi scarf was here to wear as I do… ;)
Kristina @ spabettie´s last blog post ..Vegan Organic Truffle Promo

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Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) October 16, 2010 at 11:02 PM

Love it! You are so talented Mara!
Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat)´s last blog post ..Hello world!

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Christina October 16, 2010 at 11:28 PM

Wow, Mara this turned out even more awesome than I imagined!!! I love the direction you took with it, and as always your photos are beautiful! Way to go, you nailed it!!!
Christina´s last blog post ..Friday Firsts – KitchenAid mixer

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sophia October 17, 2010 at 12:24 AM

BAH!!! I was TOO LATE! I’m so sorry, Mara. Damn me and my naps. But honestly, you didn’t even need my opinion on this. Because all I would have said is: “WOW!!! HOLY COW!”

Because this post is AWESOME. I love the Asian characters, the way you had such fun with a creative, Asian play on pizza, my favorite Asian nori…and my oh my, the Asian in me is twitching with glee! Hahaha!

Voting for you, as if you didn’t know already! ;-)

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Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well October 17, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Fun times! So glad a couple of my fellow contestants chose sushi pizza! I was going to do the same but was inspired to go a COMPLETELY different direction, so hopefully I chose right! Regardless, your pizzas are gorgeous and absolutely scrumptious! WTG!
Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well´s last blog post ..Tomat-u-cation- Working at the Whaley Family Farm

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Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well October 17, 2010 at 12:31 AM

PS – love, love, LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE that you went with a wonton crust!!!!! Too many sushi pizzas are done w/crispy rice, so this crust makes me just want to take a huge ol’ crunchy bite! Again, beautiful job, doll! So much so that I had to comment TWICE!!!
Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well´s last blog post ..Tomat-u-cation- Working at the Whaley Family Farm

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Jackie October 17, 2010 at 3:15 AM

Great job on the entry, Mara! I love how creative people are getting with ‘pizza’! Like Sophia the Asian inside me is, too, very happy with this ;)

Good luck my lovely! Rooting for you!

Jax x
Jackie´s last blog post ..Project Food Blog Entry 5- Recipe Remix – Coming To Terms With Pizza

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 17, 2010 at 5:12 AM

Ahhh…. I have a whole tupperware filled with wonton wrappers fried up and ready to use. Sigh. They didn’t make it into my PFB post because I couldn’t figure out how to make the toppings stay in place when you eat them. So props to you for figuring that out! Good luck!
Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..Project Food Blog 2010- Pizza- remixed

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Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels October 17, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Hi Mara, this is my first time commenting on your blog and I absolutely love it!
Now onto the Susi Pizza! I absolutely LOVE what you did with this challenge. I especially like how you made a crispy wonton as the base and then put sticky rice on top! How creative is that?! The pizzas are SO colorful, just beautiful.
Best of luck to you and I will definitely be voting for you!
Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels´s last blog post ..Foodbuzz Festival 2010!

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sippitysup October 17, 2010 at 9:26 AM

I have seen a lot of crazy pizzas in this challenge! But here’s a pizza I’d actually eat! GREG

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Lauren October 17, 2010 at 12:01 PM

You never cease to amaze me! Good luck darling. You’re my number one!! :)
Lauren´s last blog post ..Walkers for Knockers

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janetha October 17, 2010 at 12:30 PM

You are going to win.
janetha´s last blog post ..marshall’s monster birthday post!

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Brittany (Eating Bird Food) October 17, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Love this idea Mara!

PS- I can’t wait to meet you at the Foodbuzz Festival!
Brittany (Eating Bird Food)´s last blog post ..Words from a Holistic Health Counselor and Natural Chef

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BethT October 17, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Honestly, I don’t dig on raw fish, but this is really beautiful and creative! Great photos too!
BethT´s last blog post ..Indulge Me

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Biz October 17, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Great job Mara! I was wondering what kind of crust you were going to go with – it looks amazing!

I’ll throw a shout out in my morning post – good luck!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 17, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Wow – amazing girl!! I have been voting for you the whole time and definitely not stopping now!
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog post ..DC at Night

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glidingcalm October 17, 2010 at 5:21 PM

so amazingly fabulous. and now i want one for myself!!
glidingcalm´s last blog post ..Three Sisters Cereal

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 17, 2010 at 6:43 PM

so creative!!! great job and congrats on making it to challenge #5. :)
Angela (Oh She Glows)´s last blog post ..Project Food Blog- Challenge 5- A Pizza Complex

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Mary (A Merry Life) October 17, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Great job! That’s a very creative take on it. :)
Mary (A Merry Life)´s last blog post ..Feta Pita Pizzas

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elise October 17, 2010 at 8:17 PM

this sounds so interesting! anyways, i reallllly hope you win bc i wanna meet you in SF. i saw you joined the email chain so i had to comment :)
elise´s last blog post ..Tweak-er

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Julie Anne Rhodes October 17, 2010 at 8:23 PM

WOW! That looks amazing, I don’t even like sushi, and I want to try it. You really have to have won this thing by now – that is the worlds most original pizza I’ve ever seen!
Julie Anne Rhodes´s last blog post ..Sometimes On Sundays I Have Favorites

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DianaHayes October 17, 2010 at 8:51 PM

A very cool twist Mara – I wouldn’t have imagined a Sushi Pizza.

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Toronto Girl West October 17, 2010 at 8:52 PM

Wow. You killed this challenge amiga! Honestly, I love everything.

And since I have a sushi problem (yes, it’s a problem), I would eat those pizzas in a heart beat!
Toronto Girl West´s last blog post ..I Survived

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MizFit October 18, 2010 at 5:11 AM

uh HOLYCRAPIWANTYOUTOMOVEINWITHMEANDCOOKFORMEANDWHATCANIDOINRETURNPLEASEPLEASE?
MizFit´s last blog post ..Six Steps to MIZFIT eating

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Krystal October 18, 2010 at 11:05 AM

OMG…how freaking cool is that! Soooo adorable, I want a piece of your sushi pizza. Congrats on making it to the next round, and you got my vote!

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Liren October 18, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Hey there, fellow sushi-pizza-maker! I see what you mean! Like the use of the wonton wrapper, very clever! And I know how tired you felt after making them – I know it took a lot more work than it looks!
Liren´s last blog post ..When Pizza Met Sushi

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Shelly Borrell (Nibbles of Tidbits) October 18, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Wow, that all looks so yummy! I just voted for you. Keep on cookin’. :)

Shelly

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Tiny Urban Kitchen October 18, 2010 at 9:34 PM

I agree with Greg – these pizzas actually look really inviting and delicious. Great job on tackling something you’ve never made before. And that nigiri you made near the end is not bad!
Tiny Urban Kitchen´s last blog post ..Voting is Open for Project Food Blog Round 5!

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Mariko October 19, 2010 at 1:15 AM

Crunchy, creamy, and sushi-y. Yummy.
Mariko´s last blog post ..The Bap’za

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Joan Nova October 19, 2010 at 7:37 AM

I like the idea of sushi pizza because it adds a fresh element to an otherwise totally baked and melded ingredient dish. Plus it’s so colorful.

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Amelia from Z Tasty Life October 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

they must be very light and crispy!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking October 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM

So colorful and fun! You have a vote from me!

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Jacob's Kitchen October 19, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Gorgeous! I can only imagine how good these taste. Sushi holds a special place in my heart too. These are perfectly executed. Nicely done. I voted for you!

Good luck! hope to see us both in round 6! =)

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Suzy October 19, 2010 at 8:11 PM

Mmmmm…I’ll take at least two of the salmon one…so beautiful and all my favorite yummy things! I never would have thought to make sushi pizza…what a great idea!

You’ve got my vote again!
Suzy´s last blog post ..Monday Night Happy Hour – Tequila in the Tropics

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eataduckimust October 19, 2010 at 10:43 PM

i’ve never considered making the wonton crisps from scratch, so major kudos to you. i’m all about store bought! btw, i’m totally digging all your mayo mixes. we love doing that!
eataduckimust´s last blog post ..Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza – Project Food Blog Challenge 5 and a Cookbook Giveaway!

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Peggy October 21, 2010 at 1:52 PM

I love the wonton wrapper as a base for this! Very creative as far as sushi pizza goes! You’ve definitely got my vote!
Peggy´s last blog post ..Sauteed Bok Choy

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Marianne October 25, 2010 at 2:21 AM

Obviously, I approve. I mean, it’s sushi and it’s pizza. You can’t lose! And how brave are you, rocking the raw fish? I’ve made sushi myself, but I shy away from dealing with raw fish. I figure I can leave that to the pros.
Marianne´s last blog post ..New Larabar Showdown

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