When I lived in Toronto back in the 90’s my mom would take me to this Japanese restaurant in what I can only assume was somewhere Downtown. It was a dim-lifted “90’s chic” place with dark stain-proof carpeting and fake palms… or was it plastic birds of paradise plants? Anyway, it was there that that an eleven year old Jon came across the words “sushi” and “pizza” together.
It took a while to process, but when the mental computation had been completed I knew I needed that inside me. Immediately. I didn’t care what it actually was, I didn’t care what was involved. I just knew that I. Needed. To. Eat. That. Thing. Now.
After trying it, my kid self was blown away. I immediately added this to my list of things that go well together:
Jon’s list of things that go well together: Circa 1993
- Oreo’s + Milk
- The insides of Crayola Markers + White t-shirs
- Saturday Morning Cartoons + Cereal
- Action Figures + Bathtub
- Tree + House
- Hot Wheels Cars + Loop-Dee-Loop tracks
- Lights + Sneakers
- Moving Cars + Naps
- Koosh Balls + Life
- Snowbanks + Recess
- Sushi + Pizza
After my first time, I was blessed to have it occasionally. My mom learned the recipe on how to make it and would sometimes make it though out my childhood and high-school years.
Ever since I started cooking, I’ve run out of reasons as to why I couldn’t figure it out to make for myself, so I did. While the instructions are long winded, it’s actually quite easy to make and always impressive.
I’ve made sushi pizza once before. It was fall of last year and I wanted to make something crazy and special for this guy I was dating. He liked sushi and he liked pizza. So naturally I figured anyone who likes these two things would have the same reaction that I did when I was nine years old.
I had played it in my head a dozen times, each time getting more excited at sharing this bit of my childhood…
“Whaaaaa? What is this magical thing you speak of? Does it come out of unicorns only after they’ve eaten a slice of Supino’s pizza while watching ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’? I pictured him saying…
“Not quite… but close. Aren’t I just so great and amazing?” I would say
“Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. You are the god of food!”
Instead, it went more like this:
“I swear! It’s amazing, just trust me! It’s SOOOO GOOD.”
“Whatever you say…”
“I promise you! Wait… where are you going?”
Jon cocks his gun and points it at his date “Sit. The fuck. Down.” He commanded.
Aaaaaaaaaanyway… here’s how to make it.
Servings: 4 pies
Ingredients: The Sushi Rice Crust
Note: this needs some prep the night before
- 2 Cups Sushi Rice
- 4 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Mirin (Rice Wine)
- 2 tsp. Salt
- 3 tbsp. Sugar
- 2 Cups Water
- 8 tsp of oil (separated 2 tsp of oil per pie)
Note: These are just what I like putting on my pie. You can do whatever the hell you want with it. Thats the beauty of pizza, sushi or otherwise. You do what you want. Be sure you get fish that was specifically cut and made for SUSHI. Do NOT just go to your local store and grab just any old fillet and assume you can eat it raw. Bad things will happen. If you live in the Metro-Detroit area Noble-Fish in Clawson is an awesome Japanese grocery store with a good sushi restaurant in the back. They also sell you everything you need to make good sushi pizza.
Here is the list and order of the toppings that I usually put on my pie.
- Spicy Mayo (Yes, they also sell this pre-made at Noble Fish)
- Tuna/Salmon/halibut or your favorite sushi fish. Tip: Put as much emphasis on texture as you would flavor for this dish. An expensive but subtle tasting fish on the über-mega-flavor-bomb that is sushi pizza would just be a waste of money. For this very reason, I prefer tuna or salmon because I enjoy their meaty texture and the flavors of salmon are strong enough to be noticeable.
- Smelt Roe
- Chopped Scallions
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Julienned Nori (Sushi wrapping seaweed, not that much)
- Vegan Spicy Mayo
- Grilled tofu (marinated of plain)
- Chia Seeds
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Chopped Scallions
- Julienned Nori
- Rinse the rice fully 3-5 times. Don’t worry if the water runs clear or not.
- Drain the rice in a strainer and allow it to sit there for 1 hour in the winter and 30 minutes in the summer
- While the rice is draining, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and mirin in a bowl. Mix well.
- Take your 2 cups of water and put it in a non-stick pot along with the rice
- Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer
- Cover the pot and allow it to steam the rice. DO NOT LIFT THE LID UNTIL IT’S DONE.
- Cook for 15 minutes before removing pot from the heat. AGAIN. DON’T LIFT THE LID.
- Allow the rice to rest in the pot for 10 minutes more.
- Now you can remove the lid.
- Place the rice onto a dish to cool and fan it with a magazine (or whatever) while you add the vinegar mixture. Be careful that you don’t break the rice while doing this.
- Assemble the rice into a disk that is about 4-5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick
- Wrap the disk in wax paper and freeze it overnight or store for a week
- The day of serving, remove the disk from the freezer and remove the wax paper
- In a frying pan, heat up 1 tsp of oil on medium heat
- Pan fry one side of the crust allowing the outside to brown
- Use another tsp of oil for the other side
- It’s best to allow he crust to rest on the heat which will brown the one size and heat up the inside more slowly. Remember: you only want to sear the outside of the crust and re-heat the inside, not cook it.
- Yes, you can also deep fry the crust, but the results are similar so for the sake of your arteries, pan fry it.
- Spread the spicy mayo and use it as the “sauce” of the pie
- Place thinly sliced avocado on the mayo
- Place cut fish on the avocado
- Sprinkle crab roe on the fish
- Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the roe
- Top off with scallions and julienned nori
- Grill tofu until firm and seared
- Spread the vegan spicy mayo onto the crust
- Place avocado on the mayo
- Place tofu on the avocado
- Sprinkle chia seeds on the tofu
- Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the chia seeds
- Top off with chopped scallions and julienned nori
Update: I’ll be adding more pictures later on, latest by tomorrow. I only had time to make one pizza. My car broke down and let’s just say that the crab roe didn’t make it. I was exhausted but still managed to make a couple of pies. Furthermore, because I got home so late I didn’t have time to properly freeze the crusts, so when I do it nice and proper today, I’ll have crusts (and better pictures) to show you. I’ll also make the vegan pie today. So yeah, stay tuned.
Rinsed Rice, ready to cook
Mixing the rice with the vinegar seasoning
Clump it up, nice and tight
Smash Patty… sounds like the name of a band…
Ready to freeze
Noble has the best sushi fish in Metro-D
Brown out – which in
Like I said, I was tired, Normally these would be much thinner