Modern Sushi Pizza – the Cheese

Cheese layer underneath is necessary when it's creamy

Cheese layer underneath is necessary when it's creamy

Obviously only a lunatic or genius would put cheese on here. Great cheese on pizzas is soft and gooey in texture and lends a saltiness to the taste. Let me caution those of you spicy tuna roll fans not to take the gambit and try this with spicy mayo! Gooey is not the same as creamy, just as spicy is not a substitute for salty.

What we need here is the same sleight of hand we used in the sauce layer. An underlying visual component, then a second stealth component to achieve our flavor balancing goals. That what the cheese quietly does for pizza while you’re enjoying the gooeyness right?

You might use shredded daikon if it was not used in the crust layer. I say shredded because we need to avoid the solid crunch that a julienne would give us, and try instead for a soft texture that a layer of topping normally provides. However, if your sushi pie used daikon already for the “crust” or you’re just a hardcore rebel, then how about using shredded hotate (scallop) for the visual part of our “cheese” layer. Scallops have that nice soft texture, mild flavor and similar color to mozzarella.

They have the cheesy look down pat, but what is it?

They have the cheesy look down pat, but what is it?

Our stealth ingredient is surely soy sauce, which adds our salinity and perfectly matches with our other ingredients. It’s just the quintessential sushi condiment, although admittedly anchovy paste would do the trick in a pinch. The sushi hackers here are already contemplating flavored shoyu; soy sauces infused with complementary elements.

Fear not soggy pie worriers, there’s no need to add much soy sauce, even if you’re needing saltiness for balance. All manner of roe are revered in the world of sushi, and make excellent toppings to boot. We recommend choosing ikura (salmon roe) for it’s big bold salty profile.

And there’s our flavor component to balance out our visual “cheese.” You could, in fact, stop here if you’re too hungry to proceed. A plain pizza is a classic choice if well constructed. But many of us prefer something a little more. Like toppings – stay tuned!

<< Sushi Pizza Hacking: the Sauce | Sushi Pizza Toppings >>

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