Sushi has been quite the rave for a while now in Canada. In Montreal, where we live, there’s basically a sushi restaurant on every block in downtown. And although sushi is my favourite food ever, it’s not the traditional maki rolls or nigiri that I love the most. It’s sushi pizzas! If you’re not from Canada, you probably might not be that familiar with this dish. It was basically invented by an Asian-Canadian chef in either Toronto or Montreal (still be to disputed) back in the 90’s, and has since become a staple dish in many Japanese restaurants in Canada. And I can understand why! The dish is basically composed of a fried rice disk as the “pizza crust” and a variation of salmon or tuna tartare as the “pizza topping”. It’s just absolutely delicious! Especially for someone like me, who loves salmon tartare and anything that’s fried and crunchy. Now, this dish is definitely not authentic Japanese, but it’s definitely a great and creative way to fusion Japanese and Western cuisines. And it’s definitely one of our favorites. We love eating sushi pizzas so much in restaurants that we had to find out how to make this dish ourselves at home. I have to tell you, it took us a while to figure out how to make the fried rice disk crust very crispy. But with a lot of patience, time, and experiments (not to mention all the dish-washing), we figured out the perfect recipe for sushi pizza. It’s so easy to make, and what’s great is that it looks very fancy. So if you got people to impress and you don’t really have a lot of chef skills, making these sushi pizzas is definitely the way to go!
In this recipe, we used salmon for protein because we just loveee salmon. The melt-in-your-mouth texture definitely compliments the crispiness of the rice crust. But you can definitely use tuna, scallops or even some crab meat if you’re not into raw fish. And on a side note, we used the Sambal Oelek hot sauce because we love its flavours, but you can substitute it with Sriracha hot sauce or any other kind that you prefer. And, if you want some extra texture, you can also add some cubed avocados or cucumber into the salmon tartare!
INGREDIENTS (yields 4 disks)
- About 300g of salmon
- 2-3 tablespoons of chopped green onions
- 3 teaspoons of Japanese mayonnaise
- 1-2 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek chilli sauce (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1/8 of a lemon
- 2 teaspoons of fish roe
- About 1 1/2 cup of cooked white rice
- 1 whole egg
- All-purpose flour as needed
- Panko breadcrumbs as needed
- Canola or vegetable oil
- Oil the interior of a round-shaped ramekin (the ramekin we used has a diameter of about 7 cm). Place one heaping tablespoon of cooked white rice in the ramekin and compress down with the back of the spoon to form a 1 cm thick disk of rice at the bottom of the ramekin. Take out rice disk from ramekin carefully and place on a plate. Repeat steps for other rice disks, do not put rice disks on top of each other.
- Cover the plate of rice disks with a plastic wrap and let cool in the freezer for at least 2 hours. If rice disks are hot, let cool to room temperature before putting in the freezer.
- Chop salmon into small, fine cubes and transfer into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chopped green onions, Japanese mayonnaise, chili sauce, soy sauce, fish roe, lemon, and sesame oil into the bowl of chopped salmon and mix well. Add more chili sauce or soy sauce to taste. Set bowl aside.
- Take out the rice disks from freezer and let rest in room temperature for 10-15 minutes (otherwise they stick to the plate).
- Cover each rice disk with all-purpose flour first, then dip in whisked egg, finally cover with Panko breadcrumbs.
- Pour oil into frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom half of the rice disks (depth should be half of the thickness of a rice disk). Fry rice disks for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Drain of excess oil, and let rice disks cool. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the salmon mixture on each rice disband spread evenly. Garnish with fish roe and chopped green onions.