A Twist On Take-Out: Grant Achatz’s Rice-Crust Pizza

01/15/2014 at 03:11 PM ET

Grant Achatz Japanese Rice Pizza Recipe
Christina Holmes/FOOD & WINE

They say you can’t reinvent the wheel.

That is, unless you’re Grant Achatz, the visionary chef behind Chicago’s Alinea and The Aviary restaurants. In the February issue of Food & Wine, Achatz — a member of the magazine’s new Chefs-in-Residence program — takes traditional doughy pizza and turns it on its head in an avant-garde Japanese version with a crust of cooked sushi rice.

Yup, rice.

This pie is definitely less Naples, more Tokyo, as shiitake mushrooms, edamame and shiso leaves lend a savory Eastern bent to the Western staple. For any mozarella-and-tomato sauce purists, just trust that this take is pretty heavenly. Another twist: Instead of an oven, Achatz cooks his pizza crust in a skillet right on the stovetop.

We’re thinking this offbeat-but-brilliant pizza would be a rather impressive addition to a Superbowl party (and still pairs perfectly with a cold beer!). Achatz says home cooking should be “serene and relaxing,” so take his zen approach — breathe deeply and give it a shot.

Japanese Pizza
Serves 4 

2½ ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thinly sliced
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. canola oil
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
3 cups cooked sushi rice
5 oz. firm tofu, sliced
2 tsp. unagi sauce (optional)
⅓ cup shelled edamame
5 oz. Manchego cheese, shredded (about 1½ cups)
½ cup soy bean sprouts
Kosher salt
Togarashi and toasted white and black sesame seeds, for sprinkling
1 cup large bonito flakes
6 shiso leaves, thinly sliced
¼ cup cilantro leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms and soy sauce. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain.

2. In a 9-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat the oils. Press the rice into the skillet, about ¼-inch thick. Cook over moderately high heat until the bottom is golden, 10 minutes. Top with the tofu in a single layer and drizzle with unagi sauce. Top with the shiitake, edamame, cheese and bean sprouts and season with salt. Sprinkle with togarashi and sesame seeds.

3. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake on the top shelf for 15 minutes, until the top is golden. Slide the pizza onto a platter; top with the bonito, shiso and cilantro and serve.

—Brooke Showell 

FILED UNDER: Food , Pizza , Recipes

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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zzzz on

I’d rather eat a real pizza than the one from a snooty chef who hates kids.

avojen on

To zzzz : Hates kids or wants to ensure his adult diners paying good $$$ a pleasant dining experience? Geez….

zzzz on

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