What is Chinese Pizza?
Chinese pizza can refer to a variety of American style pizzas that are made with traditional Asian ingredients. Alternately, the term may mean tujia shaobing, a special Chinese dish that is pizza like in quality and has been judged to bear some similarity to American versions of pizza. The first type can be made pretty easily, given access to some pizza dough and a few ingredients, but tujia shaobing is typically only found in China, though people could certainly puzzle out the ingredients and make it anywhere else.
A quick search on a web browser or on many recipe sites will yield numerous recipes on how to make the American inspired Chinese pizza. It usually combines the things that make pizza famous like tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and a good pizza crust, with many of the things people would associate with Chinese cooking. These could include things like onions, pea pods, water chestnuts, flavored meat (usually chicken), soy sauce and ginger. The “Chinese” ingredients are used as pizza topping in most cases, yielding an interesting marriage of Italian and Chinese flavors.
Not everyone is thrilled by Chinese pizza and some find the combination of flavors somewhat off-putting. Those who love both pizza and Chinese food, on the other hand, may adore the varying recipes for Chinese pizza. Some people find the pizza better if they omit the cheese and perhaps the sauce, and others recommend different sauce toppings like ranch dressing. It might take some experimentation to determine which recipes are the best.
Removing sauce and cheese becomes very close to tujia shaobing. This is round or somewhat oblong dough, which usually contains soymilk. Typical topping for this pizza is ground spicy pork, scallions, and ginger. Those who’ve enjoyed it say it is somewhat like a sausage pizza minus the cheese and sauce, and the pizza dough is roughly similar to what people would have in America, except in New York style pizza, where the crust is much thinner. One thing some people have noted about this pizza is that it tends to be very greasy; this may be a plus or minus depending on point of view.
With a little searching people can find recipes for tujia shaobing online too. Most especially stress use of soymilk in the dough. It is only sold in limited places in China, and most often by street vendors or small stores. There are Chinese pizza places in China, which are an interesting interpretation of American pizza. These may or may not have tujia shaobing available.
@ Amphibious54- It may be an acquired taste, but they are on the menu at many popular chain restaurants. Schlotszky's Deli serves a spicy Thai pizza that has similar ingredients as well as a basil pesto sauce to compliment the Thai sauce. California Pizza Kitchen also has an Asian themed pizza that has similar ingredients on a honey crust. You should try one should you ever see one; you may be surprised to find that they are delicious.
@ aplenty- I don't know about that pizza. I like specialty pies, but I think my tolerance is limited to things like barbecue chicken and buffalo chicken pizzas. Too exotic for me, I can't see how shrimp paste would be that appetizing on a pizza. If my local carry out restaurant had that on the menu, I would probably give it a pass. An Asian pizza is an original pie but too weird for my taste. This is the first time I have heard of this type of pizza.
It sounds weird, but Asian themed pizzas are actually quite tasty. I used to work at a New York Style Pizzeria, and one of our bestselling specialty pies was our Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken pizza. The base of the pizza was a delicious sauce made from Thai shrimp paste, peanuts, and a few other 'key ingredients' that I will not disclose. The spicy sauce was topped with mandolin carrots, char-grilled chicken thigh pieces (the fatty meat makes the pizza), green onions, and a light sprinkling of a blend of cheeses. The pizza was spicy, sweet, and a little nutty, and the smell was out of this world. There was nothing like it.
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