VIDEO: Cooking up pizza with tubed condiments

VIDEO: Cooking up pizza with tubed condiments

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Have you ever used tubed condiments?

If you are a foodie, you may be familiar with garlic or chipotle paste packaged in tubes like toothpaste.

Or if you prefer paste that comes in big bottles and containers, you may have just ignored the small tubes that sometimes look like oil paint containers. 

Although tubed condiments are available in both Japan and the U.S., many consumers from both countries may not be familiar with them given their uniqueness and compact size. 

In my case, tubed condiments are something I didn’t really explore thoroughly until recently. These small and colorful packages placed on a shelf in the spice section always caught my eye when I shopped in a grocery store or a supermarket. But their wide variety was so overwhelming that I had no clue where to start. So, I ended up sticking to regular ones such as wasabi, mustard, and Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste).

However, several TV shows changed my mind by spotlighting tubed condiments as a way to make cooking enjoyable and even offer a solution for “Jitan (time-saving).” In those shows, unique condiments such as anchovies, shredded basil, olives and many more were introduced. Recipes using tubed condiments were also shown, including fried eggs flavored with tubed red-pickled ginger, and yaki-onigiri (grilled rice balls) seasoned with tubed charred garlic.

As a lazy amateur chef who is all for cutting corners, I decided to give some of the recipes a try, including “tube pizza.” To put it simply, this is a kind of pizza made with tubed condiments, not pizza sauce. Instead of pizza dough, dumpling wrappers roughly the size of your palm are used. There’s no need to bake them in an oven; a pan and stove will suffice (I used an electric hot plate).

Chili pepper, jalapeno, and minced basil were the tubed condiments I could get at my neighborhood supermarket. Spreading the tubed condiments on dumpling wrappers felt more like scribbling than cooking. Adding more colors with cheese, tomato, onion, corn, and bacon, I felt like I was creating modern art.

On a hotplate set at 200 ℃ and my pan covered with lid, it took only five minutes before the dumpling wrappers were golden brown on the bottom. Since it looked the toppings were good to go and I didn’t want to burn the wrappers, I turned off the heat and sampled my pizza.

Although some vegetables turned out to be a little undercooked, the wrapper, tubed sauce, and cheese were OK. With one bite, I found the food totally legit to be called pizza. It will not replace Domino’s or Papa John’s, but it made the cut as a decent and fun meal. I was literally a tubular experience.

 

Simple recipe for ‘tube pizza’

Spread tubed condiment (2.5 ml each) on dumpling wrappers. 

Heat them up on a hotplate at 200 °C (392 °F) with a lid on until wrappers have a crispy texture and the cheese melts.

Combos I tried (recommended by S&B Foods)

Aragiri Togarashi (chopped hot pepper)

Spread paste on a dumpling wrapper and top it with sliced sausage, onion, and cheese.

Kizami Basil (sliced basil)

Spread paste on a dumpling wrapper and top it with tuna, corn, and cheese.

Aragiri Harapenyo (chopped jalapeno)

Spread paste on a dumpling wrapper and top it with diced avocado, sliced bacon, and cheese.

*Depending on your liking, add toppings such as sausage, bacon, ham, boiled shrimp, tuna, shirasu (whitebait), onion, green pepper, mini tomato, avocado, corn, cheese, etc. But be careful not to add too much. The wrapper tends to bake quicker than the toppings. Tip: If you saute vegetables before you put them on the wrappers, it can help balance out the difference in required cooking time.  

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