All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
I haven’t eaten red meat or poultry in over twenty years so I am, admittedly, pretty easy to please in the fake meat department. Veggie burgers & veggie dogs provide me with 100% of what their animal-based alternatives are meant to provide. Sure – I miss a rare steak once in a while (like a time or two a year) but I never miss chicken or turkey or pork. Except bacon. But those completely toxic, all-soy Bacos work for me & I can still walk around and look pigs in the eye.
Anyway – while I do not miss chicken – I am still intrigued by the increasing number of options there are out there to let us vegetarians pretend we are lawless carnivores. I used a wheat gluten version of “chicken” here but there is no reason you couldn’t use some cooked real chicken. And if you are vegan – you can use vegan cheese (as I did here – regrettably). If you are vegan – you can substitute additional soy sauce for the fish sauce called for here. I also read that Golden Mountain Sauce is a decent vegan replacement – but I have yet to try it. Hoisin & Oyster sauces also have vegetarian versions.
And hey – to you vegans out there – let me know if you have found any vegan cheeses that MELT. The one I used here was almost too soft to grate easily and even so soft that it melted back into itself as it waited to be put on the pizza – and yet it didn’t melt at all in the oven. I added fresh real mozzarella in the very end of cooking this particular pizza.
Know – this resulted in a pretty heavy & densely topped pizza. I like my pizza thin & light. If I were to make this again (and I likely will because it it delicious) – I would chop everything very finely – especially the (faux) chicken – and top the entire pizza more sparsely. If you like a deeper dish experience – this pizza here is for you! Know that this is a somewhat sweet-flavored pizza. Delicious – but next time I make it – I will double the sriracha & the fresh jalapenos I add sliced as one of the veggies on top of the pizza.
This has lots of ingredients but it is REALLY easy – so do not be intimidated.
Vegetarian, Vegan (or not!) Thai Chicken Pizza
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 TBS fresh grated ginger
4 garlic cloves chopped very fine
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS sriracha
1 TBS oyster sauce
1 TBS fish sauce (or Golden Mountain Sauce or more soy sauce)
2 jalapenos – seeded – one sliced – the other diced
1 cooked chicken breast or vegetarian substitute – diced
1/2 red bell pepper – sliced very thinly
2 carrots – grated
2 scallions – sliced thin – all the white & part of the green tops
Sprouts – for garnish on cooked pizza
Cilantro – chopped for garnish on cooked pizza
1/2 lime – to squeeze over cooked pizza
1/2 diced small red onion (optional)
1 small zucchini – sliced very thin
Cheese (grated fresh or vegan – your call) to taste
Sweet Chili Sauce – to drizzle over cooked pizza
PREHEAT THE OVER TO 450!! It is best if your oven has been at 450 for at least 30 minutes before you put your pizza in.
Whisk the peanut butter, hoisin, honey, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, sriracha, oyster sauce, fish sauce and DICED jalapeno in a bowl. It makes kind of a lot. More than you need for one pizza, certainly. You can easily toss this sauce – warmed together with the same veggies and whatever meat you opt for – with pasta or soba noodles or whatever. Here is a good looking version HERE. But I only point this out so you can get a visual. So – do not throw away your extra sauce!
I marinated the fake chicken in the fridge for several hours in a little of the sauce. I then opted to pan sear it a little bit – just to give it some color. This is an optional step.
Then – when you have all your vegetables properly cut up – roll out your dough. Top it with some sauce – not too much though! You do not want soggy pizza. Then layer your sliced jalapeno, the veggies (NOT the lime or cilantro, though), cheese & chicken.
Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes or until the crust looks golden & your cheese is melted. Garnish with sprouts, cilantro & a squeeze of lime. Drizzle some sweet chili sauce sparingly (it is very sweet) & serve!
PS – I love my fresh ginger grating fish – though he looks properly bummed. I wonder why he is so glum.