Last Friday, I put out the call to all my tweeps and #vegan Twitterati, requesting ideas for unusual pizza toppings. You see, Lee and I have really been enjoying our weekly homemade pizza nights on Fridays, but we’ve been getting a little stale (heh, get it?) in the topping department. So, earlier last week, we decided to get adventurous and come up with a new and interesting pizza each week. The only problem? Our creative juices just weren’t flowing in the pizza department. Luckily, the good folks on Twitter came back with some great suggestions, including jalapeño peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and tacos. What?
I considered all those options and was just about to start tearing apart our pantry in search of inspiration when Lee let me know that he was headed home and that he wanted to make his teriyaki pizza dreams come true. He’d mentioned it in passing earlier, and we’d both tabled the idea to search for more exotic options.
In the end, the omnivore won. For my pizza, I decided to go with something of a classic combination of tofu, broccoli florets and thinly sliced red onion on my homemade vegan pizza crust. I highly recommend this approach.
The only thing left was the sauce. Since we’re not “teriyaki people” in general (and the last thing we need is another bottle of super salty commercially-made sauce in our fridge), I found myself learning to make teriyaki sauce from scratch in a big fat hurry. My friend Katie chimed in with her recipe (she’s always been a smarty pants) and adapted her ingredient list along with an amalgam of 10 or so other teriyaki recipes. Without having a whole lot of confidence in the result, I went to town. By the time Lee got home, the pizza dough was done rising and the sauce was thickening into a delicious, rich, complex sauce that I thought was “pretty darn good.” So, I decided to share it with you guys.
Vegan Teriyaki Sauce
Yield: About 1 cup
1/2 cup cold water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
Juice of one large orange (1/4-1/2 cup)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup mirin
1 tsp crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)
1-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, skinned and grated
In a measuring cup, whisk cornstarch into cold water and set aside. Combine all other ingredients in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved completely. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer, whisking regularly, for 4-5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool and continue to thicken. The sauce can be used immediately, or refrigerated in a squeeze bottle for up to 1 week.
To use as pizza sauce:
Use 1 Tbsp prepared sauce per 10-inch round pizza (or more to taste). The sauce can be used as a marinade as well, but since we were short on time, I just dredged my tofu pieces in sauce before putting them on the pizza and then drizzled a little extra sauce over the top of my broccoli and onions as well, to ensure full teriyaki flavor coverage. Nom!