While pizza is a well-known Italian dish, there are numerous ways to enjoy it other than its ‘classic’ form: a flat, round slab of dough topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and various meats and vegetables.
In the Philippines, August 15 is National Pizza Day, and consumers have come to expect pizza places to offer promotions and deals whenever this date comes around. However, if you’re looking for a unique take on this quintessential Italian dish, you can always cook up a pan of pizza that uses your favorite Filipino ingredients—and you don’t have to wait until National Pizza Day to do it.
It All Starts with the Dough
First thing: you need to be able to make good pizza dough as a base for your Filipino-inspired pizza. Worry not if you’re a beginner; making pizza dough is easy-peasy, and you can do it right the first time on your own by following this simple recipe for making pizza crust at home. All you need to get started are the following ingredients: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and a cup of water. Once the dough is properly stretched, you can start adding your favorite toppings.
Check out these classic Filipino ingredients that you can add to your pizza:
We have different versions of longganisa in the Philippines, so you have plenty of options to choose from if you want to put sweet sausage on top of your homemade pizza. For a lovely combination of Italian and Filipino flavors, your longganisa pizza can be made with crumbled longganisa bits that have been toasted to perfection. Once you have the dough ready, you can prepare your own version of this treat in about 10 minutes. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for longganisa pizza.
Consider cooking a new pizza whenever you spot a local longganisa variety in the market or your relatives from other parts of the Philippines bring you a batch as a gift. If you’re looking for a simple but scrumptious snack that mixes sweet and savory flavors, you can also use your regular grocery-bought longganisa for this pizza recipe.
While vegetables and meats often take the center stage in pizza recipes, fish can also be used as flavorful pizza toppings. Pizzas with anchovy toppings are available in many pizza restaurants, after all. If you’re looking for something with a richer umami flavor and a smoky twist, however, you can consider using another native delicacy: tinapa.
The smoked fish is one of the ingredients that lend this Pinoy pizza recipe its full-bodied flavor and playful mouthfeel. To spread the fish evenly, shred it first and sprinkle it on the dough right before you add the cheese toppings and bake the pan in the oven.
Itlog na Maalat
The salted egg trend hit peak popularity in 2016. Back then, a lot of snack companies, chicken wing restaurants, and even noodle manufacturers released salted-egg flavored products. Filipinos, however, have long been familiar with how flavorful salted eggs can be. Itlog na maalat not only makes for a great addition to fresh salads, this ingredient can also shine as a pizza topping. You can put salted egg bits on your pizza to make it more savory, for one. Simply add a slice or two to every pizza portion before you bake it.
If you’re preparing a pizza for one and you have leftover itlog na maalat, why not complement your creation and use up the excess salted egg to whip up a full Filipino-Italian meal? Here’s a salted egg and tomato pasta recipe that will only take an additional cooking and prep time of 15 minutes.
Adding kesong puti to your pizza will give the dish a delicate flavor, especially if you’re planning to load the pizza with plenty of green, leafy vegetables. Add the kesong puti, olive oil, heirloom tomatoes, and basil or your choice of leaves to the dough and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is fully cooked. Kesong puti can also make a great addition if you’re preparing an all-cheese pizza with a Filipino twist.
If you’re a fan of kesong puti and would like to use it in more dishes, it’s easy to make a batch at home if you can get your hands on some carabao milk. Just follow this kesong puti recipe so you can have your guiltless white cheese pizza anytime you want.
Using Filipino Dishes as Pizza Toppings
Some Filipino dishes also make excellent pizza toppings, adding curious combinations of flavors and textures to the classic Italian dish. You can use different types of sisig as pizza toppings for when you’re feeling a bit indulgent. The possibilities are endless. What Filipino ingredient or dish do you want to see on a pizza? Or do you have pizza recipes that make use of Filipino dishes? Share it with us!