Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Bap’za


“Mom!” Amaya yells when she walks in the door.

“What?” I pause, mid-click in my bibimbap pizza photo shoot.

“I want to try your ‘best pizza ever’,” she tells me and immediately starts reaching for a slice of meat.


282_edited-1I guess I’d been talking about it a bit too much. When I started looking ahead to Challenge #5 of Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog, I immediately started thinking pizza. Pizza is something I dream about. It’s like the culinary canvas.288_edited-1

I’ve had pizza in every country I’ve ever visited, and everyone makes it their own. That’s how versatile it is. Don’t get me wrong—I love a perfect Neapolitan slice. But, me, I can’t leave well enough alone. I make pizza often, and I usually subject everyone to my experimentation.274_edited-1

When our friends came over for dinner last week, one said, “Yep, this is Mariko pizza.”

The combinations that I’ve come up with will last me several good posts into the future. But one idea was my favorite. The one I kept calling the “best pizza ever.”289_edited-1

Amaya picked up on my vibe very quickly. She knows when I’m on the trail for food. I buy my ingredients, make notes in my book, bounce wacky ideas off Jake, and announce my food-making schedule. 314_edited-1

When she got out the kid’s set for our “afternoon tea”, she handed me a slice of wooden bread. Animatedly, she offered, “Here you go. This is spicy corn on bread!”

I made a face. “I’m not sure if I want spicy corn on bread. That sounds nasty.”

Try it,” she answered. “You’re going to love it!”

Hmmm. Is that really how I sound? 298_edited-1

If kids are a pretty honest reflection of yourself, then my interest in food is definitely rubbing off on Amaya. As picky as she is, she gets that there is a world of taste out there, and she wants it. She gets that meals don’t have to be static repetitions of weeknight canned casseroles and eating out is a chance to try something new without having to do the dishes. She gets that being excited about food is an extension of the pleasure of taste. 297_edited-1

And she definitely gets that I am going to make her try my pizza. She doesn’t get out of trying anything when it comes to the dinner table. 290_edited-1


“I love your ‘best pizza ever’, Mom,” she says, as she picks through the toppings she wants, and leaves the rest behind. baptoss3

326_edited-1The Bap’za

This pizza is a recreation of bibimbap in pizza form. Bibimbap is a Korean dish of vegetables and meat on rice which is tossed and mixed with hot bean paste and a barely fried egg. It is a mix of flavors that work, however odd it sounds. The snap of vegetables, sweet sesame, spicy gochujang, salty meat, sour pickles, and soft rice each offer their individual and distinct treasures to your tongue and teeth. I am a huge fan of (read: obsessed with) stone bowl bap. In a stone bowl that has been heated, the flavors kind of cook together and sizzle while the rice becomes crisp on the edges. The rice crust I made on a pizza pan imitated that perfectly. The pizza sauce is a sweetened gochujang (hot bean paste) that mimics Korean fried chicken sauce recipes I’ve had. It brought the pizza together well. I stuck with common bap toppings and made my own namul (seasoned vegetables) to go with the bulgogi beef, egg, mushrooms, and cucumber. Baking the egg in the oven on the rice crust and sauce made it just right, as the yolk was hot and still able to mix well with my toppings as I loaded them on. The pizza sliced nicely and held together, but with all the toppings, you’ll want to eat this one with a fork, because you are likely more civilized than me. I still ate it with my hands and made the crust into a tool to wrap up the toppings, just like folding a New York slice.

View and Print the recipe(s) here:


If you want a slice of this pizza, vote for me by clicking my profile icon on the right sidebar starting on Monday the 18th. Thanks for visiting.



Kegan Masayuki Spendlove said...

This looks AMAZING. I think Amanda and I are coming for a visit again. Tomorrow. Have this pizza ready.

thelittlefoodie said...

I have the distinction of being the only commenter who can say that the bapza tasted even better than it looks. -Jake

junebu8 said...

Anything dressed in egg yolk gets my vote :)

Isabelle said...

Awesome twist on the pizza concept! I've been craving bi bim bap for a few days now, and this post totally isn't helping... I think I may have to scrap my lunch plans and drop into the Korean deli instead. :)
Good luck with round 5. You've got my vote!

sippitysup said...

First Korean taco became the rage. This makes me think Korean pizza is next up. GREG

Kelly said...

This looks delicious!

Lisa~Koreanamericanmommy said...

Ok, now this mouth watering. What a fabulous idea! Bibimbap in pizza form, lovin it! Voted.

RandomsWindow said...

This looks amazing!

Asha@FSK said...

Fabulous take on the pizza!! Lvoe your creation... Voted for you :)

Foododelmundo said...

Beautiful presentation and a great remix idea! You've got my vote! -Katy

The Young Foodie said...

I love Bibimbap!! Good way to reinvent it! One VOTE for me! Hopefully see you in Round 6!

The Young Foodie

Jun Belen said...

OMG! I love bibimbap!!! Your pizza is definitely a creative spin on that classic Korean dish. It really looks so colorful and vibrant!!

And by the way, thank you so much for leaving a wonderful note in my blog. Best of luck in PFB!

Now I'm craving Korean.


Fanta said...

Korean food is the absolute best cuisine world wide! I was excited to see the bibimbop pizza! I can't wait to attempt the culinary delight :)

Robbie said...

Yay for the Bap'za, the best pizza ever! Looks awesome and is definitely a "Mariko" pizza. Great job on the photos and narration. Totally fun post. I miss Amaya! and all of you, of course.

Joanne_choi said...

looks totally yummy! You have my vote. I'm so glad you're in the contest!

angi c said...

I already love bibimbap and I already love pizza, so it only follows that I love (x10!) this bap'za. This is a truly great concept, Mariko, and it's made even greater by the fact that there's no longer fighting over the crispy bits in the stone bowl because it's crispy... everywhere! Your daughter Amaya sounds adorable and is a true foodie-in-training. ;)

thelittlefoodie said...

It's wonderful, right?

thelittlefoodie said...

I'm always craving bi bim bap. It's a curse. Thanks for your vote!

thelittlefoodie said...

Korean burritos! That's what I want. I've been seeing those everywhere.

thelittlefoodie said...


thelittlefoodie said...

We were so on the same wavelength.

thelittlefoodie said...

Thanks Robbie. Miss you guys. :(

thelittlefoodie said...

Oh, I was still fighting over the crispy. !!!

Jeanne said...

Your pizza has such a stunning combination of toppings! I would love to try a slice!

sharon (umommy) said...

Love this! Really creative and it looks delicious. You got my vote!

cookeatlove said...

This looks so delicious. Great work. You have my vote indeed.

Savory Sweet Living said...

Great concept and execution. This bap'za looks amazing, and I would definitely love to eat it. Great job and you've got my vote. Good luck!

Oui, Chef said...

I LOVE bibimbap, but never would have dreamed of making it into a pizza....awesome idea! Got my vote. - S

Have Spork Will Travel said...

Mmm awesome idea to use the rice!!! Why didn't I think of that? BRILLIANT!

TheCilantropist said...

I LOVE bibimbap and this is such a creative idea! Voted! :)

Winnie said...

You were right...I love your pizza!!! It looks absolutely amazing and right up my alley. Fantastic job with this challenge ;)

Wheels and Lollipops said...

I love your take on food with your daughter that's exactly what we are doing here as well. This dish intrigues me on so many different taste levels. I'm now starting to discover Korean food and I may need to add this to my list. Good Luck

Marisa said...

LOVE this! Never ever ever would've thought of fusing bibimbap and pizza but it looks spectacular.

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