mushroom pizza

asian Gems on Pizza: An Umami Explosion!

Under the Jungle Canopy: A Mushroom Pizza Odyssey in Thailand and Laos

Forget the predictable portobellos and button mushrooms – this pizza is an adventurous dive into the heart of Southeast Asian forests, a celebration of earthy flavors and umami-rich fungi you won’t find in your average pizzeria. Picture a canvas of crispy dough, its warmth echoing the sun filtering through jungle leaves, ready to be adorned with the hidden treasures of Thailand and Laos.

First, we venture into the vibrant markets of Thailand, where het chorakhe, also known as the chicken of the woods, awaits. These vibrant orange clusters, with their meaty texture and delicate chicken-like flavor, will form the foundation of our culinary journey. Next, we encounter the hed bai yaa, literally “mushroom on leaves,” known for its smoky aroma and earthy depth. Slices of this prized fungi, often found growing on fallen leaves, add a touch of mystique to our pizza.

From Laos, we welcome the het mah neu, the elephant foot mushroom. Majestic and phallic in shape, it boasts a firm texture and subtle sweetness, perfectly complementing the other earthy notes. And finally, no Laotian mushroom adventure is complete without the hed pad, or temple oyster mushroom. These meaty delights, often cultivated on banana leaves near temples, bring a smoky richness to the party.

Now, the fire awakens. Forget gas grills – we embrace the primal magic of wood and embers. As the flames dance, we char the mushrooms, coaxing out their smoky essence and caramelizing their natural sugars. Each sizzling morsel whispers tales of sun-drenched jungles and hidden waterfalls.

Back on our doughy canvas, we create a tapestry of textures and flavors. The charred mushrooms are scattered like fallen leaves, their smoky aroma mingling with the sweet-spicy kick of a homemade nam phrik pla, a Thai fish sauce chili jam. Dollops of creamy coconut milk cool the heat, their richness echoing the lushness of the jungle undergrowth. For a final flourish, we scatter fresh herbs like bai krapao (holy basil) and pak chi (Chinese watercress), their vibrant green a visual and aromatic reminder of the verdant landscapes.

But this pizza is more than just the sum of its ingredients. It’s an ode to the umami bomb, that elusive fifth taste that lingers on your tongue, a symphony of savory delight. Each bite is an earthy explosion, the charred smokiness of the mushrooms dancing with the subtle sweetness of the coconut milk, all balanced by the gentle heat of the chili jam. The fresh herbs add a final layer of complexity, transporting you to the heart of a Southeast Asian jungle feast.

This pizza is not just for vegetarians; it’s for adventurous souls who crave something beyond the ordinary. It’s a conversation starter, a social media moment, and a delicious reminder that some of the greatest culinary treasures are hidden in plain sight, waiting to be discovered under the leafy canopy of a Southeast Asian jungle. So, grab a slice, close your eyes, and let your taste buds be transported to a world of earthy delights and hidden umami gems. Just remember, the forest awaits…and it’s packed with flavor!

Mushrooms on your pizza will be dependant on what the market has today. Book a table early as they are limited and let us know what you want. Avoid disappointment