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This kimchi pizza is a fusion of Italian and Korean flavors blended together for one of the most unique pizza flavors. Easily customize it to include your favorite toppings.
Two of my favorite cuisines are Asian and Italian. So what happens when you smash them together? You get the best of both worlds with recipes like garlic umami noodles, cilantro lime pasta, and now this kimchi pizza.
Traditional pizza dough acts as a canvas for the homemade gochujang tomato sauce along with a few ingredients that you'd typically find in Korean cuisine such as kimchi. Although not a popular pizza topping, its tanginess mellows in the oven and adds a tender crunch.
- Pizza dough - my pizza dough recipe makes enough for 4 large pizzas, whether you're feeding a crowd or want to freeze it for later use.
- Crushed tomatoes - for the base of the sauce.
- Gochujang paste - a fermented Korean chili paste that packs some heat. However, the quantity used in this recipe doesn't make the sauce spicy.
- Extra virgin olive oil - adds richness to the sauce.
- Toasted sesame oil - gives the sauce another layer of flavor.
- Garlic - a huge flavor in both Italian and Korean cuisines.
- Kosher salt.
- Pinch of sugar - to round out the flavors.
- Toppings - shredded mozzarella (dairy-free or regular), kimchi, mushrooms, bacon, scallions (green part only), and toasted sesame seeds for an added crunch.
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.
How can you make this kimchi pizza using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- Make it gluten-free – make sure to use a gluten-free pizza crust as well as gluten-free gochujang (some brands do contain wheat).
- Make it vegan – use dairy-free cheese and swap out the bacon for plant-based protein or omit it completely.
- Make it even quicker – use your favorite store-bought pizza dough and cook the bacon in advance.
- No gochujang paste? - although there's no direct substitute for its unique flavor, here are some possible options you can use instead: white miso + sriracha, tomato paste + red chili flakes, or chili paste by itself.
- Variations - swap out the toppings to include any of your favorite ingredients.
If you don't have a pizza stone, use a rimmed baking sheet flipped upside down (as seen in the photos). Just make sure to preheat it when you turn the oven on like you would the stone and be really careful when assembling your pizza on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Korean pizza toppings often include some type of pork, mushrooms, scallions/green onions, gochujang, and garlic. Along with a drizzle of mayonnaise. You'll also sometimes see pickles, which help to cut through the richness of the other toppings.
It's a balance of sweet, salty, umami, and sour flavors.
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- 1 ball pizza dough see notes
- flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking
Gochujang Tomato Sauce (about ¼ - ⅓ cup per pizza)
Toppings Per Pizza
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded dairy-free or regular
- 2 pieces cooked bacon crumbled
- ½ cup cooked mushrooms such as shiitake, portobello, cremini, or oyster
- ⅓ cup kimchi, sliced
- 1-2 scallions (green part only), thinly sliced
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish optional
- Preheat your oven to 500°F (260°C) and place a pizza stone inside on the middle rack (or an inverted rimmed baking sheet).
- Make the sauce by mixing together the crushed tomatoes, gochujang paste, crushed garlic, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
- Cook your sliced mushrooms in a skillet over medium heat with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil for about 3-5 minutes This helps prevent them from drying out in the oven.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your pizza dough into a circular shape and then transfer it to a floured (or use corn meal) pizza peel or baking sheet.
- Spoon about ¼ - ⅓ cup of sauce onto the dough, leaving about ½-inch space around the edges. Follow with the shredded cheese and the rest of your toppings.
- Bake for about 7-10 minutes and then put under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes to encourage browning.
- Top with toasted sesame seeds (optional) and more sliced green onions if desired.