Morimoto: Japanese Cuisine, Global Flair

Japanese Pizza
CBS/The Early Show
You might think you know what Japanese food should be, but "Iron Chef" star Masaharu Morimoto's cooking could make you reconsider.

He adds flavors from other cultures to traditional Japanese ingredients, changing the very definition of Japanese cuisine, and everything we thought we knew about it.

Morimoto owns four restaurants, in New York, Philadelphia, Tokyo and Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay).

He shares some of his favorite recipes, and takes on food, in his first cookbook, "Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking."

On The Early Show Friday, Morimoto dished out an easy-to-prepare recipe: Japanese Tuna Pizza with Anchovies!

He calls his approach "global cooking for the 21st century." His inspirations take form not only in the ingredients he chooses, but in the preparation and plating of recipes.

The book features 125 recipes, and provides insight into the mind of a master. Morimoto explains his techniques, but also his philosophy on food, and offers glimpses at his life story.

To read an excerpt of "Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking, click here.


Tuna Pizza with Anchovy Aioli

Makes 4 servings

Typical of Morimoto's easy way of combining traditions, this Tuna Pizza is one of his most popular recipes. An instant pizza base is created from a grilled flour tortilla, then topped with tuna sashimi and a sprinkling of colorful vegetables and olives. A tangy Anchovy Aioli is used for garnish and extra eye appeal.

4 flour tortillas, about
7 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup barbecued eel sauce (available in Asian specialty stores)
10 ounces sushi-grade tuna, thinly sliced
2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Pitted Kalamata olives
Anchovy Aioli
Baby cilantro or sprouts, for garnish

1. Prepare a medium fire in a barbecue grill or set a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Brush each tortilla lightly on both sides with olive oil. Brush 2 tablespoons of the barbecued eel sauce over one side of each tortilla.

2. Grill, sauced side down, for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly browned grill marks appear. Rotate 90 degrees and grill for 1 to 2 minutes, until crisscross marks appear and the tortillas are fairly crisp. Turn the tortillas over and grill until the second side is crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

3.Arrange the tuna slices over the tortillas. Scatter the jalapeño peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and olives over the tortilla. Drizzle the Anchovy Aioli decoratively over the pizza. Garnish with the cilantro or sprouts.

Anchovy Aioli

Makes about 1 cup

2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

While this intensely flavored mayonnaise is used as a decorative sauce on the tuna pizza, it's an excellent accompaniment to steamed or grilled fish and makes a fabulous potato salad. Stored in a tightly covered container, the sauce will keep well in the refrigerator for up to five days. Note: the word aioli is used as a conceit here; there is no garlic in the recipe.

1. In a food processor, combine the egg yolks, vinegar, lemon juice, anchovy paste, and soy sauce. Blend well.

2. With the machine on, very slowly add the olive oil and vegetable oil in a slow, thin stream, processing until the mayonnaise is emulsified and thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste.