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Thursday, August 25, 2011

5 Star Makeover: Margherita Pizza the Chinese Way

This month's 5 Star Makeover theme is... pizza! Loved the theme because pizza allows so much room for creativity. For my pizza, I chose to make Margherita pizza, with a Chinese twist.

Chinese Margherita Pizza
I wrapped the typical Margherita flavors in a Chinese pastry bun. The slight tinge of sweetness in the dough made the classic Margherita pizza that much more interesting. Although the taste of this pizza bun resembles that of a Calzone, the key difference lies in the multiple layers of a Chinese pastry dough. The texture is light and buttery as opposed to heavy and chewy.

Chinese Margherita Pizza served with a Mozzarella, Carrot, and Arugula "stirfry"
Margherita Pizza the Chinese Way
makes 12 buns
Outer Pastry Layer
  • 1.5 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
Inner Pastry Layer
  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tomato, juice drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves
  • a handful of toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz of mozzarella cheese, cut into 1" x 2" rectangles
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Oregano, sea salt, and pepper for topping
  1. Mix outer layer ingredients and roll it into a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Mix inner layer ingredients and roll it into a dough.
  3. Separate dough for each of the two layers into 12 balls. You now have 12 outer layer balls and 12 inner layer balls.
  4. Roll an outer layer dough ball into a flat circle, envelope the inner layer ball and wrap the outer layer around it. Use a rolling pin and roll the combined dough ball into a flat oval shape. From the short side, roll it up and have the opening face downward on a surface. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Repeat this for all dough balls.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Flatten the rolls with rolling pin. Then, roll the flat dough up again into a roll. Roll it out into a flat circle. Repeat this for all dough balls.
  7. Puree basil, cheddar cheese, pine nuts, garlic, butter in a food processor and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. On the flat dough circle, put a small piece of tomato, a small piece of mozzarella, and some basil mixture. Enclose the dough around the filling and shape it into a round ball. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle dough ball with oregano, salt and pepper. Bake the 12 dough balls for about 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown.
As always, thank you to Natasha from 5 Star Foodie and Laz from Lazaro Cooks! for hosting this month's challenge. Looking forward to September!


  1. Such a refreshing twist on pizza! Brava!
    Great addition to the Cooking Club event.

  2. i love this fusion cuisine!!! i love getting steamed buns at chinese retaurants... sooo good!

  3. Whoo hoo for another Asian pizza! This is brilliant, Jessica! Thanks for the bun recipe too. Pine nuts add a great texture to the filling. Love it!

  4. What a fantastic idea...so creative! This pastry dough sounds amazing :)

  5. Wow, Jessica this is very creative! Perhaps this should be added in the menu of some of the good Dim Sum joints out there? :) Have a good weekend!

    ~ ray ~

  6. What else can I say but genius. Such a fun, playful, and inventive twist on pizza. Exactly like a Chinese calzone of goodness.


    Thanks so much for continuing to elevate the quality of our awesome cooking group

  7. This is a totally new and unexpected twist on pizza. A great makeover using classic flavors. Love it!

  8. This is truly within the spirit of a redo. Whimsical and fun.

  9. Jessica,
    Great to see combine two culture together in a dish. I bet it's goes well together! Thank for your comment in my post.

  10. This is so clever - I love a margherita pie, and the idea of it surrounded by a flaky pastry is just awesome! What a smart idea.

  11. Oh what a genius recipe! It's a fun twist on pizza :)

  12. You are amazing! Margherita is defintely one of my favorite pizzas (I can never resist a slice! ;) ), and your Chinese bun twist makes it super cute even more irresistible!

  13. What an ingenious makeover! I could just imagine those pizza flavors bursting out of that bun.. drool. Love how you can distinguish all the different components of the filling (toppings) in the first shot. Brilliant!

  14. OMG!!!! This is spectacular, what a terrific idea.
    Lovely, I could have never thought of combining these two. Yumm...
    These delicious buns are oozing out luscious pizza flavors .....

  15. What a creative twist on Margherita pizza! Love that photo of the filling oozing out, I'm imagining how fabulous these cute little buns tasted!

  16. Jessica, this is amazing, and what a brilliant idea! I really liked that you make it Chinese way. My kids would LOVE this and me too. I want to try some. The ingredients inside will never get too cold fast. Really nice and I love your presentation too!

  17. what a great interpretation on pizza! reminds me of those yummy white puffy dough balls (name escapes me now). I'd love to taste this!

  18. Wow, Jess these look amazing! I love Chinese steamed buns with the sweet and tangy BBQ pork -- always a must-have when we go for dim sum on the weekends. :-) Great innovation!