By Masaharu Morimoto

Chef Masaharu Morimoto – known to millions as star of "Iron Chef" and "Iron Chef America" – is as comfortable cooking against the clock for a live television audience as he is preparing his signature omakase menu at his namesake restaurants. But no matter the circumstances, wherever Morimoto cooks, his inspired and innovative dishes garner critical and popular acclaim.

Tuna Pizza with Anchovy Aioli

Typical of Chef 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
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • Anchovy Aioli (see recipe below)
  • Baby cilantro or sprouts, for garnish
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.

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.

Arrange 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 cilantro or sprouts.

Makes 4 servings.

Anchovy Aioli

  • 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 5 days. Note: the word aioli is used as a conceit here; there is no garlic in the recipe.

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

Makes about one cup.