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Mochi Pizza: The Best Mix of Italy and Japan!

Alana JuricAlana Juric
Published Time
Posted on 
May 28, 2021
A pan of mochi pizza.

You may have tried mochi (Japanese rice cake) if you like Japanese food and sweets. It’s a key ingredient in many Japanese sweets, like daifuku and dango. But have you ever tried mochi pizza?

What is mochi pizza?

Mochi pizza is just what it sounds like, a pizza with a crust made of mochi. But this mochi isn’t the sweet kind you get in Japanese wagashi. It’s a kind of mochi called kirimochi or kakumochi, that looks like a hard, white brick. The hard mochi pieces soften when cooked. Kirimochi is a common treat in Japan around New Year, when they are eaten with soy sauce and nori, or sweetened soy sauce. 

Mochi pizza from Pizza Hut.
Pizza Hut has come out with their own mochi pizza? Image via The Daily Mail

One day, some inventive person came up with the idea of using thinly sliced kirimochi as a pizza crust. The result is a crunchy, easy-to-make, and gluten-free crust! Another version involves adding glutinous rice flour (mochi rice flour) as a substitute for wheat flour in normal pizza dough, which makes the dough chewier. Mochi pizza is one of those beautiful instances when two cultures combine to create a dish no one country could have imagined.

The crust of mochi pizza is unexpectedly crisp, completely different from normal chewy mochi. But don’t worry, you can still have chewy mochi on your pizza too! If you want that classic chewy mochi texture, try a mochi and cheese mixture as a topping instead, another popular pizza variation here in Japan.

How do I make my own mochi pizza?

There are a number of Japanese recipes on the Japanese recipe site Cookpad for pizza with mochi as an ingredient. As many Japanese households don’t have ovens, the recipes can usually be made in a frying pan, making them very easy. Toppings can range from homely (using leftover stir-fried vegetables) to fancy (using truffle oil and parmesan cheese).

A dish of pizza.
Pizza is trendy in Japan! Image via Shutterstock

This basic recipe is a take on the classic margarita pizza, but you can use any toppings you would like. If you’re using vegetables or meat, just pre-cook them first, as they will not cook while you make the crust. It should be enough to make one pizza.


  • 5 (50g each) blocks of hard mochi (also called kirimochi or kakumochi). You can get kirimochi at many Asian supermarkets.
  • 50 ml water
  • 4 Tbs/ 50ml Tomato sauce 
  • 100g Cheese
  • Plain cooking oil
  • Olive oil to taste
  • Spices and herbs to taste: garlic powder, black pepper, dried basil, etc.
A cheesy slice of pizza.
You can make your own pizza as well! Image via Shutterstock


  1. Slice the mochi blocks in half lengthwise to make them thinner. 
  2. Add a little cooking oil to the pan. Place a single layer of mochi slices into the pan, as many will fit comfortably without overlapping. Bring to medium-low heat.
  3. The mochi will start to expand, soften, and melt. Press the melting pieces together using a spatula to form a single crust. As the mochi softens, use your spatula to mold it to the shape of the pan, then flatten it down to give the crust your desired shape and thickness. 
  4. Once the mochi is entirely melted, add 50ml water. Cover and continue cooking. At this stage, ensure the bottom of the crust doesn’t burn. Once the crust has the desired crispness and browning on the bottom, flip it and brown the other side.
  5. Bring the pan to low heat once both sides of the crust are browned.
  6. Spread the tomato sauce onto the crust, leaving the edges bare, like a normal pizza crust.
  7. Sprinkle on the cheese, then add the herbs and spices. Drizzle on olive oil.
  8. Cover the pan with a lid and continue cooking until the cheese is just melted.
  9. Take the pizza off the heat and enjoy!

Other Mochi Pizza Ideas

There are as many types of mochi pizzas as there are regular pizzas. Check out these other topping ideas, like this one, with shrimp and veggies, or this oven-baked one, with Gruyère and mushrooms.

A big pepperoni pizza.
Have you ever had mochi pizza before? Image via Shutterstock

If you want to make the pizza even more Japanese, why not add other popular pizza toppings in Japan, like mentaiko (spicy fish eggs) or nori (dried seaweed). This recipe makes mochi pizza using tuna, wasabi, and shiso (a Japanese herb).

Mochi is also a classic ingredient in many Japanese sweets. So, why not try making a sweet mochi pizza instead? You could try melting chocolate and marshmallows instead of the tomato sauce and cheese. Or, you could add anko (red bean jam) and butter, for a take on the Japanese classic anko-butter toast. The ideas are limitless! Would you make a mochi pizza? Tell us what toppings you will use in the comments below!

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