“Deep fry yer pizzas, we’re gonnae deep fry yer pizzas!” sang the Tartan army of Scotland supporters in a match against Italian opposition in recent years. It’s funny cos it’s true. We do enjoy a deep fried pizza here in Scotland, occasionally even adding to the indulgence by dipping the entire thing in batter first. Now, reaching its logical (or illogical) conclusion, the dish has been taken another step further and is being finished with the classic Chinese ‘salt ‘n’ chilli’ finish by many Chinese takeaways. Indulgent and perhaps even unnecessary as it may be, salt & chilli pizza crunch is of course also utterly delicious.
The most basic / value range of supermarket pizzas will work perfectly for this dish – after coating it in a basic chip shop style batter and frying until golden and crisp, the whole thing is finished off with the usual mix of salt & chilli finishing ingredients: onions, spring onions, garlic, chilli, green pepper, carrot (optional and apparently controversial according to some responses I’ve had on twitter), rice wine and, of course, the salt & chilli seasoning.
Salt & Chilli Pizza Crunch
Salt & Chilli? Good. Pizza Crunch? Gooood. Salt & Chilli Pizza Crunch?…. you get it.
- 1 basic supermarket pizza
- Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
- 2 pinches bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 350-400 ml beer
Salt & Chilli Finish
- 1/2 red onion (sliced)
- 1 spring onion (sliced)
- 1/4 carrot (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1/2 green chilli (sliced)
- 1/2 red chilli (sliced)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon flavoured oil or sesame oil (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon salt & chilli seasoning (see notes)
- 1-2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine
Cut the pizza into 4 equal pieces. Heat the oil for deep frying to around 180c. At the same time, heat a large wok or frying pan over a medium heat.
In a large bowl, add plain flour, corn flour, bicarbonate of soda, sea salt, black pepper, vegetable oil and beer. Whisk thoroughly until a smooth, thin batter is created, adding a little more beer as necessary. Keep the batter cold in the fridge until ready to use.
Fry the pizza slices in batches if necessary: When the oil is hot, carefully dip each pizza slice into the batter until fully coated. Place the pizza slices into the hot oil cheese side down and fry for around 1 minute. Carefully flip the pizza slices over and fry for a further 1 minute. Remove the battered pizza from the pan, drain excess oil on kitchen paper and set aside.
To the hot dry wok, add the red onion, spring onion, carrot, garlic, green chilli, red chilli and crushed chilli flakes. Add the flavoured oil and stir-fry the ingredients for around 1 minute. Add the salt & chilli seasoning and stir-fry for a further 1 minute. Add the pizza slices, mix gently and finish with rice wine before serving.
Most supermarkets sell ‘basic’ or ‘value’ range pizzas which work well for this dish. Flavoured oil is used in Chinese takeaways to finish dishes with an aromatic mix of onion, garlic and star anise flavours, alternatively chilli oil or sesame oil may be used.
If you like this recipe, you might be interested in buying my book: The Takeaway Secret (2nd Edition) is packed full of over 160 takeaway and fast-food recipes from around the world and is available to buy in paperback or kindle form here.