Jiwei Zhou

Tempeh + Pizza = Tempehzza?

Tempeh as the dough and top of a pizza


Tempeh on normal pizza after baking - Jiwei Zhou

With: Jiwei Zhou

The thinnest sheet of tempeh gave us inspirations: could it be something that flow along the surface of other ingredients during baking?  Could tempeh be the dough of the pizza offered at Mediamatic Eten?

With the help of our pizza chef Kamiel (Kamiel Rongen), we tested the making of two kinds of tempehzza. The first one is a normal vegan pizza, with tempeh as a top, covering other ingredients; the second one is to use a tempeh sheet as the dough.

In the first test we used the thinnest tempeh sheet we have so far, that’s made of one layer of lupins; in the second test we used the thickest tempeh sheet that we have so far.


Tempehzza Preparation Overview - Jiwei Zhou

The pizza is baked with fire in the pizza oven, but the tempeh may not need the same time as other ingredients to reach the effect we wanted, so each minute we checked the tempehzza until the tempeh looked baked, and other ingredients are also ready. With Kamiel’s very careful baking, the 2 tempehzzas are ready to eat. Jiwei, Kamile, Kamiel and Willem tasted the tempehzzas at the end of the day and here are our reviews.


Jiwei with tempehzzas - Kamilè Vaitkuté


Tempehzza Baked Overview - Jiwei Zhou, Kamilè Vaitkuté

Review of tempehzza dough: we found that when the tempeh dough started to have a crispy edge, the middle part is still quite wet. All of us thought that the crispy parts are nice to eat while the wet part is not so surprising. Also, the middle part cannot really hold all the ingredients very well. We baked for a second time, putting the tempehzza upside-down on an aluminum foil. After this, the whole surface became crispy, which made the taste way better.


Pizza with tempeh dough baking up-side down - Jiwei Zhou

Review of tempehzza top: the time for the normal pizza to be ready is not enough for the tempeh top to be crispy enough. The tempeh sheet didn’t flow along the surface because the ingredients underneath it are too flat. It tastes just like pizza because the tempeh didn’t stand out in any aspect.

We had a meeting with Chef Thor to get some advice from him. This test shows that this direction is worth experimenting with by putting vegetables underneath the tempeh sheet. The sheet should be thin enough to be able to flow along the vegetable surface and get crispy all through. Chef Thor showed us the transparent sheet of food that he made, which we can take reference from. The next step is to make a thinner tempeh material.