Yakuzen pizza

October, 3rd 2014

I am so happy a japanese friend of mine asked me to help her preparing this particular pizza in occasion of the “Camera Japan Festival” which took place last weekend here in Rotterdam. The recipe belongs to Kyoko Onishi, her teacher of medicinal cuisine, an amazing woman who studied the principles of macrobiotics from Lima Ohsawa and Dr. Hideo Ohmori. Since a long time she teaches in Europe and cures people affected by the most different types of degenerative illnesses. Amongst these, also cancer.
I was very happy to cook this “fusion pizza” which combines japanese and western traditions because since a long time I would like to know more about macrobiotics. This because Cascina Rosa (the institute linked to the National Cancer Institute in Milaan where I attended a couple of workshops about preventive cuisine) is supporting this philosophy. Through the DIANA diet, thought for woman with a breast cancer history, they promote a diet which combines macrobiotics with the mediterranean diet of several years ago: the one based on whole grain cereals and legumes instead of refined cereals, meat and dairy, as it transformed itself nowadays.
I still know too little to really express my opinion but I can share with you this thoughts of mine. When I started to make some research about the relationship food / cancer, I bumped immediately in macrobiotics and I asked myself if it is logic to believe that the only way to feed ourselves in a healthy way is following a diet that belongs to a culture which is very far away from us. I still don’t think so. But, on the other hand, I realize that this is the era of “globalization”, of distant connections. Nowadays it is possible to buy local produce but also produce coming from very far away. This is the era of richness and abundance, especially if we relate it to food. Because of this, it makes sense to me to use this “abundance” non to increase the amount of things we eat but to improve the quality of what we eat and, not less important, to help vary our diet as much as possible. So I can say that, only on the base of this consideration, I am happy I have been given the chance to cook this receipt while waiting to meet Kyoko Onishi personally.
I could give my personal touch to this 100% wholemeal pizza by suggesting to use a rye sourdough (in combination to spelt), instead of bier yeast, so that this recipe would become even more healthier. In fact, the slow fermentation of the sourdough on the one hand helps reducing the sugars in our blood (glicemix index), on the other hand it disables the phytates (also called anti-nutrients) therefore allowing our body to better absorb the minerals present in the grains.



The taste is given especially by the miso, fermented soybeans. There are people saying that woman with a breast cancer history, should better avoid eating soy. Doctor Franco Berrino, just as David Servan-Schreiber in his book “Anticancer”, say there are no reasonable grounds to believe that. Anyway, one thing is true, soy – or better phytoestrogens in general, contained also in the (red) azuki beans or the (green) mung beans – is surely healthy for young woman. This because our cells are covered by doors on the outside. Estrogens (the hormones that can stimulate the formation and growth of breast cancer) have the keys to open these doors, so that they can enter and interact with our cells. Phytoestrogens have also keys, but they can’t open the doors. So, while phytoestrogens try – in vain – million times to open the doors of our cells, estrogens are disabled. And disabling estrogens in a period of our life when they are very active, has of course a positive influence in relation to breast cancer prevention. The reason why – I think – phytoestrogens are by some people considered dangerous is that 1 time out of 15.000 they can succeed in opening the doors. So yes, they are also able to interact with our cells, but 15.000 times less often that estrogens. Anyway, I eat soy but not too often and I surely do not make it the base of my diet.
Another interesting ingredient of this pizza is the lotus root. This has many fibers and is rich in vitamine C and minerals. It can also be used as remedy against respiratory illnesses (see here “Lotus Root Tea”). Good to know now that winter is coming.


“Yakuzen Pizza
The original recipe is provided by Kyoko Onishi and Europe Yakuzen”

Ingredients for the dough (1 pizza of about 30 cm in diameter):

25 g of wholemeal rye sourdough
25 g of wholemeal rye flour
225 g wholemeal spelt flour
150 ml of water
4 g of organic gray sea salt

Ingredients for the topping:

100 g approximately of tofu
70 g of miso
15 g approximately of dehydrated lotus root slices
20 g approximately of capers
½ thin long red pepper
dried thyme as needed
fresh thyme as needed
15 black olives

All ingredients were strictly organic.

It is necessary to starts the night before by preparing the “polish”:
.in a bowl mix the wholemeal rye sourdough (activated 5-6 hours before) with 25 g of wholemeal rye flour and 75 g of wholemeal spelt flour and 100 ml of lukewarm water; cover with a humid cloth and let stand overnight in a non-ventilated place (for example the oven)
.Set the dehydrated lotus root slices to soak in cold water and let stand in the refrigerator


The next morning:
(around 8:30)
.knead the polish with 150 g wholemeal spelt flour, salt and 50 ml of lukewarm water; let stand for about 2 hours
.pour the dough on a previously floured wooden board
.sprinkle the pizza pan tray with a little water and cover with parchment paper
.pour the raised dough into it and start spreading it out thin and flat with your hands
.let it rest in the oven with the light on for another hour


(around 12:00)
.dilute the miso with a tablespoon or two of water and spread it on the pizza
.crush the tofu with your hands to make it look like “mashed mozzarella”; continue garnishing with the previously drained lotus root, black olives, the capers and red pepper cut into thin slices
.sprinkle with thyme and cook in the oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees
.to finish, garnish with fresh thyme


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