Gochugaru Hot Honey Pizza
This gochugaru hot honey pizza is topped with crispy garlic, buttery corn, creamy ricotta, and savory bacon. The light drizzle of gochugaru hot honey adds a bit of sweetness and a kick of spice. Enjoy this easy, gourmet pizza for your next weeknight meal!
When I first moved to Korea, I noticed that the supreme pizzas always included corn as a topping. I never saw that growing up in the States and, at the time, thought it was unusual.
There were definitely other bigger cultural nuances that I noticed. And as then a young adolescent Korean American, I’d admit that the move to Korea was quite the culture shock. In hindsight however, I would never trade the experience and opportunity I had to appreciate and learn more about my Korean heritage. Korea is now home to me.
I decided to write a pizza recipe with corn as homage to the early memories of my first year living in Korea. Instead of making a supreme pizza with corn, however, I decided to do a white pizza with some other unique toppings.
This recipe is inspired by Blue Apron’s pizza. I made some tasty additions and adjustments that I hope you too will enjoy.
If you’re looking for more delicious and cheesy recipes, make sure to check out my kimchi grilled cheese sandwich recipe!
What is white pizza?
White pizza, also known as Pizza Bianca, is made without marinara sauce and is instead made with a base of white cheese, olive oil, and garlic. While some white pizzas are also made with a creamy white sauce, I like to keep it light and top my pizza with two different types of white cheese.
Cheese on white pizza
This pizza is topped with some pre-shredded mozzarella. It is mild in flavor and it gives you that classic cheese pull.
I usually try not to use pre-shredded cheese because of the additives. However, pre-shredded mozzarella has low moisture. This is great unless you want watery pizza from using fresh mozzarella in brine.
I also add freshly grated parmesan for its salty, tangy, and sharp taste. The pizza would otherwise taste a bit flat with just the mild mozzarella.
White pizza is commonly seasoned with minced garlic. I decided to fry thin slices of garlic until lightly browned and crispy. The crispy garlic gives the pizza some crunchy texture and toasted flavor, in addition to a delicious, garlicky flavor.
I always need a savory umami component, so I decided to add some smoky bacon bits as well. The salty and prominent bacon taste gives the pizza some flavor contrast.
The corn kernels gives some bite that is still tender, and a moderately sweet flavor. You also get tiny bursts of that buttery corn juice.
These heavier flavors are balanced with dollops of fresh ricotta. Tiny scoops are plopped onto the steaming, baked pizza. The ricotta adds a creamy and fresh finish that balances the saltier and savory toppings.
Gochugaru Hot Honey
Finally, this pizza is drizzled with some red hot honey.
Hot honey is a spicy sweet sauce that is delicious on almost anything. You can drizzle it on pizza, fried chicken, roasted vegetables, biscuits, and cornbread or serve it alongside a charcuterie plate.
There are most likely bottles of ready-made, hot honey at your local grocery store, but it is actually cheaper, simple, and easy to make at home.
The two main ingredients are honey and chili peppers. You could use fresh or dried chili peppers. I like to use dried chili pepper flakes since it (along with the honey) can always be ready in your pantry.
You gently and quickly simmer the honey with the pepper flakes and let the spicy flavor infuse into the warmed honey.
For this recipe, I tried using Korean dried red pepper flakes (gochugaru, 고춧가루). It has a smokier and sweeter taste than your regular dried chili pepper flakes. Instead of straining out the pepper flakes, I like to leave them in for the additional spice.
The famous Mike’s Hot Honey also has a bit of tang. This recipe uses some apple cider vinegar to create a similar tang. But you could also use a hot sauce, such as Tobasco, Cholula, and Sriracha. This tanginess helps to balances out the sweet honey.
Tips for making pizza
- Coat sheet pan with olive oil. This will help crisp and brown the crust, and prevent the pizza from sticking to the pan.
- Sprinkle the sheet pan with some cornmeal. This is optional, but it also helps to prevent the pizza dough from sticking. extra flavor and extra crispy. coarser than flour
- Bring pizza dough to room temperature. This will make it easier for you to stretch and shape the dough.
- Stretch the dough. If you roll out the dough, it will push out the bubbles of gas and result in a tough, dense crust.
- Don’t use fresh mozzarella in brine. It has too much moisture and will result in a watery pizza mess.
- Cook the toppings ahead of time. The bake time may not be enough for some vegetable and meat toppings to cook. In this recipe, the corn, garlic, and bacon are cooked ahead of time.
- Add fresh herbs after the pizza is fully baked. They will stay fresh, flavorful and vibrant in color.
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Mise en place
If you make this Gochugaru Hot Honey Pizza, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Gochugaru Hot Honey Pizza
- ¾ lb pizza dough
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- ½ cup mozarella, pre-shredded
- 2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 2 strips bacon, cooked and cut into strips
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- pinch black pepper
- ½ tbsp chives, thinly sliced (optional garnish)
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
- Let the pizza dough rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (you can begin preparing the other ingredients during this time)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Make the hot honey. Add the honey and gochugaru to a small sauce pan and bring it to a simmer over low heat.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the apple cider vinegar.
- Turn off the heat and transfer it to a small heatproof bowl. Let it cool as you continue on to the next steps.
- Add the olive oil to a small sauce pan over low heat. Spread the garlic slices into a thin layer and let it fry in the oil.
- Give it a stir when you notice the garlic slices are lightly golden brown and crisp around the edges.
- Let it fry just a bit longer and then set the slices aside on a small plate.
- Spray or add a thin coating of olive oil to a 12"x9" baking sheet.
- Add a dusting of cornmeal.
- On the coated baking sheet, carefully stretch the pizza dough into a roughly 10"x7" rectangle. (Do not roll out the dough!)
- Drizzle some olive oil over the pizza dough.
- Top with mozzarella, parmesan, corn, bacon, crispy garlic, and some more cheese.
- Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is browned and crispy.
- Add ½ tbsp dollops of ricotta (maybe about 5-6 dollops).
- Top with some freshly ground pepper and (optional) garnish with chives.
- Finally, drizzle the pizza with the gochugaru hot honey. Slice the pizza and serve immediately.