Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Today is significant to us for a couple of reasons. It happens to be my birthday. Somehow, cosmically, it's also exactly one year since the completion of our Kickstarter campaign, what birthed this brand and set this entire adventure in motion. We are grateful to all 1683 of you trailblazers who saw our vision and signed on first to help us make Fly By Jing a reality. Thank you also to everyone who has joined us since, helping us push forward our mission of bringing diversity to the natural food space.
I started Fly By Jing because I saw that despite Chinese food being one of the most popular cuisines in the world, it still had a perception problem in the West. Biased expectations of price and quality placed on Chinese food products had created a self-fulfilling cycle. When I visited Expo West (the biggest natural food expo in the country) in 2018, I realized we still had a long way to go to democratizing and diversifying the health food space. Fly By Jing is a small piece of this puzzle. We aren't just here to spice things up, we are here to fill in the blanks.
Food remains one of the ways we share a common humanity, and flavor can evoke memories that, while specific, can have universal understanding. Over the last year, it has been awe-inspiring watching you incorporate the flavors of my childhood- Sichuan Chili Crisp, Zhong Dumpling Sauce, and Mala Spice Mix, into your daily routines, drizzled over a creamy platter of Israeli hummus, scooped over crunchy, smoked butterscotch ice cream, or spooned over a bowl of creamy overnight savory oats.
In this spirit, we recently held a tasting party in Williamsburg Brooklyn at our partner Heatonist's HQ, where we had the honor of collaborating with one of our heroes, the pizza czar Anthony Falco (man behind the famed Roberta's pies) on a Mapo Tofu pizza. We served up dozens of pies to some very lucky attendees and the responses were unanimous. "Oh. My. God." "This is extremely good and needs to be a thing." "I need more of that." We can't all have Anthony's magical sourdough starter in our back pockets, but he was kind enough to provide his recipe for a pizza dough anyone can make at home. Maybe a Mapo Tofu Pizza is just what this long weekend calls for.
The Mapo Tofu: Recipe
750g flour (100%) AP/bread flour 50/50
495g water (66%)
22.5g salt (3%)
15g oil (2%)
1g commercial yeast active dry (1.5%)
Mix flour & salt in a large steel mixing bowl. Form a well.
In another bowl mix water (at 68F), yeast, and oil. Make sure yeast is dissolved, then pour into flour
Slowly mix by hand and work out flour lumps very gently. Once it just comes together and is still shaggy cover and rest for 45min room temp. After wards move to floured surface preferably stone.
Hand mix the dough by folding it onto itself over and over. About 5 min, or until it’s very smooth. Cover and rest for 1 hour.
Divide and ball. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours.
Yields about 7 250g doughballs
Baking the pizzas:
Heat the oven to between 450F and 500F. If you have a fancy Breville pizza oven, you can dial that up to 800F. If you have a stone, put it in the oven while it's heating up.
Stretch out the dough and place it on a peel with a bit of flour at the bottom so it doesn't stick.
Ladle enough mapo tofu on the dough to cover it, rips chunks of buffalo mozzarella and disperse evenly throughout the pie.
Place the pizza on the stone and bake for about ten minutes.