Vegetables are not an uncommon pizza topping category. Peppers, olives and fresh tomatoes are on the menu at Little Caesar. In fancier pizzerias, you may also come across vegetable toppings like beets, squash or Brussels sprouts. But in Japan, one vegetable takes precedence over all the others. This vegetable is corn.
According to several posters on this Reddit thread, corn is one of the most common and popular Japanese pizza toppings. It is often combined with other foods like potatoes, mayonnaise and tuna. On Domino’s Japanese website, there are several pies using corn as a pizza topping. Corn is an ingredient in the company’s Spicy Mayo and Mochi Pizza, Charcoal Grilled Chiki-Teri Pizza, Chef’s Special Vegetable Pizza, and Shrimp Mayonnaise Pizza. As SoraNews24 writes, corn is a quintessential Japanese pizza topping.
Japan’s love affair with corn goes back hundreds of years, according to the Japan Times. Today it is the largest importer of corn in the world, most of which comes from the United States. A popular way to eat corn in Japan is to season a cob with a marinade of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar (teriyaki sauce, basically), then put it all on the grill. Corn is also an ingredient often used in stir fries or soups. You might also find it as a topping for ramen. All of this goes to show that it may look unique to us, but it’s a normal pizza topping in Japan.